From Green Right Now Reports
Dunno how we missed this one, but last month a major re-check of American sentiment on climate change found that a whopping 74 percent — despite all the jokes and dissembling haunting the official dialogue on the topic — think that climate change is “affecting weather in the United States.”
This research, a survey of 1,061 adults revealed increasing concerns about the climate, compared with the previous survey, in March 2012. And no wonder, the random interviews were conducted during the first half of September, as the third hottest summer on record drew to a close, capping off a heat wave in what will likely be the hottest overall year in modern times in the U.S., which included a barn burner of a drought as well.
(And still, no one’s asked the presidential candidates what they’d do about climate change?)
Here’s what else the survey by Yale and George Mason universities found:
- Asked about six recent extreme weather events in the United States, 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 2012, the last survey).
- A majority of Southerners (56%) say the weather in their local area has been getting worse over the past few years. Half of Midwesterners (50%) say this as well.
- Half of Americans recall unusual weather events in their local area over the past year (52%).
- Six in ten Americans (61%) recall unusual weather events occurring elsewhere in the United States in the past year (other than their own local area), perhaps reflecting extensive media attention to the record-setting drought, high temperatures, and strong storms in the summer of 2012, as well as the unusually warm winter of 2011-2012.
- Half of Americans (51%) say that droughts have become more common in their local area over the past few decades, an increase of 5 points since last spring. This national change was driven primarily by a major shift of opinions in the Midwest (66%, up 25 points since March), which was hit hardest by the summer drought.
- 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, 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.
- Northeasterners are more likely to say they personally experienced an extreme heat wave (52%, up 10 points since March) or drought in the past year (23%, up 6 points).
- Southerners who say they personally experienced an extreme heat wave increased to 61 percent, from 50 percent in March.
- An increasing number of Americans in the West say they experienced either an extreme heat wave (49%, up 13 points since March) or drought (41%, up 10 points).
- 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.