According to the New York Times, a poll shows a large majority of Americans attribute recent and unusual seasonal weather to global warming. The poll, conducted by Yale University and George Mason University, asked about extreme weather events that people were personally impacted by and their belief in the role of global warming in these events. The results indicate a correlation between individual's personal experience with an extreme weather event and an affirmative belief in global warming.
Here is a roundup of the specific statistical findings of the poll:
* Seventy-two percent said they believe global warming contributed to the unseasonably warm temperatures experienced across the U.S. this winter.
* Similarly, 70 percent strongly or somewhat agreed that global warming is linked to the record high temperatures last summer, while 61 percent believed this climate phenomenon is connected to the record snowfall experienced in 2010 and 2011.
* Many agreed that global warming contributed to the severity of the Mississippi River floods of 2011 (63 percent) and to Hurricane Irene (59 percent).
* When analyzed by region of residence, the South had the highest percentage (34 percent) of individuals saying they do not believe global warming is affecting weather in the U.S.
* All other regions had 29 percent saying they do not believe global warming is impacting weather.
* In some cases, Americans are more likely to believe global warming contributed to a weather event if the weather event specifically impacted their region of residence.
* About 23 percent from the Northeast strongly agreed global warming contributed to Hurricane Irene, which hit this region especially hard, while 11 percent from the Midwest, 16 percent from the South and 17 percent in the West strongly agreed with this link.
* Numerous places in the Northeast saw record snowfall in 2010 and 2011 and 25 percent of Northeasterners strongly believe this was caused by global warming while 40 percent somewhat agreed.
* Only 11 percent say they have seen a weather forecaster talk about global warming numerous times in the past year, while 58 percent said they would be interested in knowing what their favorite TV weather forecaster has to say about the issue and impacts of global warming.
Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. As a college student from the Chicago suburbs pursuing two science degrees, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.