Seventy percent of Americans now accept that climate change is happening, outnumbering those who don’t by a 5 to 1 ratio, according to a new survey by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. More than half of those surveyed, 58 percent, said they also understand global warming is caused mostly by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels.
The share of Americans who think climate change is happening has increased seven percentage points since March 2015. Their certainty has increased 12 percentage points in three years, with 49 percent of the U.S. now “extremely” or “very sure” it is happening, according to the new survey.
Americans are increasingly linking global warming to extreme weather events, the survey shows. Six in ten Americans surveyed said they think climate change is affecting U.S. weather. Four in ten said they have personally experienced the effects of climate change, an uptick of 10 percentage points since 2015.
Yet few Americans, 6 percent, say they believe nations can and will successfully combat climate change. One in five survey participants said humans won’t reduce global warming because people are unwilling to change their behavior.