The research conducted by the University of Canberra was published in The Digital News Report: Australia 2020. It surveyed 2,131 Australians about their news consumption in regards to climate change at the tail end of the nation's catastrophic 2019/2020 bushfire crisis, during 17 January and 8 February.
Of the Australians surveyed, more than half (58%) of respondents said they consider climate change to be a "very or extremely serious problem", 21% consider it "somewhat serious", 10% consider it to be "not very serious" and 8% claimed it was "not serious at all".
Out of the 40 countries that took part in the survey, Australia's 8% of "deniers" was found to be more than double the global average (3%), with only the US (12%) and Sweden (9%) surpassing us.
While most Australian news consumers appear to think climate change is an "extremely or very serious problem" (58%), this still falls short of the global average (69%), and of the 40 countries, only ten were found to be less concerned than Australia.
Its findings also demonstrated just how much the level of climate change concern fluctuates depending on age, gender, education, place of residence, political leanings and the type of news consumed.
"Young people are much more concerned than older generations, women are more concerned than men, and city-dwellers think it’s more serious than news consumers in regional and rural Australia," study authors Sora Park and Caorline Fisher outlined in an article for SBS News.
The study also determined a strong correlation between media people consume and whether they think climate change is "serious", with AM radio, Sky News and Fox News ranking as popular amongst those who consider climate change "not very serious".
Conversely, the research found brands like The Conversation and The Guardian are more popular amongst those who have the highest concern about climate change.