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Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American MindAuthor: Organization: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
, George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication
Polling & Social Science
A national survey from Yale and George Mason University explores public opinion on the relationship between extreme weather and climate change, with a focus on the role of how personal experience with severe events influences perception.
WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOOK:
Americas are starting to connect the dots between extreme weather and climate change. The report provides survey data on public perceptions of severe weather events, including a breakdown of results by region.
58% of Americans say global warming is affecting weather in the U.S.
50% of Americans say global warming contributed to making 2012 the warmest year on record in the U.S.
49% of Americans say global warming has made the ongoing drought in the Midwest and Great Plains more severe.
46% say global warming made Superstorm Sandy more severe.
64% say weather in the U.S. has been worse over the past several years, up 12 percentage points since Spring 2012.
51% say weather in their local area has been worse over the past several years.
85% say they experienced one or more types of extreme weather in the past year, most often citing high winds (60%) and heat waves (51%).
More people in the Northeast and Midwest report experiencing extreme snowstorms and cold temperatures over the past year.
54% of Northeasterners and Southerners believe extreme weather will cause a natural disaster in their community in the next year and 51% say they have put thought into preparing for a natural disaster.
37% say they suffered harm from extreme weather in the past year (up 5 percentage points from Fall 2012).
80% have close friends or family members who have experienced extreme weather events in the past year.
Americans who have experienced an extreme weather event are most likely to communicate about it by talking to other people in person or on the phone.