A large and growing majority of Americans say "global
warming is affecting weather in the United States".
Asked about six recent extreme weather events in the United
States, including record high summer temperatures, the Midwest
drought, and the unusually warm winter and spring of 2011-12,
majorities say global warming made each event "worse." Americans
were most likely to connect global warming to the record high
temperatures in the summer of 2012 (73%).
Americans increasingly say weather in the U.S. has been
getting worse over the past several years (61%, up 9 percentage
points since March).
A majority of Americans (58%) say that heat waves have
become more common in their local area over the past few decades,
up 5 points since March, with especially large increases in the
Northeast and Midwest (+12 and +15 points,
More than twice as many Midwesterners say they personally
experienced an extreme heat wave (83%, up 48 points since March) or
drought (81%, up 55 points) in the past year.
One in five Americans (20%) says they suffered harm to their
health, property, and/or finances from an extreme heat wave in the
past year, a 6-point increase since March. In addition, 15 percent
say they suffered harm from a drought in the past year, up 4
The report includes an Executive Summary and a breakdown of
results by region and can be downloaded here: Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the