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Data: Pew Research; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Americans are taking notice of extreme weather events, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Details: Two-thirds of Americans say extreme weather events in the U.S. have been occurring more frequently than in the past, while only 28% said they've been taking place about as often, and just 4% perceiving a dropoff in frequency.

  • So far in 2021, the U.S. has seen a record 18 billion dollar extreme weather events.
  • When it comes to extreme weather events in their backyards, 46% of U.S. adults say the area where they live has had an extreme weather event over the past year.
  • The area with the greatest number of people reporting an extreme weather event was the South Central Census Division. It includes Louisiana, a state hit hard by Hurricane Ida and heavy rainfall events.

Yes, but: Even on perceptions of extreme weather events, there is a partisan split, the survey found, with Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents more likely to report experiencing extreme weather than Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

  • The survey of 10,371 Americans took place from Sept. 13–19, 2021, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6 percentage points.

Go deeper

Early winter heat shatters records in U.S., Canada

Temperature departures from average on Dec. 2, 2021, as depicted by the GFS computer model. (Weatherbell.com)

A widespread and intense heatwave is roasting large portions of the U.S. and Canada, shattering daily and monthly temperature records.

Why it matters: Winter is the fastest-warming season across the U.S., and the lingering warmth is shortening the snow season in places like Colorado and Montana, where mountain snowpack is a critical source of water during the summer months.

California father and son accused of "reckless arson" in Calder Fire

Firefighters at the Caldor Fire along Highway 89 west of Lake Tahoe, California, in September. Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California officials said they arrested a father and son Wednesday on suspicion of starting the Caldor Fire, which threatened the Lake Tahoe area as it burned for over two months earlier this year. They deny any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: The wildfire was the 15th-biggest ever recorded in California, razing more than 1,000 structures, forcing thousands to evacuate and injuring five people as it burned across nearly 222,000 acres of land in El Dorado, Amador and Alpine counties.

New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation with tobacco ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a December news conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand officials announced Thursday legislative plans to outlaw smoking by making it illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to the next generation as part of a lifetime ban.

Why it matters: "People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco," Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement announcing the proposed law, part of the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan.