The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has officially stated that climate change will lead to more extreme weather events — we all sorta knew that, but it's nice to have confirmation. It turns out, though, that we weren't the only ones who knew. A survey by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that even in advance of the IPCC's announcement, the majority of Americans had gotten the memo that climate change contributed to this year's record-setting disasters.
When asked about the claim that climate change had contributed to this year's record heat waves, 67 percent of respondants said they somewhat agreed or strongly agreed. Sixty-five percent agreed that climate change contributed to the Oklahoma drought. And 60 percent even knew that there was a connection between climate change and record snowfalls, despite Fox's best efforts. Only 57 percent thought climate change had anything to do with Hurricane Irene, but that's still more than half — and anyway, fair enough, even scientists aren't as certain about the effects of climate change on hurricanes and tornadoes as they are of its effects on floods, droughts, and high temperatures.
Climate Note: Do Americans connect climate change and extreme weather events?, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.
Get Grist in your inbox