Majority of adults have been personally affected by extreme weather, climate change: poll

Julia Shapero

The vast majority of U.S. adults have been personally affected by some form of extreme weather in the last five years, according to a new poll released on Saturday.

Seventy-one percent in the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll said they had experienced at least one extreme weather event in the last five years.

The largest portions cited extreme hot weather or heat waves and severe cold weather or winter storms, at 55 percent and 45 percent respectively. Another 30 percent said they had been impacted by major droughts or water shortages, while 24 percent had experienced hurricanes or tropical storms.

Among those who were affected by extreme weather, 69 percent said they believe that climate change was to blame. Another 30 percent said they believe the weather event was not caused by climate change, according to the results.

Overall, 71 percent in the AP-NORC poll said they believe climate change is happening, compared to 12 percent said they did not and 16 percent that said they remained unsure.

Sixty-three percent said they believe climate change is being entirely or mostly caused by human activities, while 30 percent said human activities and natural changes in the environment are equally to blame. Just 7 percent said natural changes were entirely or mostly behind the changing environment.

The U.S. faced 18 climate and weather disasters that cost at least $1 billion last year, tying 2011 and 2017 for the third-highest number of billion-dollar disasters, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

At least 474 people were killed in the weather events, which ultimately cost the U.S. about $165 billion. Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm that made landfall in Florida last September, killed more than 100 people alone and was the costliest weather event of the year.

The AP-NORC poll was conducted April 13-17 with 1,230 adults and had a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

Courtesy: thehill