Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Republicans now acknowledge climate change

Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Republicans now acknowledge climate change
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Nearly two-thirds of Republicans and a majority of all Americans now acknowledge climate change, according to a Monmouth University Poll released Thursday.

The poll found that 64 percent of Republican respondents said they believe that Earth's climate is changing, up from 49 percent in 2015.

According to the poll, 92 percent of Democrats and 78 percent of independents also said they acknowledge climate change. Eighty-five percent of Democrats and 74 percent of independents polled acknowledged climate change three years ago.

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Just over half of Americans surveyed — 54 percent — said climate change is "very serious," while 17 percent say the problem is "somewhat" serious," according to the poll. In Monmouth's 2015 poll, 41 percent said climate change was "very serious."

One-quarter of Republicans surveyed said climate change is a "very serious problem," compared to 82 percent of Democrats and about 51 percent of independents who said the same.

The poll also found that 16 percent of Americans said climate change is not happening, while 5 percent of those surveyed said they are unsure if it is occurring.

Geography, according to the poll, also plays a role in Americans' views of the seriousness of climate change. Residents of coastal areas were 17 percent more likely to say that climate change was a "very serious" problem, compared to their inland neighbors.

Thirty-seven percent of Americans polled said the environment and human activity contribute equally to a changing climate, while 29 percent place greater blame on human activity and 10 percent blame natural environmental changes.

Majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents said they do not think it is likely that Congress will take action on climate change in the coming years.

The poll came days before the government released a report that warned that changing climate could have profound consequences on the U.S. economy if not acted on.

The Monmouth University poll surveyed 802 adults in the United States between Nov. 9-12. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.