Jun 23, 2018

The political divide over climate science

Despite the solid scientific consensus that human activity is driving climate change, acknowledgement of that across the political spectrum has remained largely unchanged for two decades.

Reproduced from Climate Change in the American Mind survey conducted by Yale and George Mason universities; Chart: Axios Visuals

Between the lines: President Trump and his supporters have expressed doubt in climate science findings, which may be influencing the opinions of conservative Republicans. However, when you combine Democrats with moderate Republicans, a majority of the American public agrees with the evidence.

  • Background: Tony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, noted that the percentage of Republicans who believe that climate change is happening peaked during John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008 and then dropped 14% by 2010. He described McCain as a "climate champion."

The bottom line, per Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport: "We're not scientists, and most of us are not prepared to pore through the complex literature and arrive at conclusions. So you look to thought leaders or media personalities."

Go deeper: Read the rest of Axios' Deep Dive on climate change.

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Study: Climate change effects apparent in daily global weather data

Concrete blocks are placed along the shoreline to try and prevent further coastal erosion, on December 2019 in Mahibadhoo, Maldives.

The imprint of climate change is now apparent in global weather data at a daily level, according to a new paper in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change.

Why it matters: "If verified by subsequent work, the findings ... would upend the long-established narrative that daily weather is distinct from long-term climate change," the Washington Post reports.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020

Youth climate change group Sunrise Movement endorses Bernie Sanders

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The Sunrise Movement, a collective of young people advocating for action on climate change, announced Thursday that it is endorsing Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: Young people are the demographic leading the charge against climate change, which has been at the forefront of Democratic policy proposals this cycle. The group said it endorsed Sanders for his decision to spearhead the Green New Deal — along with his top surrogate, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Go deeper: Where top 2020 candidates stand on climate policy and the Green New Deal

Hottest decade on record

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

2019 wasn't just the second-hottest year on record — the 2010s will go down as the hottest decade in human memory, per a new report.

Driving the news: The Copernicus Climate Change Service found "an unrelenting upward trend in temperatures as emissions of greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and change the climate," the N.Y. Times notes.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020