A new study out of Yale shows that more and more Americans believe recent weather events have been affected by global warming, according to the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. The report, titled “Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind” yielded numerous findings:
- A large and growing majority of Americans say “global warming is affecting weather in the United States” (74%, up 5 points since our last national survey in March 2012).
- Asked about six recent extreme weather events in the United States, including record high summer temperatures, the Midwest drought, and the unusually warm winter and spring of 2011-12, majorities say global warming made each event “worse.”
- Americans were most likely to connect global warming to the record high temperatures in the summer of 2012 (73%).
- Americans increasingly say weather in the U.S. has been getting worse over the past several years (61%, up 9 percentage points since March).A majority of Americans (58%) say that heat waves have become more common in their local area over the past few decades, up 5 points since March, with especially large increases in the Northeast and Midwest (+12 and +15 points, respectively).
- More than twice as many Midwesterners say they personally experienced an extreme heat wave (83%, up 48 points since March) or drought (81%, up 55 points) in the past year.
- One in five Americans (20%) says they suffered harm to their health, property, and/or finances from an extreme heat wave in the past year, a 6-point increase since March. In addition, 15 percent say they suffered harm from a drought in the past year, up 4 points.
Download the whole paper here [PDF].