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Most Americans believe unusual weather due to climate change


Lightning flashes during a thunderstorm early on September 13, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Americans increasingly believe that unusual weather is due to climate change.


Ethan Miller

A majority of Americans believe that climate change is the cause behind recent unusual weather events.

A poll released Wednesday by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found that 72 percent of Americas believed climate change is behind warmer spring weather, tornados and monster storms.

"What's interesting about these results is that it suggests Americans are beginning to internalize climate change, to bring it into the here and now," said study researcher Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, in an interview with LiveScience.

"The past two years have been filled with a seemingly endless succession of extreme weather events."

The poll showed that many unusual weather events were considered products of climate change.

According to the New York Times, the poll found that 35 percent of the public reported being affected by extreme weather in the past year.

LiveScience reported that 70 percent of respondents said unusually high spring temperatures were caused by climate change; 63 percent it caused Mississippi river floods last year and 59 percent that climate change caused Hurricane Irene.

The survey, conducted by Knowledge Networks, surveyed 1,008 Americans by computer in March, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, said the New York Times.

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