Against the backdrop of the global climate negotiations (COP25) in Madrid, Spain that ended in disappointment, in no small part due to obstruction by the Donald Trump administration, a recent research indicates that more Americans are accepting that global warming does exist and is happening .
“The 2020 U.S. election will clearly be one of the biggest turning points in world history, with enormous repercussions for the fight to maintain a safe climate,” contends the Centre for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia in the U.S., which carried out the survey.
According to the centre, the national survey finds that a majority of Americans are “extremely” or “very” sure global warming is happening, outnumbering those who are sure it is not happening by more than seven to one.
“The percentage of Americans who are sure global warming is happening (52%) is the highest since our surveys began and has increased by 14 percentage points over the past five years (since October 2014),” states the centre.
It lists other highlights of the survey to include:
- About seven in 10 Americans (72%) think global warming is happening. Only about one in eight Americans (12%) think global warming is not happening. Americans who think global warming is happening outnumber those who think it isn’t by more than a six to one ratio.
- About six in 10 Americans (59%) understand that global warming is mostly human caused. By contrast, only three in 10 (30%) think it is due mostly to natural changes in the environment.
- Two in three Americans (66%) say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming. Three in 10 (30%) are “very worried” about it – a record high.
- More than six in 10 Americans (64%) think global warming is affecting weather in the United States, and 31% think weather is being affected “a lot.” Half or more think global warming made the melting of the Greenland ice sheets (64%), European heat waves (55%), and/or California wildfires (50%) worse.
- 45% of Americans think people in the United States are being harmed by global warming “right now” – an increase of 12 percentage points over the past five years.
- More than half of Americans (55%) understand that most scientists think global warming is happening, an increase of 11 percentage points over the past five years. However, only about one in five (22%) understand how strong the level of consensus among scientists is (i.e., that more than 90% of climate scientists think human-caused global warming is happening), although this is the highest level since we began asking this question and reflects a 13-point increase in understanding the scientific consensus over the past five years.