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Record Number of Americans Believe in Climate Change: Poll Taken During Record Heat Wave

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The temperature in Petersburg, Alaska reached 81 degrees on June 20. Dave Bezaire / CC BY-SA 2.0

More Americans than ever think that there is evidence that the planet is warming, and a record high also believe human activity is at least partially responsible, according to a new survey.

The University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College's annual survey, released Wednesday, finds that 73 percent of Americans think there is "solid evidence" of climate change, while 60 percent of the population now think that human beings have an influence on how the climate is changing.


The survey was conducted during the record hot May of this year, when temperatures spiked across the country, and researchers say that the warm weather may have partially influenced responses.

The survey also shows that the partisan split on climate remains strong: while 90 percent of Democrats say climate change is occurring, only 50 percent of Republicans say the same, as high a divide since the survey's start in 2008.

As reported by The Guardian:

"There's lots of evidence that contemporary weather is a contributing factor to belief in climate change," said Chris Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion. "But there are other factors. People are telling us they are experiencing a climate that isn't what they remember in the past and the evidence itself, such as declining polar ice, is having an effect. Americans are moving to a lot more confident space on this."

For a deeper dive:

The Guardian, UPI, The Hill, Axios

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