Dramatic increase in public beliefs and worries about climate change

We have just completed our latest nationally representative Climate Change in the American Mind survey and find that American views about climate change have shifted significantly in the past 6 months.

The results are timely, as members of Congress are currently deciding whether to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a larger reconciliation bill, both of which will make major national investments in climate action. Meanwhile, in 2021 the United States has experienced a brutal year of extreme weather events, including record-setting heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods.

Americans’ belief that global warming is happening has increased six percentage points since March. Americans who think that global warming is happening now outnumber those who think it is not happening by more than 6 to 1.

Americans’ perception that global warming is a threat has also increased dramatically. An all-time record 70% of Americans are now very or somewhat worried about global warming. The percentage of those “very worried” increased 10 points since March.

And for the first time, a majority of Americans now say that people in the United States are being harmed “right now” by global warming.

Please stay tuned, as we will release a short report on public support for climate action soon. We will also release a full report on public climate beliefs and attitudes in coming weeks.

Sample size, n = 1,006. Margin of error +/- 3 percentage points. Field dates, September 10 – 20, 2021.