Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in September 2012   

A national survey from Yale and George Mason University finds that Americans’ belief in the reality of global warming has increased by 13 percentage points over the past two and a half years.



As the latest installment of the informative Climate Change in the American Mind series, the report indicates that a growing majority of Americans believe global warming is happening and is human caused.
Climate Change Beliefs
  • A growing majority of Americans (70%) believe global warming is happening.
  • Those who believe global warming is happening are more certain than those who do not (57% say they are “very” or “extremely sure”).
  • A new majority (54%) believes global warming is human caused.
  • More Americans (44%) believe scientists agree global warming is happening.
Perceived Threat
  • More (42%) are "very worried" about global warming.
  • Global warming still seen as a relatively distant threat. (Majorities believe that global warming will harm future generations: 68%, plant and animal species: 68%, people in developing countries: 64%, people in the U.S.: 57%, and people in other industrialized societies: 57%).
  • However, Americans increasingly perceive global warming as a growing threat to themselves: 42%, their families: 46%, and their local communities: 48%.
Need for More Information
  • Fewer Americans (32%) say they could easily change their mind about global warming Fewer Americans (45%) say they need more information about global warming
  • Climate scientists are the most trusted source of information (by 76% of Americans).

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious


Related resources

Related Resources