A Yale University study found that a growing number of Americans – 70 percent – believe that global warming is occurring.
That belief grew by 13 percentage points between January 2010 and September 2012. Those who say global warming is not happening declined by half, from 20 percent in 2010 to 12 percent today.
"After the record heat waves, widespread drought, floods, wildfires and violent storms of the past two years, Americans increasingly believe that global warming is happening," said Yale’s Anthony Leiserowitz, the principal investigator.
- For the first time since 2008, more than half of Americans (54 percent) believe global warming is caused mostly by human activities, an increase of eight points since March 2012. Americans who say it is caused mostly by natural changes in the environment have declined to 30 percent (from 37 percent in March).
- A growing number of Americans believe global warming is already harming people both at home and abroad. Four in ten say people around the world are being harmed right now by climate change (40 percent, up 8 percentage points since March 2012), while 36 percent say global warming is currently harming people in the United States (up six points since March).
- In addition, they increasingly perceive global warming as a threat to themselves (42 percent, up 13 points since March 2012), their families (46 percent, up 13 points), and/or people in their communities (48 percent, up 14 points). Americans also perceive global warming as a growing threat to people in the United States (57 percent, up 11 points since March 2012), in other modern industrialized countries (57 percent, up eight points since March), and in developing countries (64 percent, up 12 points since March).
- Today over half of Americans (58 percent) say they are "somewhat" or "very worried" about global warming – now at its highest level since November 2008.
This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind: Americans’ Global warming Beliefs and Attitudes in September 2012 – conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.
link to report
Written by: Janet Zimmerman