Public Resource
What do Americans think is the biggest threat from global warming?
Jennifer Marlon, Matthew Ballew, Marija Verner, Jennifer Carman, Seth Rosenthal, John Kotcher, Edward Maibach and Anthony Leiserowitz. Yale Program on Climate Communication
Americans have become more worried about and interested in global warming and started to perceive it as a greater risk in recent years. Americans were asked in a survey (in 2021): “What do you think is the greatest threat that global warming poses to the United States, if any?” The most common theme was Weather extremes and changes (20% of Americans), which included different types of extreme weather (e.g., floods, wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, extreme temperatures), changing weather patterns, and seasonal shifts. Many respondents in this category listed multiple extreme events, such as wildfires and droughts, or heat waves and flooding. The second most common theme was Global warming is not a threat (7%), which included statements about not being worried about climate change or expressing positions that raise doubts about climate science and scientists. The third most common themes were Pollution (6%), Other (6%), and Don’t know (6%). Respondents in the Pollution category mentioned specific pollution sources, such as “carbon dioxide,” “vehicle emissions,” or “waste disposal.”