Poll: a 52% Majority of Americans Say They've Experienced Global Warming

52% Majority of Americans Say They've Experienced Global Warming

The latest survey from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) shows the number of Americans who personally recognize the effects of climate change are the highest since polling began in 2008. Americans who think global warming is happening outnumber those who don’t by more than six to one. Meanwhile, 55% think that people in the US are being hurt by climate change "right now," (the highest percentage since YPCCC's surveys began in 2008, and the first time that percentage is higher than 50%) and 52% reported that they have personally experienced the effects of global warming.

Why This Matters

This survey suggests that after a year of extreme weather, Americans are beginning to "feel" the reality of climate change in record numbers. This fits with other research that finds that climate denial has moved from attempting to disprove the existence of climate change to negating the need for imminent action. But perhaps Americans' personal experiences with climate change will promote policy solutions.

The Telegraph: 2021 - A year of extreme weather, November 4, 2021.

A Partisan Divide

While the poll found that Americans seem to increasingly understand the harm that climate change could cause, 61% of Americans reported that they "rarely" or "never" talk about global warming.

Moreover, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that the partisan divide on climate change was continuing to grow: 95% of Democrats see climate change as a threat, while only 39% of Republicans do, ten points lower than seven years earlier.

CBS: 1.5 C vs. 2 C - What half a degree of warming could mean for climate change, October 30, 2021.

The Economist: See what three degrees of global warming looks like, October 30, 2021.