Most Americans still believe the Earth is warming up: survey

13:10, June 10, 2010      

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Three out of four Americans still believe that the Earth has been gradually warming as a result of human activities and want the government to institute regulations to stop it, a new survey showed.

When asked if the Earth's temperature probably had been heating up over the last 100 years, 74 percent said yes and 75 percent said human behavior was substantially responsible for any warming that has occurred, according to the survey released on Wednesday.

The survey, conducted on June 1-7 by researchers from Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment, was based on telephone interviews with 1,000 randomly selected American adults.

"Our surveys reveal a small decline in the proportion of people who believe global warming has been happening, from 84 percent in 2007 to 74 percent today," said Woods Institute Senior Fellow Jon Krosnick. He has asked similar questions in previous Woods Institute polls since 2006.

"Statistical analysis of our data revealed that this decline is attributable to perceptions of recent weather changes by the minority of Americans who have been skeptical about climate scientists."

In terms of average Earth temperature, 2008 was the coldest year since 2000, Krosnick said. "Scientists say that such year-to-year fluctuations are uninformative, and people who trust scientists therefore ignore this information when forming opinions about global warming's existence," Krosnick added.

"But people who do not trust climate scientists base their conclusions on their personal observations of nature. These 'low-trust' individuals were especially aware of the recent decline in average world temperatures. They were the ones in our survey whose doubts about global warming have increased since 2007."

According to Krosnick, the recent decline is likely to be temporary. "If the Earth's temperature begins to rise again, these individuals may reverse course and rejoin the large majority who still think warming is real," he said.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:intern1)

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