Americans say they’re seeing more extreme weather events in their regions, says pollster

Pollster Mallory Newall said Friday that Americans say they are experiencing more extreme weather conditions in their regions than they had seen previously.

“Nearly half of all Americans find that hurricanes or tropical storms are getting more intense,” Newall, research director at Ipsos Public Affairs, told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons on “What America’s Thinking.”

“If you look at it by region, though, this is where it gets interesting,” she continued. “We asked about a number of different weather catastrophic events, and you can see majorities in each region feel that their particular weather issue of choice is getting more intense.”

“Wildfires and droughts in the West, majorities say that those are getting more intense. In the midwest, extreme cold, the same thing for the northeast, along with blizzards,” she added. 

Newall was citing an Ipsos poll released earlier this year, which found that 70 percent of those in the West said wildfires were getting more intense and 59 and 66 percent percent of those in the midwest and northeast, respectively, said the same of extreme cold. 

Nearly half of respondents said they believed severe thunderstorms had become more intense in their home region, while 55 percent said flooding had become more intense. Forty-eight percent of those polled noted an increased intensity in hurricanes in their home regions. 

The poll comes as Republican lawmakers are largely brushing off dire climate change warnings put forth in a new United Nations report.

The report forecast that, without dramatic emissions cuts, the world will see significant sea-level rise, water shortages, coral reef die-offs and loss of habitat range for species by 2030.

The report also comes as much of the Southeast faces fallout in the wake of Hurricane Michael, which was later downgraded to a tropical storm. An estimated 13 people died as a result of the storm and more than 1.5 million people are without power across Florida, Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas.

— Julia Manchester