Many Americans Still Don’t Believe in Global Warming

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It is generally accepted by scientists that the atmosphere around the world gets warmer almost every year. The problem causes a wide variety of dangers, including flooding and extinction of many species. Some Americans, however, do not believe there is a problem.

In a new study from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, the number of Americans who believe in climate change has grown and is by far larger than for those who don’t believe. The study’s authors wrote:

Seven in ten Americans (73%) think global warming is happening, an increase of ten percentage points since March 2015. Only about one in seven Americans (14%) think global warming is not happening. Americans who think global warming is happening outnumber those who think it isn’t by more than a 5 to 1 ratio.

While 14% does not seem like a large number, it flies in the face of overwhelming evidence about the severe problem.

Source: courtesy of Yale Program on Climate Change Communication


Broken down more specifically, the numbers show, “7% – are ‘extremely’ or ‘very sure’ global warming is not happening.” And people are split on the causes. While 62% think that global warming is mostly “human-caused,” 23% say it is primarily because of “natural changes” to the environment, not caused by humans.

The level of concern is also not consistent. The research shows 69% say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming. Twenty-nine percent are “very worried” about it. This is the highest level since the research started in 2008.

Also, a number of Americans think the weather in the United States has not been affected by global warming, although they are in the minority, less than a third of the population. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed think global warming is affecting weather in the United States, and 33% believe the weather is being affected “a lot.”

While the needle continues to swing in the direction of Americans who think the problem of global warming is a huge issue, the size of the minority who do not think so is still significant.

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