Poll: Americans divided by party on global warming's role in hurricanes
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Americans are divided over whether or not global warming plays a significant role in the intensity of hurricanes, following a devastating hurricane season in the U.S., according to a new CNN poll

More than three-quarters of Democratic respondents, 78 percent, believe that climate change has contributed to the recent increase in the severe tropical storms, an increase of 30 percentage points since 2005. Only 15 percent of Republicans answered that they believe it to be a cause, a 10-point decrease over the same time period, the poll found.

Nearly half of those polled, 49 percent, believe in global warming as a cause of the increasing frequency of powerful storms, an increase of 36 percent since 2005. Hurricane Katrina, a Category 5 storm, struck Louisiana in 2005, killing 1,833 people.


The poll was conducted Sept. 17-20, concluding as Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico on Wednesday, knocking out power on the entire island. The U.S. territory could take four to six months to regain power, according to Puerto Rican power company representatives.

Roughly half of independents surveyed believe climate change plays a major role in the storms, at 48 percent. That is a gain of 34 percent since 2005.

Maria is just the latest in a string of powerful storms that have swept across the Atlantic and hammered the U.S. and its territories.

Hurricane Harvey brought record rainfall and widespread flooding to Houston in August, followed by Hurricane Irma which hit the East coast of Puerto Rico and hammered Florida, leading to more than 6 million people evacuating the state.

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS by phone among a random national sample of 1,053 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points and larger for the subgroups.