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News 12-20-12 11:00 AM

Belief and certainty in global warming on the rise
 
A growing majority of the American public thinks that the world's temperature is rising, according to the latest telephone survey conducted by the Associated Press and German market research group GfK.When asked whether the world's temperature has been increasing over the last century, 78 percent of respondents thought that this probably had been the case, up from 75 percent when the same question was posed in 2009. Falling in the midst of the e-mail controversy at theUniversity of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit and following a number of harsh winters, the 2009 figure marked a 15-year low.More dramatic is the swing in certainty. Among those who think global warming has occurred, 57 percent describe themselves as either extremely or very sure, compared to 43 percent in 2009.

Despite these numbers, there is still a core group who refuses to accept the extensive evidence that the world has gotten warmer. The proportion of those who believed warming had probably not been happening was 18 percent, down from 22 percent. And their belief is getting shakier: theircertainty was down to 31 percent from 52 percent in 2009.

Another significant change since 2009 is among the 32 percent of respondents (up from 30 percent) who have little to no trust in scientists on environmental matters. Among this group, 61 percent now believe global temperatures have increased over the last century, up from 47 percent.


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