Americans’ belief in global warming on the rise

by Dina Elrashidy

With this strangely warm winter season, it’s not entirely surprising that Americans’ belief in global warming is on the rise according to the Star Tribune.

A survey conducted by the University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College found that 62 percent of those asked last December think the Earth is getting warmer. The number rose from 55 percent the spring of that year and 58 percent in December 2010.

Approximately half of the people who believe in global warming site observations of the weather as a reason for that belief.

Climate researchers agree with the conclusion, but not with the basis.

"I'm pleased that Americans believe in thermometers," said University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver. "People feel confident about what they personally experience. They mix up the difference between weather and climate. It's not unexpected. It's human nature."

Daily shifts in weather isn’t proof of global warming according to climate scientists, but long-term climate change can be so significant that people can recognize it.