Following an unusually warm winter across the U.S., a Brookings survey finds an increase in the number of Americans who accept that there is solid evidence of global warming. The National Survey of American Public Opinion on Climate Change was fielded in March and April 2012.
WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOOK:
New research suggests that growing acceptance of global warming is related to individual perceptions of local weather events.
A relatively high number of Americans (65%) indicated that there is solid evidence of global warming (an increase from recent years following a decline between 2008 and 2010).
Americans are also more confident that global warming is occurring.
Party affiliation is highly correlated with views on the evidence of global warming (with Democrats and Independents more likely to say it is occurring than Republicans).
In the last year, more Democrats and Independents see evidence of rising temperatures, while Republican opinion has not significantly shifted.
Recent mild winter temperatures had a large effect on public opinion, with individuals connecting their own experiences with abnormally warm weather to rising global temperatures.
Additionally, fewer climate skeptics cite personal observations as a reason for their rejection of global warming evidence. Skeptics increasingly cite political reasons for their position.