Intensity Spikes in Concern on Warming; Many See A Change in Weathern Patterns


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  • According to this survey, people’s personal experiences with Global Warming have been changing. Half of Americans say that weather patterns are more unstable now than they were before in their area, while 70% believe that weather patterns are more unstable globally. In addition, about half of Americans believe that average temperatures are rising both in their area and globally. People seem to at least be more aware of issues of personal importance that are attached to Global Warming.


  • Since 1998, the number of people has visibly increased who believe that Global Warming is probably happening, see it as personally extremely important, and know at least a moderate amount about it. However, 64% of Americans still believe that there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether it is happening, virtually unchanged from 1998′s 67%. This belief persists despite the statement of 11 national science academies that “climate change is real” and needs mitigation.


  • Respondents were asked about perceived threats from global warming to future generations, plants and animals, the poor, the world environment, people in other industrialized countries, other Americans, and themselves personally. Significant majorities reported perceived threat in most categories, with the lowest threat perceived for the respondents personally, and the most for future generations.


  • There is significant disagreement about how to proceed with mitigating global warming, especially in relation to government involvement. Just one category- lowering power plant emissions- received a majority of respondents who believed action should be required, rather than just encouraged or ignored, by the government. No than about one in 6 respondents believed the government should stay out of any of the actions entirely, with most respondents split between government encouragements and requirements.