Majority of Americans Now Believe in Climate Change

(CN) – A new poll released Thursday shows that a majority of Americans, as well as almost two out of three Republicans, believe in the threat of climate change, a position at odds with President Donald Trump’s belief on the subject.

The Monmouth University poll revealed that nearly 8 in 10 Americans more extreme weather patterns due to global climate change, a jump up from 70 percent the last time the poll was taken in December 2015.

A majority of Republicans, 64 percent, believe in climate change, an increase from 49 percent from the last poll. The poll was taken before the federal government released a national climate assessment that reported climate change threatened the country.

On Monday, President Trump dismissed the study conducted by 13 federal agencies, telling reporters “I don’t believe it.”

Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said that it is unclear if Trump’s Republican supporters may change their thoughts after the president’s remarks.

“The president has cast doubt on the existence of climate change even though a majority of his fellow Republicans now acknowledge it as a reality,” Murray said in a written statement. “Of course, the poll was conducted earlier this month, so it is entirely possible that some of his supporters have changed their minds again now that Trump has weighed in. That’s just the nature of American public opinion today.”

Republicans are not the only ones who have increased in belief of climate change. More Democrats and independent voters said they believe in it as well. Among Democrats, 92 percent said they believe in global climate change, up 85 percent in 2015. For independents, that number increased from 74 percent in 2015 to 78 percent.

While most Americans believe that climate change is affecting the world, the usual partisan divide shows that the country is conflicted about how serious the issue is. Of the Republicans polled, only 25 percent said they feel climate change is a very serious problem, compared to 82 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents.

The poll found that Americans are also divided on the reasons behind climate change. Among those polled, 37 percent said they believe natural environmental changes and human activity are both to blame. Another 29 percent said human activity is the main factor, while just 10 percent say climate change is occurring due to natural changes.

Despite the political divide, 54 percent of all those polled said they believe the country has time to prevent further climate change. Additionally, 69 percent of Americans said they support government action to help reduce human made pollution.

“Scientists have long agreed that climate change is a very serious problem, and it is past time to take action. Now it is clear that a majority of Americans regardless of political party agree,” said Tony MacDonald, director of the Urban Coast Institute at Monmouth University.

The poll was conducted by phone Nov. 9-12 with 802 American adults. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

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