Earlier this week, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication released results from their recent polling that depicts a large and growing majority of Americans are believing that climate change is affecting weather in our country. Major media outlets, such as ABC, CBS and NBC, are finally stepping to the plate and connecting greenhouse gasses to the extreme weather patterns. Since their last national survey in March 2012, belief in the recent weather patterns indicating global warming has increased by 5 percent to 74%, and more than half of Americans (52%) have noticed unusual weather in their local areas in the past year. With increasing belief that climate change is occurring, science is also providing hard data that the weather is rapidly shifting, and it is clear that these patterns will only worsen with time.
Yale Poll: ‘Large And Growing Majority Of Americans’ Say ‘Global Warming Is Affecting Weather In The United States’
Cross-post from Climate Progress
by Joe Romm
Yet another survey finds that the public accurately understands global warming makes extreme weather events worse.
This new poll from George Mason University and Yale’s Project on Climate Change Communication matches the finding of a February Brookings poll that found Americans’ understanding of climate change was increasing with more extreme weather and warmer temperatures.
Heck, the weather has been so off the charts that even the major media have taken notice (see Every Network Gets Extreme Weather Story Right, ‘Now’s The Time We Start Limiting Manmade Greenhouse Gases’ — ABC). And the public’s understanding certainly matches the science (see “Has Global Warming Caused A Quantum Jump In Extreme Weather?” and links below).
So here is a summary by Prof. Tony Leiserowitz of the new findings from Yale’s latest national survey, Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind:
A large and growing majority of Americans say “global warming is affecting weather in the United States” (74%, up 5 points since our last national survey in March 2012).
Asked about six recent extreme weather events in the United States, including record high summer temperatures, the Midwest drought, and the unusually warm winter and spring of 2011-12, majorities say global warming made each event “worse.”
Americans were most likely to connect global warming to the record high temperatures in the summer of 2012 (73%).
Americans increasingly say weather in the U.S. has been getting worse over the past several years (61%, up 9 percentage points since March).A majority of Americans (58%) say that heat waves have become more common in their local area over the past few decades, up 5 points since March, with especially large increases in the Northeast and Midwest (+12 and +15 points, respectively).
More than twice as many Midwesterners say they personally experienced an extreme heat wave (83%, up 48 points since March) or drought (81%, up 55 points) in the past year.
One in five Americans (20%) says they suffered harm to their health, property, and/or finances from an extreme heat wave in the past year, a 6-point increase since March. In addition, 15 percent say they suffered harm from a drought in the past year, up 4 points.
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