Large gaps found in public understanding of climate change

October 14, 2010

Sixty-three percent of Americans believe that global warming is happening, but many do not understand why, according to a national study conducted by researchers at Yale University.

The report titled "Americans' Knowledge of Climate Change" found that only 57 percent know what the greenhouse effect is, only 45 percent of Americans understand that traps heat from the Earth's surface, and just 50 percent understand that global warming is caused mostly by human activities. Large majorities incorrectly think that the hole in the ozone layer and aerosol spray cans cause global warming. Meanwhile, 75 percent of Americans have never heard of the related problems of or coral bleaching.

However, many Americans do understand that emissions from cars and trucks and the burning of fossil fuels contribute to global warming and that a transition to is an important solution.

Americans also recognize their own limited understanding. Only 1 in 10 say that they are "very well-informed" about climate change, and 75 percent say they would like to know more about the issue. Likewise, 75 percent say that schools should teach children about climate change and 68 percent would welcome a national program to teach Americans more about the issue.

"This study demonstrates that Americans need to learn more about the causes, impacts and potential solutions to ," said study director Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale University. "But it also shows that Americans want to learn more about in order to make up their minds and take action."

Explore further: Americans consider global warming an urgent threat, according to poll

More information: The executive summary and full report are available online: … ge-of-climate-change

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3.4 / 5 (5) Oct 14, 2010
"Large gaps found in public understanding of climate change"

Large gaps found in scientific explanation and evidence of climate change.
3.4 / 5 (5) Oct 15, 2010
Well I don't have problems with climate change. Earth's climate is in state of continuous flux. Always changing. What I do have problem is validity and hard evidence that Human industrial production and CO2 exhalations are cause of some apocalyptic, never before seen warming.

What I actualy see is whats happening in society. Green initiatives do now drive major capital streams. Green jobs are glorified as new job market, trying to help restore economy after 8 horrible years of incompetence (Bush admin. wink wink). In my country solar energy became the new way how to milk national budget.

I want to make clear that I'm 100% for environment protection. I accepted more counter-intuitive conclusions based on hard scientific evidence. But CO2 and global warming just smells of con. Global scale con.
not rated yet Oct 15, 2010
At least we can be confident of one fact: Big Tobacco kills a person every 6.3 seconds due to cigarette smoke related global warming

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