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6. Impacts of Global Warming

6.1. A majority of Americans think global warming is affecting weather in the United States.

About six in ten Americans (61%) think global warming is affecting weather in the United States, including a majority (55%) who think global warming is affecting U.S. weather either “a lot” (33%) or “some” (22%).

This bar chart shows the percentage of Americans who think global warming is affecting weather in the United States. A majority of Americans think global warming is affecting weather in the United States. Data: Climate Change in the American Mind, Fall 2023. Refer to the data tables in Appendix 1 of the report for all percentages.

As noted above, 33% of Americans think global warming is affecting weather “a lot.” This is about the same level as in most of our surveys since October 2017.

This line graph shows the percentage of Americans over time since 2013 who think global warming is affecting weather "a lot". One in three Americans think global warming is affecting weather "a lot". Data: Climate Change in the American Mind, Fall 2023. Refer to the data tables in Appendix 1 of the report for all percentages.

 

6.2. Most Americans think global warming is affecting environmental problems in the United States.

Most Americans think global warming is affecting many environmental problems in the United States at least “a little.” This includes three in four who think global warming is affecting extreme heat (75%), and about seven in ten who think global warming is affecting droughts (71%) and wildfires (70%). Two in three think global warming is affecting air pollution, water shortages, flooding, and rising sea levels (all 66%). Majorities also think global warming is affecting hurricanes (64%), reduced snow pack (61%), tornados (61%), agricultural pests and diseases (59%), water pollution (58%), and electricity power outages (57%).

These bar charts show the percentage of Americans who think global warming is affecting environmental problems in the United States, including extreme heat, flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, water shortages, reduced snow pack, rising sea levels, agricultural pests and diseases, tornados, air pollution, water pollution, and electricity power outages. Most Americans think global warming is affecting environmental problems in the United States. Data: Climate Change in the American Mind, Fall 2023. Refer to the data tables in Appendix 1 of the report for all percentages.

 

6.3. About half of Americans think extreme weather poses a risk to their community.

About half of Americans (52%) think extreme weather poses either a “high” (16%) or “moderate” (36%) risk to their community over the next 10 years. Fewer think extreme weather poses either a “low” risk (34%) or “no” risk (7%).

This bar chart shows the percentage of Americans who think extreme weather poses a risk to their community. About half of Americans think extreme weather poses a risk to their community. Data: Climate Change in the American Mind, Fall 2023. Refer to the data tables in Appendix 1 of the report for all percentages.

 

6.4. A majority of Americans are worried about harm from environmental problems in their local area.

Section 6.2 of this report outlines the degree to which Americans think global warming is already affecting numerous environmental problems. This section details how worried Americans are that each of those environmental problems will harm their local area in the future. Majorities of Americans are at least “a little worried” their local area might be harmed by electricity power outages (74%), air pollution (73%), extreme heat (70%), water pollution (67%), droughts (63%), agricultural pests and diseases (63%), flooding (58%), water shortages (56%), tornados (56%), and wildfires (52%). Many Americans are also worried their local area might be harmed by hurricanes (39%), rising sea levels (38%), and reduced snow pack (37%).

These bar charts show the percentage of Americans who are worried about harm from environmental problems in their local area, including extreme heat, flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, water shortages, reduced snow pack, rising sea levels, agricultural pests and diseases, tornados, air pollution, water pollution, and electricity power outages. A majority of Americans are worried about harm from environmental problems in their local area. Data: Climate Change in the American Mind, Fall 2023. Refer to the data tables in Appendix 1 of the report for all percentages.