While a slight majority of Americans believe that global warming is already happening, Republicans remain more skeptical than others about climate concerns, according to the latest findings from the Gallu
p research organization. The group released its annual poll on the environment on Friday.
Though 52 percent of all adults surveyed said that the effects of global warming are beginning to occur, only 40 percent of Republicans agreed, compared with 51 percent of Independents and 65 percent of Democrats.
The political divide is sharpest when it comes to views on how the media covers the subject. Fifty-five percent of all adults believe that reports about global warming are correct or underestimated. Just 31 percent of Republicans agree, while 55 percent of Independents and 76 percent of Democrats do.
Thirty-six percent of Republicans surveyed agree that global warming is being caused mainly by human activities as do 55 percent of Independents and 65 percent of Democrats. The national average is 53 percent.
When asked whether they thought that most scientists believe global warming is occurring, 58 percent of all respondents agreed. The breakdown by political affiliation was Republicans 43 percent, Independents 56 percent, and Democrats 75 percent.
Gallup’s latest environmental poll, conducted annually since 2001, found a slight majority of Americans supporting global warming as valid.
After peaking in 2010, public skepticism about global warming softened a little last year and remains at a lower level in the latest report.
Near-record warm temperatures this winter could have prompted a shift in views in this year’s survey, Gallup noted. But the fact that belief in global warming did not increase markedly “suggests Americans are basing their perceptions more on the debates over scientific evidence than on the weather outside their front door,” the organization said.
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