Extreme weather exacerbated by climate change is beginning to take a toll on Americans. This is shifting perceptions, and as of March 2012 a greater number of Americans believe weather is getting worse, more damaging and that global warming is to blame.
Download the report here.
From the Executive Summary
In 2011, Americans experienced a record-breaking 14 weather and climate disasters that each caused $1 billion or more in damages, in total costing approximately $53 billion, along with incalculable loss of human life. These disasters included severe drought in Texas and the Great Plains, Hurricane Irene along the eastern seaboard, tornadoes in the Midwest, and massive floods in the Mississippi River Valley. In the period of January through March 2012, Americans also experienced record warm temperatures, with temperatures across the contiguous United States 6.0 degrees F above the long-term average. In March alone, 15,292 warm temperature records were broken across the United States.
In March 2012 we conducted a nationally representative survey and found that a large majority of
Americans say they personally experienced an extreme weather event or natural disaster in the past
year. A majority of Americans also say the weather in the United States is getting worse and many
report that extreme weather in their own local area has become more frequent and damaging.
Further, large majorities believe that global warming made a number of recent extreme weather
events worse. Only about a third of Americans, however, have either a disaster emergency plan or an
emergency supply kit in their homes.
This study was just released by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George
Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. Funding provided by the Surdna
Foundation, the 11th Hour Project, and the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the