Question Wording: Fundamentals

Question wording for graphics on the “Fundamentals” page. Note, question wording has altered slightly between some years. Experiments have shown no significant difference between results obtained with these different wordings.

Graph: Percent of Americans Who Believed That Global Warming Has Probably Been Happening

(1997-1998, 2006-2011) “You may have heard about the idea that the world’s temperature may have been going up slowly over the past 100 years. What is your personal opinion on this? Do you think this has probably been happening, or do you think it probably hasn’t been happening?”

(2012) [random half of sample] “What is your personal opinion? Do you think that the world’s temperature probably has been going up slowly over the past 100 years, or do you think this probably has not been happening?”

(2012) [other half of sample] “What is your personal opinion? Do you think that the world’s temperature probably has been going up over the past 100 years, or do you think this probably has not been happening?”

(2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) “What is your personal opinion? Do you think that the world’s temperature probably has been going up over the past 100 years, or do you think this probably has not been happening?”

Graph: Of The Americans Who Believed That the Earth’s Temperature Has Been Going Up, the Percent Who Were Extremely or Very Sure

(1997-8, 2006-2011) [For the respondents who answered the world’s temperature has been going up] “How sure are you that the world’s temperature has been going up – extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

(2012) [If asked if the world’s temperature has been going up ‘slowly’, the respondents who answered that it is] “How sure are you that the world’s temperature has been going up slowly over the past 100 years – extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

(2012) [If asked if the world’s temperature has been going up, the respondents who answered that it is] “How sure are you that the world’s temperature has been going up over the past 100 years – extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

(2013-2020) [For the respondents who answered the world’s temperature has been going up]“How sure are you that the worlds’s temperature has been going up over the past 100 years – extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

Graph: Of The Americans Who Believed That the Earth’s Temperature Has Not Been Going Up, the Percent Who Were Extremely or Very Sure

(1997-8, 2006-2011) [For the respondents who answered the world’s temperature has not been going up] “How sure are you that the world’s temperature has been going up – extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

(2012) [If asked if the world’s temperature has been going up ‘slowly’, the respondents who answered that it is not] “How sure are you that the world’s temperature has been going up slowly over the past 100 years – extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

(2012) [If asked if the world’s temperature has been going up, the respondents who answered that it is not] “How sure are you that the world’s temperature has been going up over the past 100 years – extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

(2013-2020) [For the respondents who answered the world’s temperature has not been going up] “How sure are you that the worlds’s temperature has been going up over the past 100 years – extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?” 

Graph: Percent of Americans Who Thought the World’s Temperature Will Probably Go Up Over the Next 100 Years

(1997-8, 2010) “If nothing is done to prevent it, do you think the world’s temperature probably will go up over the next 100 years, or do you think the world’s temperature probably will not go up over the next 100 years?”

(2012) [random half of sample] “If nothing is done to prevent it, do you think the world’s temperature probably will go up slowly over the next 100 years, or do you think the world’s temperature probably will not go up slowly over the next 100 years?”

(2012) [other half of sample] “If nothing is done to prevent it, do you think the world’s temperature probably will go up over the next 100 years, or do you think the world’s temperature probably will not go up over the next 100 years?”

(2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) “If nothing is done to prevent it, do you think the world’s temperature probably will go up over the next 100 years, or do you think the world’s temperature probably will not go up over the next 100 years?”

Graph: Of Those Americans Who Thought That the World’s Temperature Will Go Up Over the Next 100 Years, the Percent Who Were Extremely or Very Sure

(1997, 1998, 2010) “How sure are you that, if nothing is done to stop it, the world’s temperature probably will go up over the next 100 years, extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

(2012) “How sure are you that, if nothing is done to stop it, the world’s temperature probably will go up [IF SUBSAMPLE_A slowly] over the next 100 years, extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

(2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) “How sure are you that, if nothing is done to stop it, the world’s temperature probably will go up over the next 100 years, extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

Graph: Of Those Americans Who Thought That the World’s Temperature Will Not Go Up Over the Next 100 Years, the Percent Who Were Extremely or Very Sure

(1997-8, 2010) “How sure are you that, if nothing is done to stop it, the world’s temperature probably will not go up over the next 100 years, extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

(2012) “How sure are you that, if nothing is done to stop it, the world’s temperature probably will not go up [IF SUBSAMPLE_A slowly] over the next 100 years, extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

(2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) “How sure are you that, if nothing is done to stop it, the world’s temperature probably will not go up over the next 100 years, extremely sure, very sure, somewhat sure, or not sure at all?”

