ENVIRONMENT
01/18/2017 06:00 am ET

Americans' Global Warming Fears At Highest In Nearly A Decade

More than 60 percent of Americans say they're worried.

Americans’ concerns about global warming are at their highest in eight years, a survey released Wednesday found. 

Among 1,226 adults surveyed nationally in November, 61 percent say they are either “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about global warming, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found.

That marks the highest percentage to show that much concern since 2008, when they first conducted the semiannual survey and found 62 percent of people were either very or somewhat worried. The tally is up from 58 percent in March of last year and up from 57 percent in October 2015. 

A Gallup poll released in March had similar results. According to its survey, 64 percent of U.S. adults say they are worried a “great deal” or “fair amount” about global warming.

At 19 percent, Americans who say they’re very worried about global warming reached a record high for this survey. 

Yale Climate Connections

The survey was conducted shortly after the election and points to an increasing divide between President-elect Donald Trump’s views on climate change and those of the people he represents, the survey’s research team said. 

“Despite the election of a president who has described global warming as a hoax, Americans are increasingly convinced global warming is happening and are more worried about it,” lead Yale researcher Anthony Leiserowitz said. “This indicates that on this issue, there is a growing gap between the views of the American public and the incoming Trump administration.”

Several of Trump’s Cabinet picks are also generally anti-environment and have either downplayed the effects of climate change or denied its existence.

According to Wednesday’s survey, 70 percent of Americans think global warming is happening, with 45 percent saying they’re “extremely” or “very” sure about it, and 61 percent saying the issue is either extremely, very or somewhat important to them personally.  

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