US citizens increasingly believe that climate change is real, that it is man-made, and that it is a major threat to their livelihoods, according to a new study by Yale and George Mason Universities. Seventy-three per cent of Americans now say that they think global warming is happening, while 62 per cent understand that it is mostly caused by human activity. The USA is the world’s largest economy and the second largest source of carbon emissions, behind China.
Certainty about the causes and the severity of global warming in the US have increased substantially over the last few years, researchers found. Two-thirds of Americans say that they believe that climate change is already impacting weather in the country, reflecting a year that has seen huge wildfires that devastated parts of California.
The study suggests that the administration of President Donald Trump—who has threatened to pull the USA out of the Paris Agreement on carbon emissions and has worked to reduce the power of environmental agencies—is out of step with the majority of the country’s population.
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