Politics

Poll: Most Americans Believe Climate Change Is Real

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
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According to a poll released on Jan. 5 by Monmouth University, 70 percent of Americans believe climate change is causing extreme weather and a rise in sea level. Among those respondents, 41 percent say climate change is a very serious problem.

Conversely, 22 percent say they don’t believe climate change is real, and another 8 percent are not sure. 

Unsurprisingly, the issue is divided on partisan lines: 43 percent of Republicans don’t believe climate change is happening, while 17 percent of Independents and 10 percent of Democrats feel the same way.

“The polling shows that Americans believe we are all very much in this together,” Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute Director Tony MacDonald said. "Nearly two-thirds of all respondents and three-quarters of younger adults want action from our leaders, even if some in Congress don’t believe there’s a problem.

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“As unusual weather events become more common, the American public recognizes that the risks from climate change and sea level rise are widespread. Superstorm Sandy’s landfall in New Jersey was just one stark example that shore communities aren’t the only ones affected. The flooding of inland areas and the impacts on critical energy and transportation infrastructure, including disruption of trade at our ports, caused problems that were felt throughout the state and the nation.”

The poll was conducted while the groundbreaking climate change conference in Paris, France, took place in December 2015. Representatives from nearly 200 countries agreed to limit the rise in the global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius -- 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit -- and work to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, NPR reported.

Sources: Monmouth University, NPR / Photo credit: Amri HMS/Flickr