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As extreme weather events increase, so does acceptance of climate science (+video)

A new survey finds that a majority of Americans believe that weather in the United States is getting worse, and they are linking it to global warming. 

According to NOAA scientists at the National Climatic Data Center (, record and near-record breaking temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the nation and contributed to the warmest March on record for the contiguous United States, a record that dates back to 1895. This animation shows the locations of each of the 7,755 daytime and 7,517 nighttime records (or tied records) in sequence over the 31 days in March.
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Severe droughts in Texas and the Great Plains. Hurricane Irene sweeping the Eastern Seaboard. Tornadoes in the Midwest, and floods in Mississippi. Record-breaking temperatures across the U.S. With such widespread madness, it's no surprise that the majority of Americans say they have personally experienced an extreme weather event or natural disaster in the past year.

That's according to a new nationally representative survey that also found a majority of Americans say U.S. weather is getting worse. Furthermore, a large majority of Americans think global warming made several high-profile weather events even worse.

The results, which are part of a long-term project at Yale, suggest global warming is becoming less of a "down the road" and "out of sight" issue and more of a "here and now" problem in the minds of Americans.

The researchers found early on in this project, a decade ago, that for many Americans climate change was a problem distant in time and space, "a problem about polar bears and Bangladesh, but not in my state, not in my community, not for the people and places I care about," said study researcher Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, referring to the public.


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