Climate scientists refute 12-year deadline to curb global warming

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 19: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attends the Women's March 2019 on January 19, 2019 in New York City.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attends the Women's March on Jan. 19 in New York City. Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images.

Prominent climate scientists are pushing back against the view, promoted by media coverage of recent science reports as well as climate advocates, that we have only 12 years to act on global warming or face an existential threat to humanity.

Why it matters: This do-or-die framing has found a powerful advocate in Democratic freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said on Monday that millennials understand that we only have 12 years or "the world is going to end." She is pushing a broad policy proposal to address climate change, known as the Green New Deal.

Record number of Americans see climate change as a current threat

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.

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