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Climate Change in the American Mind: November 2019


4. Perceived Risks of Global Warming

4.1 Nearly half of Americans say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming.

Nearly half of Americans (46%) say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming, while slightly more than half (54%) say they have not.

The percentage of Americans who say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming has increased by 16 percentage points over the past five years (since October 2014) and is at its highest level (along with December 2018) since our surveys began in 2008.

 

4.2 More than four in ten Americans think people in the U.S. are being harmed “right now” by global warming.

More than four in ten Americans (45%) think people in the U.S. are being harmed by global warming “right now,” an increase of 12 percentage points over the last five years (since October 2014).

 

4.3 Many Americans think they will be harmed by global warming, but they think others will be harmed more.

Many Americans understand that global warming will cause harm. Americans are most likely to think that plant and animal species (73%) and/or future generations of people (72%) will be harmed a “moderate amount” or a “great deal” by global warming. About half or more also think people in developing countries (68%), the world’s poor (66%), people in the U.S. (65%), people in their community (51%), and/or their family (49%) will be harmed. Americans are least likely to think they themselves will be harmed (43%).