April 17, 2012
New Study Shows Americans Connecting Extreme Weather to Climate Change. Although scientists are usually hesitant to directly link individual extreme weather events to global warming, a new poll finds that a large majority of the public believes abnormal weather experienced across the nation in recent years is at least partially the result of global warming. The survey, which is the most detailed to date on the public’s response to weather extremes, suggests that direct experience with erratic weather may be convincing people that global warming is no longer a distant or vague threat. When invited to agree or disagree with the statement “global warming is affecting the weather in the United States,” 69 percent of respondents said they agreed. In 2011, droughts, floods, tornadoes and heat waves affected virtually every region of the United States. The survey was commissioned by Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, along with researchers from the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.