Energy & Environment

Poll: Record number of Americans consider climate change a personal issue

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A record high number of Americans are calling climate change a personal issue, according to a national poll released Tuesday.

More than 70 percent of respondents say the issue of climate change is personally important to them, a 9 percent increase from last March, according to the poll conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change.

The number of respondents who believe climate change is occurring stands at 73 percent, and 62 percent believe its cause is human-related. The percentage who believe climate change stems from natural environmental changes dropped to a record low of 23 percent, the poll found.

{mosads}A majority of Americans, 69 percent, are concerned about global warming, including how the weather is impacted by rising global temperatures stemming from greenhouse gas emissions, at 65 percent.

“After a year of devastating extreme events, dire scientific reports, and growing media coverage of climate change, a record number of Americans are convinced that human-caused global warming is happening, are increasingly worried, and say the issue is personally important to them,” said lead researcher Anthony Leiserowitz in a statement.

Scientists say climate change is directly correlated to greenhouse gas emissions that stem largely from air pollution, such as the burning of coal, vehicle fuel emissions and the use of other chemicals. Greenhouse gases contribute to the rising temperature of the Earth because they trap heat in the atmosphere.

The Yale/GMU study comes the same day as the Associated Press and the National Opinion Research Center released a climate survey that found extreme weather events like droughts and floods are pushing Americans to believe more in the science of climate change.

According to that poll, 48 percent of respondents said they found the science of human-induced climate change more convincing than when the same survey was given five years ago.

Of those respondents, three quarters said weather events like hurricanes, droughts and floods influenced their views, the most of any of the options polltakers presented.

The poll also found that 83 percent of those who believe in climate change support government measures to mitigate it. That included a plurality of Americans, 44 percent, who support a carbon tax, while 29 percent oppose it.

Tags Climate change Global warming poll Weather

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