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Climate Change in the American Mind, March 2021


6. Impacts of Global Warming

6.1. About six in ten 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 more than half (54%) who think global warming is affecting U.S. weather either “a lot” (31%) or “some” (23%).

As noted above, 31% of Americans think global warming is affecting weather “a lot.” The percentage of Americans who think global warming is affecting the weather “a lot” is eight percentage points higher than when we first asked this question in April 2013.

 

6.2. About two in three Americans think wildfires have increased as a result of global warming.

About two in three Americans either “strongly” (29%) or “somewhat” (36%) agree that wildfires have increased around the world as a result of global warming.

 

6.3. More than one in three Americans think allergy season has become more severe in their area.

 Although the majority of Americans (57%) think allergy season in their area has stayed about the same in the past few years, more than one in three (38%) think it has become more severe, while very few (4%) think it has become less severe.

 

6.4. A majority of Americans think extreme weather poses a risk to their community.

A majority of Americans (55%) think extreme weather poses either a “high” (14%) or “moderate” (41%) risk to their community over the next 10 years. Fewer think extreme weather poses either a “low” risk (31%) or “no” risk (7%).

 

6.5. A majority of Americans are worried about harm from environmental hazards in their local area.

 A majority of Americans are at least “a little worried” about environmental hazards in their local areas, including water pollution (73%), air pollution (72%), extreme heat (68%), agricultural pests and diseases (65%), droughts (61%), water shortages (56%), flooding (56%), and tornados (53%). Fewer are worried about wildfires (48%), rising sea levels (40%), reduced snowpack (38%), and hurricanes (36%).