Americans are increasingly convinced of the veracity of climate change. In 2009 almost two thirds of Americans believed that climate change was real, then that number declined to just over 50 percent in 2010. Now, according to a poll released at the end of February, 62 percent of Americans accept the fact that climate change is real.
According to the survey by the University of Michigan, 62 percent of Americans agree that there is solid evidence that the Earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past four decades. Only twenty-six percent said they did not believe there was evidence of global warming, while the remaining 12 percent said they were unsure, the poll said.
It is interesting to note that the increasing belief in climate change is attributable to extreme weather and not the convincing body of scientific evidence. Almost half of Americans polled who accepted global warming said that they were primarily convinced by personal observations of warmer temperature or weather changes.
The survey was conducted by the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion. The phone survey sampled the opinions of 887 US residents in December and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
To see the full report (pdf) from the Brookings Institution click here.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.