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Cold, Long Winters Associated with Decline in Number of Americans Believing in Global Warming

Jun 29, 2013 07:13 AM EDT
In the future, winters might get wetter and colder due to shift in jet streams, researchers said.
(Photo : REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque )

The number of Americans believing in global warming and its effects went down commendably due to the cold winter and late arrival of spring, a new survey has found.

The survey was conducted by researchers at University of Michigan  who found that about 63 percent Americans believed that global warming is real compared to about 67 percent who supported it in the fall of 2006. The latest survey included 852 Americans and was conducted over the phone between April 1 and April 14.

"This drop suggests that the solid rebound in acceptance of global warming among Americans observed in recent surveys has, at least temporarily, ended," said Barry Rabe, director of the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at U-M's Ford School of Public Policy, according to Physorg,

Researchers reported that about 22 percent of all people who didn't believe in global warming cited personal observations of winter conditions as being the primary factor influencing their opinion.

"The fairly cold winter and slow arriving spring weather this year appears to have contributed to a slight decline in the number of Americans that think global warming is happening," said Chris Borick, the survey's co-author and director of the Muhlenberg Institute.

About 16 percent of people expressing doubts over global warming said that their religious views prevented them from believing in global warming compared with just 1 percent who had cited religious preferences as primary reason for skepticism in 2006.

Another recent survey had found that about 67 percent of Americans agree that the temperatures around the world are rising, but only around 30 percent see it as a serious threat. Previously, Yale's Project on Climate Change Communication had reported that Americans' belief in climate change had increased by 13 percentage points- from 57 percent in January 2010 to 70 percent in September 2012.

Another survey, conducted in 2009, had found that global warming was seen as a major threat by many countries in the world, especially France, Japan, Spain and Germany, but not in the U.S., China and Russia.

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