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Exaggerated, Correct or Underestimated? Poll Finds What Most Americans Think of Global Warming


Americans were asked in a new poll to describe what they thought about the seriousness of global warming. Though the majority supported in general terms the concept of climate change as a whole, the term used most to describe it was "exaggerated."

The poll is the fourth in a series conducted by Gallup on American's views about climate change. Based on what they see in news reports, 42 percent of the more than 500 adults surveyed said they think climate change is generally exaggerated, while 33 percent thought it was generally underestimated and 23 percent said reporting was generally correct. Taking the percentages of these latter two groups, Gallup said that "most Americans seem to accept that global warming is at least as serious a problem as news reports say it is."

Gallup compared responses to this survey to previous years and found that fewer think global warming is generally correct, but the percentage of those who think it is generally exaggerated has remained at or above 40 percent since 2009.

The survey also broke down thoughts of Americans on global warming along party lines.

Image source: Gallup Image source: Gallup

Just last week, Democratic senators talked through Monday evening into Tuesday morning about climate change and how they're concerned about its possible impact on Earth. This “talk-a-thon" came after a previous Gallup poll found just 24 percent of Americans worry about climate change a great deal, while 51 percent said they cared little or not at all about it, compared to other national problems.

Another poll in the series found that while two-thirds of Americans surveyed thought global warming was happening, only 36 percent thought it posed a serious threat during their lifetime. Much of this perspective depended on the respondent's age. Those who were younger were more likely to think global warming was a threat in their lifetime compared to those who were older.

Watch Gallup's video about this survey's findings:

Featured image via Shutterstock.

(H/T: Reddit)

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