- Partisan gaps across global-warming measures slightly wider than in 2017
- Democrats view global warming seriously; Republicans view it skeptically
- 69% of Republicans, 4% Democrats say global warming is exaggerated
This story is part of a special series on Americans' views of the environment, global warming and energy.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' concerns about global warming are not much different from the record-high levels they were at a year ago. However, the views of some partisans have shifted, creating larger gaps than what Gallup saw last year across all questions about global warming.
|Think the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated|
|Say most scientists believe global warming is occurring|
|Believe effects of global warming have already begun|
|Believe global warming is caused by human activities|
|Worry a great deal/fair amount about global warming|
|Think global warming will pose a serious threat in their lifetime|
Gallup's annual survey about the environment, conducted March 1-8, found that Americans' opinions about global warming, like many other issues, have increasingly become politically polarized.
President Donald Trump, who has called global warming a "hoax," may have contributed to this widening divide by reversing a number of government actions to address the issue. These included the announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, the removal of climate change from the list of top U.S. national security threats and the elimination of the terms "global warming" and "climate change" from U.S. government websites and lexicons.
In general, Democrats view global warming seriously, while Republicans view it skeptically:
Ninety-one percent of Democrats and 33% of Republicans say they worry a great deal or fair amount about global warming, but 67% of Republicans worry only a little or not at all.
While 82% of Democrats think global warming has already begun to happen, only 34% of Republicans agree. Rather, 57% of Republicans think it will not happen in their lifetime (25%) or will "never happen" (32%).
About seven in 10 Republicans (69%) think the seriousness of global warming is exaggerated in the news, 15% think it is generally correct and 15% say it is generally underestimated. Democrats, however, are much more likely to think the seriousness of global warming is underestimated (64%) or correct (32%), and just 4% say it is exaggerated.
Eighty-six percent of Democrats versus 42% of Republicans think most scientists believe global warming is occurring. The percentage of Republicans who say most scientists believe this is down 11 percentage points since last year.
Almost nine in 10 Democrats say increases in the Earth's temperature over the last century are due to human activities more than natural changes in the environment. Just 35% of Republicans agree, while 63% attribute the temperature increases to natural environmental causes.
Four in five Republicans do not think global warming will pose a serious threat to them in their lifetime; two-thirds of Democrats think it will.