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Expand chart
Data: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

More Americans are very worried about global warming and say the issue is personally important to them than ever before, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

Why it matters: The polling may indicate that extreme weather events — coupled with a series of grim scientific findings — over the past year are starting to change peoples' minds about climate change, which could have significant implications for any significant climate legislation passing Congress.

The big picture: The key finding from the new survey from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication is that Americans increasingly view global warming as a present-day threat to them, rather than an issue that will affect future generations. Nearly half of Americans (46%) said they personally experienced the effects of global warming — a 15-point spike since March 2015.

  • In addition, 48% of Americans think people in the U.S. are being harmed by global warming "right now," an increase of 16 points since March 2015, and by nine points since the previous survey in March 2018.
  • This message also comes through in a separate poll released Tuesday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, which found that Americans' experience with extreme weather events in their backyard helps determine their views on climate change.

By the numbers:

  • About 7 in 10 Americans (72%) say the issue of global warming is either "extremely," "very," or "somewhat" important to them personally, which is a record high in the Yale-George Mason poll.
  • The proportion of Americans who view global warming as personally important has increased by 16 points since March 2015, and by nine points since the groups' previous survey in March 2018.
  • More than half of Americans (57%) understand that most scientists agree that global warming is happening, the highest level since 2008.
  • About seven in 10 Americans say they are at least "somewhat worried" about global warming. About three in 10 are "very worried" about it, the highest level since 2008.
  • About 65% of Americans think global warming is affecting weather in the U.S., including 58% who either think global warming is affecting U.S. weather "a lot" or "some."

Go deeper: Axios' Deep Dive on climate change

Go deeper

The social media addiction bubble

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Right now, everyone from Senate leaders to the makers of Netflix's popular "Social Dilemma" is promoting the idea that Facebook is addictive.

Yes, but: Human beings have raised fears about the addictive nature of every new media technology since the 18th century brought us the novel, yet the species has always seemed to recover its balance once the initial infatuation wears off.

Young people's next big COVID test

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Young, healthy people will be at the back of the line for coronavirus vaccines, and they'll have to maintain their sense of urgency as they wait their turn — otherwise, vaccinations won't be as effective in bringing the pandemic to a close.

The big picture: "It’s great young people are anticipating the vaccine," said Jewel Mullen, associate dean for health equity at the University of Texas. But the prospect of that enthusiasm waning is "a cause for concern," she said.

8 hours ago - World

New Zealand authorities charge 13 parties over deadly volcano eruption

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at New Zealand's parliament in Wellington. Photo: Mark Tantrum Photography via Getty Images

New Zealand authorities laid safety violation charges Monday against 10 organizations and three individuals over the fatal Whakaari/White Island volcanic disaster last December, per a statement from the agency WorksSafe.

Details: WorksSafe declined to name those charged as they may seek name suppression in court. But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said government agencies GNS Science, which monitors volcanic activity, and the National Emergency Management Agency were among those charged over the "horrific tragedy" that killed 22 people.