Table Of Contents

    This fact sheet provides information on climate change polling in the United States over the last eight months from a variety of sources. Overall the studies show:

    • The number of Americans saying that climate change is happening and is caused by human actions continues to rise, but still has not reached a level comparable to the 2007 peak.
    • There is a disparity among party lines when it comes to climate change, with a large majority of Democrats believing that human actions are changing the climate, while fewer Republicans hold the same belief. However, strong majorities of self-described liberal and moderate Republicans say climate change is happening.
    • There is bipartisan support for the federal government to regulate greenhouse gases.

     

     

    CLIMATE CHANGE SURVEYS 2014 to 2015

     

    Washington Post/ABC News                 March 26 – 29, 2015                 Sample: 1,003 American adults

    • 59% of responders want the next president to favor government action to address climate change.
    • 31% of those who favor action on climate change responded that it is “extremely important” to elect a president who favors government action on climate change, 37% said it is “very important,” and 27% said it is “somewhat important.”

     

    Saint Leo University                 March 15 – 19, 2015                 Survey Group: 1,016 American adults

    • 30% of survey respondents said they were “very concerned” about global climate change, and 43% said they were “somewhat concerned.”
    • 56% of those surveyed said it is the federal government’s responsibility to deal with problems associated with global warming; 43% said it is the state government’s responsibility, and 38% said it is the local government’s responsibility (answers were not mutually exclusive).

     

    Ipsos/Avaaz                 March 10, 2015                 Sample: 1,002 American eighth grade students

    • 90% of students surveyed said climate change is happening and “significantly” driven by human activity.
    • 87% of students surveyed said automobiles contribute to climate change; 56% view fossil-fuel produced electricity as a major contributor to climate change; 72% said deforestation contributes to climate change.

     

    Gallup                 March 5 – 8, 2015                 Sample: 1,025 American adults

    • 32% of Americans surveyed said they “personally worry” a “great deal” about global warming.
    • 52% of those identifying as Democrats said they worry a “great deal” about climate change, while 13% of respondents identifying as Republicans said they worry a “great deal” about climate change.

     

    Reuters/Ipsos                 February 13 – 24, 2015                 Sample: 2,412 American adults

    • 72% of those surveyed said they were “personally morally obligated” to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
    • 66% of those surveyed said world leaders aremorally obligated” to take action to reduce CO2 emissions.

    Newswise/American Thoracic Society                 February, 2015                 Sample: 915 American physicians

    • 89% of surveyed physicians said climate change is happening; 68% said it is caused entirely or mostly by human behavior.
    • 44% of those surveyed said they felt “modestly knowledgeable about the association between climate change and health impacts,” 31% felt “moderately knowledgeable,” and 7% felt “very knowledgeable.”
    • 65% of physicians thought climate change was relevant to caring for patients (41% said it is “a moderate amount” relevant to direct patient care, and 24% a “great deal” relevant to direct patient care).

     

    Union of Concerned Scientists/Sierra Club                 January 12 – 20, 2015                 Sample: 1,000 voters

    • 72% of those surveyed support an international climate change agreement.
    • 88% of respondents identifying as Democrats support the U.S. participating in an international climate change agreement; 73% of those identifying as Independents and 52% of those identifying as Republicans agree.
    • 85% of likely voters who identified as African-American support an international climate change agreement; 79% of those identifying as Hispanic voters also support a climate change agreement.
    • 65% of likely voters support reductions in carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses.

     

    Stanford University/New York Times/Resources for the Future                 January 7 – 22, 2015                 Sample: 1,006 American adults

    • 44% of Americans said global warming poses a “very serious” threat for the United States, while 34% said global warming poses a “somewhat serious” threat.
    • 83% of those surveyed said global warming will be a serious problem for the world in the future.
    • 78% of those surveyed said the federal government should limit the amount of greenhouse gases that U.S. businesses emit.

     

    PEW Research Center                 January 7 – 11, 2015                 Sample: 1,504 American adults

    • 38% of survey respondents believe climate change legislation should be a top priority for President Obama and Members of Congress; 29% of the respondents believe it is an important, but lower priority.
    • 54% of Democrats said climate change should be a top priority for President Obama and Congress, while 15% of Republicans said climate change should be a top priority.

     

    YouGov/Huffington Post                 November 1 – 3, 2014                 Sample: 782 registered voters

    • 44% of likely voters think climate change is a result of human activity.
    • 49% of likely voters are in favor of the federal government regulating carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions more strictly.
    • 53% of voters feel it is important that Congress pass climate change legislation next year (29% say “somewhat important,” while 24% say “very important”).

     

    Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies                 *six combined surveys: March 2012 - October 2014                 Sample: 6,603 American adults, including 5,513 registered voters

    • 44% of registered voters who self-identified as Republicans said climate change is happening.
    • 68% of registered voters who self-identified as “liberal Republicans” think climate change is happening, while 62% of those identifying as “moderate Republicans” think it is happening.

     

    ORC International/Munich Re America                 October 9 – 12, 2014                 Sample: 1,008 American adults

    • 60% of respondents said global warming is occurring due to man-made causes.
    • 71% of respondents said using alternative energy sources would most effectively combat climate change.

     

    CBS News/New York Times                 September 10-14, 2014                 Sample: 1,000 American adults

    • 54% of Americans said global warming is happening, and is caused by human behavior; 31% said global warming is happening because of natural causes.
    • 42% view global warming as an “imminent threat.”
    • 61% of Democrats and 26% of Republicans said global warming is currently having a serious impact.

     

    ecoAmerica                 September 2014                 Sample: 1,737 American adults

    • 74% of African-Americans, 83% of Asian-Americans, and 73% of Hispanic/Latino Americans are convinced climate change is happening.
    • Of those surveyed, 87% of African-Americans, 84% of Asian-Americans, and 81% of Hispanic/Latino Americans demonstrate a “strong willingness to prepare” for the harmful impacts of global warming.

     

    Pew Research/USA Today                 August 20-24, 2014                 Sample: 1,501 American adults

    • 48% of those surveyed said climate change is a “major threat” to the United States; 30% said it was a “minor threat.”
    • 68% of registered Democrats view climate change as one of the greatest threats to the United States, compared to 25% of Republicans and 44% of Independents.

     

    Granite State Poll                 August 2014                 Sample: 500 New Hampshire residents

    • 55% of respondents said climate change is happening, and caused “mainly by human activities,” while 34% of respondents said climate change is happening, but caused “mainly by natural forces.”
    • 43% of those surveyed said that “most scientists agree that climate change is happening now, and is caused mainly by human activities.”
    • 71% of those surveyed said the late summer ice on the Arctic Ocean covers less surface area than it did 30 years ago.

     

    Author: Alison Alford