Only 16 percent of Americans currently believe that there is not solid evidence of global warming, according to the latest CLOSUP survey on energy and the environment released earlier this week. This is one percentage point less than the previous low of 17 percent found during the first CLOSUP National Survey on Energy and the Environment (NSEE) in 2008.
Nearly 70 percent of Americans now believe there is solid evidence of global warming, an increase of 7 percentage points over the spring of 2015 and 10 percentage points in the past year.
“This is not a trivial jump,” report co-author Barry Rabe was quoted as saying in coverage of the survey results in TIME. “When you see a shift like this in a relatively short period of time, that’s significant.”
While the percentage of those who denied solid of evidence of global warming decreased across party affiliations, it was particularly pronounced among Republicans. Just 26 percent of Republicans now believe there is not solid evidence of global warming, a drop of 15 percentage points from last fall. A majority of Republicans (56 percent) now believe that there is solid evidence of global warming, joining solid majorities of Democrats (79 percent) and Independents (69 percent), according to a summary report of the poll results.
The report’s authors cite changing and extreme weather conditions -- specifically, the severe drought across many parts of the United States -- as playing a large role in the swing. A record 61 percent of Americans who indicated there is evidence of global warming said severe droughts had a “very large effect” on their belief, according to the report.
Since its publications, the survey results have garnered attention from several global news outlets, including:
The Guardian: “Rising numbers of Americans believe climate science, poll shows”
International Business Times: “Climate Change: 7 Out Of 10 Americans Now Believe There Is ‘Solid Evidence’ of Global Warming”
Christian Science Monitor: “Americans agree climate change is real. But made by humans? Not so much.”
Think Progress: "Poll Finds Fewer Americans Than Ever Doubt Climate Change Is Happening"
The Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy conducts, supports and fosters applied academic research to inform local, state, and urban policy issues.