Jul 11, 2018

American belief in global warming reaches 10-year high

Ben Geman, author of Generate

The share of Americans who see solid evidence of global warming is at a 10-year high, and the acceptance of human impact has also trended upward, new polling data shows.

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Data: Issues in Energy and Environmental Policy, July 2018; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Why it matters: The latest from the ongoing series of University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College polls shows the public, as a whole, is getting slightly closer to endorsing consensus science on human-caused warming, but still remains far, far from full acceptance.

By the numbers: 73% of people polled in April and May see "solid evidence" of warming, a slight uptick from recent years.

  • That's about where it was a decade ago, but in twice-yearly polls between the fall of 2009 and spring of 2015, the total percentages bounced around from the low-50s to the mid-60s.

Check out the chart above: 60% — a record in their joint polling — see some level of human influence, including 34% who see direct causation. The consensus scientific view is that human activities, notably burning fossil fuels, have been the dominant driver of warming since the mid-20th century.

Yes, but: The political chasm is immense. Per the report:

"The divide between Democrats and Republicans on the existence of anthropogenic induced global warming is also at record levels with 78% of Democrats now holding the view that humans are at least partially responsible for warming on the planet compared to only 35% of Republicans."

Go deeper: The political divide over climate science.

Go deeper

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