Rising temperatures and protracted heatwaves are considered by Cypriots as the most important weather phenomena of climate change that affect the region, a survey has found.
On the other hand, intensifying winds, heavier rain and the reduction of annual rainfall are considered among the phenomena with the least effect in the region.
According to the survey, carried out by Tepak in cooperation with Friends of Cyprus, the general conclusion is that “the Cypriots’ dominant perception on climate change concerns phenomena relating to temperature and its rise.”
The majority of those canvassed said the changing phenomena affected their daily lives a lot. An even greater majority agreed that daily life would be greatly affected in the future by the weather phenomena.
The main conclusion is that people currently consider the appearance of such phenomena because of climate change and realise that they do and will affect daily lives.
Ninety-one per cent of the sample said climate change was important to them, which could be considered encouraging when considering future actions to mitigate the climate crisis across all levels – social, political, business, academic.
In addition, 17 per cent of participants recognise that they have been greatly affected by climate change at a personal level, while 31 per cent said they were affected a lot.
“Taking these into account, we find that almost one in two Cypriot citizens have been affected by climate change to a high degree. Also high, is the percentage of participants who replied that climate changes have moderately affected their daily lives, 30 per cent.”
Respondents listed poorer quality of life, as one of the main effects, having to spend more time indoors with air conditioning and avoiding outdoor activity.
This in turn raises the demand for electricity, while higher temperatures also mean more water is needed in agriculture.
There is also the destruction or crops, either by protracted heatwaves, or hail, or torrential rain.
Protracted periods of inactivity because of the heat could also cause psychological problems to people, the respondents said.
Most respondents, or 32 per cent, said they only made moderate changes to their habits to adjust while 21 per cent and 10 per cent said they made a lot and quite a lot of changes.
The changes concern working hours and outdoor activities in general to avoid exposure to the sun and high temperatures for lengthy periods.
They also installed A/C where there were none before, while the use of existing units was intensified.