Barry Rabe's research on public opinion and climate change cited by Discovery News
"We increasingly think that one of the biggest determinants of whether people think climate change is real or not, or whether they think it's severe or moderate, is their relatively recent experiences with local weather," Rabe told Discovery News.
The latest installment of the NSAPOCC, which was conducted in December 2011, reveals that a growing number of Americans believe global warming is occurring. The 62 percent "belief" mark is the highest level recorded in the three-year survey since late 2009.
Despite this growing sentiment, Rabe said a policy response is generally prompted only when the government is faced with a crisis-level incident. "One of the big challenges with climate change is figuring out what is the crisis, what is the burden of proof, and what is the demonstrable evidence," he said.