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Americans Are Convinced Climate Change Is Connected To Stronger Storms, Poll Says

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TYPHOON HAIYAN NOAA
In this handout from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Super Typhoon Haiyan moves toward the Philippines Nov. 7 in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images) | Handout via Getty Images
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Most Americans think climate change, and more frequent and severe natural disasters are linked, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll that also finds most think human activity is at least partially responsible for the changing climate.

According to the new poll, conducted after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines earlier this month, 55 percent of Americans think climate change is related to more frequent and severe natural disasters, while only 23 percent do not.

Seventy-two percent of Democrats and 52 percent of independents, but only 39 percent of Republicans said that they are related. Forty-four percent of Republicans said that they're not.

The poll shows that the vast majority of Americans think humans are contributing at least somewhat to climate change, but differ on just how much.

In total, 70 percent of respondents said they think human activity is having at least some impact on climate change. But only 34 percent said human activity is the primary cause. Another 36 percent said human activity is not the cause, but contributes to climate change.

Only 10 percent of respondents said human activity is not contributing to climate change at all and 9 percent said climate change is not occurring.

Eighty-five percent of Democrats said humans are at least partially responsible for climate change, including 55 percent who said human activity is the primary cause. But Republicans and independents were less convinced.

Sixty-eight percent of independents said humans are at least contributing, but only 29 percent said they are the primary cause. Among Republicans, only 15 percent said that human activity is the primary cause of climate change, although a total of 53 percent said that humans are at least a contributing factor.

The poll finds that 28 percent of Americans think Typhoon Haiyan specifically was caused by climate change. Another 32 percent said it was not, and 41 percent said they weren't sure. Although scientists can't say with certainty whether a specific storm was caused by climate change, rising sea levels make storm surges from hurricanes and typhoons potentially more deadly in coastal areas, contributing to increased destruction.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Nov. 14-15 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling.

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