Declining majority in US believe climate change is real

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The Independent Online

The number of Americans who believe that climate change is real has declined in the last year, but a majority do see convincing evidence of global warming, according to a new poll.

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found 57 percent of Americans see "solid evidence of warming," compared to 71 percent in April 2008, and 77 percent in August 2007.

The poll, which surveyed 1,500 people between September 30 and October 4, also found a decline in the number of Americans who think global warming is a very serious problem.

Just 35 percent describe the issue that way today, compared to 44 percent in April 2008 and 45 percent in 2007.

Since 2008, the proportion of Americans who describe global warming as the result of human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels, has also sharply dropped from 47 percent to 36 percent, the survey found.

The increase in the number of Americans with doubts about climate change came across the political spectrum, though it was particularly pronounced among independents.

Just 53 percent of independents said they see solid evidence of global warming, compared to 75 percent who said they did in April 2008.

Skepticism remained highest among Republicans, with just 35 percent saying they see solid evidence of climate change, compared to 49 percent last year and 62 percent in 2007.

The number of Democrats who doubt the phenomenon is real rose too, but an overwhelming majority of 75 percent said they see solid evidence, compared to 83 percent last year.

Despite the growing skepticism about climate change, a majority of Americans said they would support policies intended to limit carbon emissions, with just 39 percent saying they would be opposed.