More Americans are expressing concerns over warming planet temperatures.
According to a new Gallup Poll just released, more Americans are now worried a “great deal” or a “fair amount” about global warming than in the previous eight years of polling data, and indicate a slight increase in those who believe the affects of global warming have already begun.
Gallup’s annual environmental poll says 64 percent of adults in the United States said they were worried about global warming and its impact on the planet, up from 55 percent in 2015. This year’s poll shows the highest number concerned since 2008.
Coming on the heels of the warmest February on record, the March 2-6 survey indicated an increase in those who feel the effects of global warming have begun, with 59 percent saying they agreed with the statement. That is a slight uptick from last year’s numbers, at 55 percent. Also increasing were the number of people that believe the effects of global warming have not yet started, but will begin to impact the environment at some point, climbing from 28 percent to 31 percent in the 2016 poll.
Only 10 percent of respondents say global warming will never affect the planet, down from 16 percent in 2015, and the lowest number since 2007.
Another striking result from the 2016 version of the poll was the number of Americans that attribute the increases in the Earth’s temperatures over the last 100 years primarily to human activities. At 65 percent, the number shattered the previous high of 61 percent in 2007, and up 10 percent from last year’s poll.
As expected, the concerns over global warming split along political party lines, with 84 percent of Democrats saying they were worried a “great deal” or a “fair amount” over the issue, and only 40 percent of Republicans agreeing. Independents feeling the same about the issue recorded 64 percent .
Similarly, 38 percent of Republicans felt the increased temperatures of the Earth were due to human activities, up slightly from 34 in 2015, while 85 percent of Democrats agreed human intervention was the cause, climbing from 74 percent in 2015.
The release from Gallup says a number of factors may have lowered public concern over global warming and its effects in the past few years, including the economic downturn and some push-back against climate science, but now Americans are now expressing their beliefs in record- or near-record highs. A few years of unseasonably warm winters may have contributed to the change in perceptions.