Graph: Percent of Americans Who Believed That Human Action Has Been at Least Partly Causing Global Warming

(1997-8) “Now I’d like to ask you what you think might cause global warming. [for those who did not think global warming was happening include “I realized that you don’t expect global warming to happen, but I would like to ask you what you think might cause it.”] Some people have told us that global warming would be brought about mostly by things people do. Others have said that global warming would be brought about mostly by what nature does itself. Still others think that people and nature would play about equal roles in causing global warming. Which of these views is closest to yours?”

(2006-2011) [for those who answered global warming has been happening] “Do you think a rise in the world’s temperature is being caused mostly by things people do, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people do and by natural causes?”

(2006-2011) [for those who answered global warming has not been happening] “Assuming it’s happening, do you think a rise in the world’s temperature would be caused mostly by things people do, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people do and by natural causes?”

(2012-2013) [for those who answered global warming has been happening] “Do you think that the increase in the world’s temperature over the past 100 years was caused mostly by things people did, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people did and by natural causes?”

(2012-2013) [for those who answered global warming has not been happening] “If the world’s temperature did increase over the past 100 years, do you think this increase was caused mostly by things people did, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people did and by natural causes?”

(2014-2020) [for those who answered global warming has been happening] “If the world’s temperature did increase over the past 100 years, do you think this increase was caused mostly by things people did, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people did and by natural causes?”

(2014-2020) [for those who answered global warming has not been happening] “Assuming it’s happening, do you think a rise in the world’s temperature would have been caused mostly by things people do, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people do and by natural causes?”

Graph: Percent of Americans Who Thought That an Increase in the World’s Temperature Over the Past 100 Years Would Be Bad

(2012) [for those who answered global warming has been happening] “Do you think the [HALF SAMPLE, slow] increase in the world’s temperature over the past 100 years is good, bad, or neither good nor bad?”

(2012) [for those who answered global warming has not been happening] If the world’s temperature did increase [HALF SAMPLE: slowly] over the past 100 years, do you think that that increase would be good, bad, or neither good nor bad?

(2013-2020) [for those who answered global warming has been happening] “Do you think the increase in the world’s temperature over the past 100 years is good, bad, or neither good nor bad?”

(2013-2020) [for those who answered global warming has not been happening] “If the world’s temperature did increase over the past 100 years, do you think that that increase would be good, bad, or neither good nor bad?”

Graph: Percent of Americans Who Believed That a Five Degree Fahrenheit Rise in 75 Years Would Be Bad

(1997-8, 2006-2010) “Scientists use the term “global warming” to refer to the idea that the world’s average temperature may be about five degrees Fahrenheit higher in 75 years than it is now. Overall, would you say that if the world’s average temperature is five degrees Fahrenheit higher in 75 years than it is now, would that be good, bad, or neither good nor bad?”

(1997-8, 2006-2010) [for respondents who answered “neither good nor bad”] “Do you lean toward thinking it would be good, lean toward thinking it would be bad, or don’t you lean either way?” 

(2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) “If the world’s average temperature is about five degrees Fahrenheit higher 75 years from now than it is now, overall, would you say that would be good, bad, or neither good nor bad?”

(2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) [for respondents who answered “neither good nor bad”] “Do you lean toward thinking it would be good, lean toward thinking it would be bad, or don’t you lean either way?”

(2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) [for respondents who answered “bad”] “Would you say it would be very bad or somewhat bad?”

Graph: Percent of Americans Who Believed That Global Warming Will Be a Very or Somewhat Serious Problem for the U.S.

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(2006-2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) [for respondents who answered that global warming is happening] “If nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it will be for THE UNITED STATES – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?”

(2006-2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) [for respondents who answered global warming is not happening]  “Assuming it’s happening, if nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it would be for THE UNITED STATES – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?”

Graph: Percent of Americans Who Believed That Global Warming Will Be a Very or Somewhat Serious Problem for the World

(2006-2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) [for respondents who answered global warming is happening] “If nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it will be for THE WORLD – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?”

(2006-2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020) [for respondents who answered global warming is not happening] “Assuming it’s happening, if nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it would be for THE WORLD – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?”