Global Warming Poll: Climate Change A 'Serious Problem' To 68% Of Americans

11/09/2012 09:08 pm ET | Updated Nov 12, 2012
  • Alana Horowitz The Huffington Post

Sixty-eight percent of Americans see climate change as a "serious problem," according to a poll released on Friday.

The poll was conducted by Rasmussen on Monday, the day before the U.S. presidential election.

Of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed, 68 percent said they thought climate change is a somewhat serious or very serious problem, while 30 percent of respondents said it was not a serious problem.

The poll marks a huge shift for Americans. In 2009, a Rasmussen poll showed that only 46 percent of Americans thought climate change was a serious issue. In 2010, Gallup reported that 48 percent of Americans thought that the seriousness of global warming was exaggerated.

Friday's poll reflects one released in July by the Washington Post in which 60 percent of Americans surveyed said they believed climate change was real.

According to Rasmussen, 41 percent of those who believe in climate change think it's because of human activity, and 38 percent believe global warming is caused by planetary trends.

It's not just American voters that are becoming more convinced that climate change is a real problem. Some Republican politicians are also growing concerned. Earlier this year, New Jersey Governor and once-rumored VP candidate Chris Christie admitted that "climate change is real" and "impacting our state."

One possible factor as to why people's beliefs are changing? The recent extreme weather in the United States. Between Hurricane Sandy, record high temperatures and wildfires across the nation, many people are seeing a connection between the changing weather and the climate.

As New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg put it, "Hurricane Sandy provided a wake-up call about the impacts of climate change. Recent extreme weather and climate events make clear that ignoring climate change will be costly in human, environmental, and economic terms for the United States and the world."

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misstated the percentage of respondents who said that climate change is not a serious problem.

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