American teens smarter about climate change than adults, despite knowing less
More American teens than adults believe climate change is caused by humans, 57 percent versus 50 percent, says a new survey from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.
Yet American teens also tend to know slightly less than adults on the subject of climate science, says the same survey. Some of these numbers are downright scary for both groups. Importantly, while teens tend to know that humans are causing climate change, fewer of them are even aware of the problem:
- 54 percent of teens and 63 percent of adults say that global warming is happening
- 35 percent of teens and 39 percent of adults know that most scientists think global warming is happening
- 46 percent of teens and 49 percent of adults understand that emissions from cars and trucks substantially contribute to global warming. (The rest believe that babies are delivered by storks! Probably.)
Teens also had an eleven-point edge over adults in the knowledge that the greenhouse effect refers to gasses in the atmosphere that trap heat. (Somewhat incredibly, 77 percent of them knew this was the case.)
American Teens’ Knowledge of Climate Change, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.