Poll: Extreme weather prompts more Americans to believe in global warming

Even before this weekend’s unseasonable rash of tornadoes in the Midwest and South, there were indications that the strange weather of recent years had occasioned a SHIFT in Americans’ attitudes regarding global warming:

The number of people who believe that the planet is warming is at its highest level since the fall of 2009. According to a survey conducted in December 2011 by the National Survey of American Public Opinion on Climate Change, 62% of Americans say they think global warming is happening. That’s up 7% from last spring.

That matches other recent public opinion research Climate Progress has reported on.


With record-shattering droughts, floods and storms in 2011 that scientists attribute to an increasing degree to warming, atmospheric circulation changes, and extra moisture in the atmosphere driven by greenhouse gas emissions, and with 4 out of 5 Americans impacted by extreme weather since 2006, more people say that temperatures and weather changes are influencing their perception of global warming.




  1. I’m sure the fossil fool industry has a plausible answer to these events.

  2. Terry C

    Weather is not climate, Stevie-boy.

  3. Terry: You’re right. Weather is not climate. However, climate affects weather. Climate is global. Weather is local. Changes in local weather can be caused by global climate change.

  4. Terry C

    Nice circular reasoning, Pat. Now take a survey of Europeans and Asians to see what they thought of this winter and it’s relationship to global warming. Why don’t you go to Amazon and order a textbook on climatology? (not a political book, a textbook).

  5. Give it up, geology boy. If you can’t grasp the indisputable truth of my comment above, there’s no point in even arguing with you.

    You’re so obtuse that you think a harsh winter in Europe and Asia somehow disproves global warming.

    I guess sexism isn’t the only thing you’ve picked up from Limbaugh.

  6. By the way, Terry, if and when you read the piece to which I’ve linked, make sure you catch this paragraph:

    “These anomalies could triple the probability of cold winter extremes in Europe and northern Asia. Recent severe winters like last year’s or the one of 2005-06 do not conflict with the global warming picture, but rather supplement it.”

    Cold winter extremes is Europe and northern Asia?? Hmmm. That’s exactly what you were talking about it, isn’t it?

  7. I just finished reading “Climate Coup” by Patrick Michaels. This is a follow up book to his first book “Climate of Extremes”. A significant amount of information is presented both on the climate, as well as its subsequent political nature.

    There is not any data that suggests that weather events are more extreme or happening more frequently. There is plenty of data to suggest that prior to 1900, our weather was actually more extreme.

    Surveys like this are likely the result of media bias. With access to global news we learn about extreme events around world, not just in our area. Furthermore, we only hear about extreme data. Any report that does not provide a catastrophic outcome is not published.

    Frankly, surveys are the reason we are a representative republic, not a true democracy. I would not want to see the result of governance by the mob.

  8. David Schultz: Is that the same Patrick Michaels who gets much of his funding from Exxon and other elements of the energy industry?

    He’s the guy who is characterized here as a “Serial Deleter of Inconvenient Data”:


  9. Patrick Michaels is a notorious fraud, as evidenced by his effort to lend credence to an unscientific online poll on a magazine’s Web site. See here:


    The man is paid by polluters to dispute mainstream scientific theories regarding climate change. In a different context, Rush Limbaugh probably have a few nasty labels for such an arrangement (but, of course, Limbaugh is also a global-warming denier, as are all right-wing extremists).

  10. The following is a link to his blog post which discusses the SciAm survey:


    Patrick Michaels does not deny anthropogenic global warming. He mostly certainly agrees that climate change is happening and that humans are a factor. He doesn’t support the notion that it is catastrophic.

  11. Nice image please supply source attribution (The Green Market Oracle)

  12. Brian Opsahl

    20 years ago the top scientest warned us extream weather patters were certinly going to start happening.

    We have had 2 …100 year storms in the last 3 years alone, It keeps flooding where it used to be dry and it’s getting dry where you had steady rains.

    Don’t be an idiot with yor head burried in the sand…wake up to what is going on today…before it’s to late.

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