Despite Cold Winter: Climate Change Reality Becoming Mainstream in US

June 4, 2014

Bars show the difference between each decade’s average temperature and the overall average for 1901 to 2000. The far right bar includes data for 2001-2012. Source: U.S. National Climate Assessment

Yale Project on Climate Change Communication:

The reality of climate change – worldwide and in the United States – is a well-established scientific fact. The first finding in the recently released 2014 National Climate Assessment (written and reviewed by hundreds of climate experts over the past 4 years), for example, concluded: “Global climate is changing and this is apparent across the United States in a wide range of observations.”

Our most recent survey, conducted in April, 2014, finds that by more than a three-to-one margin, more Americans think global warming is happening than think it is not. Currently, 64% of Americans think global is happening, a number that has been relatively stable over the past three years.

Our survey also shows that Americans’ certainty that the Earth is warming has increased over the past three years. Currently, of those who think global warming is happening, nearly two in three (62%) say they are either extremely (30%) or very (32%) sure that it is. Three years ago, in May 2011, fewer (54%) were as sure. And over the same three-year period, those who think global warming is not happening have become substantially less sure of their position (from 52% in May 2011, to 41% today).

These findings are notable in light of the fact that the survey was conducted shortly after much of the country experienced a particularly cold winter, including the “polar vortex”, suggesting that Americans’ growing certainty that global warming is happening was relatively unaffected by their recent experience of extreme cold weather.


3 Responses to “Despite Cold Winter: Climate Change Reality Becoming Mainstream in US”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    Three excellent visuals. The only one that appears statistically significant is the first one showing the hockey stick of temperature rise.

    The “what people think” and the “certainty” graphs appear to be within the range of “natural variation”. Not very encouraging trend lines there.

  2. Don Osborn Says:

    Actually I think it is very encouraging to get these graphs widely seen. My take away is that despite the worst the fossil fuel industry and their fanatics, koch Bros, Heartland, their Rep allies, Fox, etc can do … the percentage of denailists is not increasing and is staying at that 15 to 20% fringe you see in most every major issue. Also the percent understanding this is real is staying at the respectable 65 to 70% which is not too shabby given the millions and millions poured in to trying to create doubt. If mainstream politicians of BOTH parties can only grow backbones, I think they would find much more support than they seem to think. (The only question is can a mainstream, rational Rep ever survive primaries.)

  3. […] 2014/06/04: PSinclair: Despite Cold Winter: Climate Change Reality Becoming Mainstream in US […]

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