34% of Americans link winter warmth to climate change — poll

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A majority of Americans think this past winter was warmer than usual, and more people are attributing the atypical temperatures to climate change, according to a new poll.

The Gallup Poll found 63 percent of Americans thought their local winter was warmer than usual and 34 percent attributed that warmth to climate change.

“Most recently, Americans who have said they’ve experienced abnormal winter temperatures have been more likely to attribute those changes to normal variations than to climate change,” according to a Gallup summary. “The shift this year is likely because a larger, more regionally and politically diverse group of Americans is reporting warmer temperatures this year.”

Democrats were more likely — 76 percent — than Republicans — 51 percent — to report that this past winter was warmer than normal. Democrats who said they thought this past winter was warmer were more than twice as likely to attribute it to climate change than Republicans.

The annual poll of 1,019 adults was conducted by telephone between March 2 and 6. The error margin is 4 percentage points.

NASA this weekend released preliminary data finding that, worldwide, February was 1.35 degrees Celsius above the normal temperature, smashing the previous record from January for an abnormally warm month.