Record-breaking warmth has affected many parts of the United States in 2023, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — with warmer temperatures expected to continue into the summer.
The latest Economist/YouGov poll finds that 46% of Americans expect that temperatures in their local area will be warmer than in previous summers, while 31% expect them to stay generally the same. Americans who believe that the world's climate is changing as a result of human activity are more likely to expect that local temperatures will be warmer than usual this summer than are people who do not think human activity is changing the climate or than are people who do not think the climate is changing.
Three-quarters (73%) of people who anticipate an unusually warm summer say that this event would be primarily the result of climate change, rather than something that just happens from time to time. About one in five people (17%) who expect a hot summer believe unusually warm weather just happens from time to time.
Nearly half of Americans (46%) say that they have already felt the effect of climate change, and 12% expect they will feel the effects in their lifetime. Democrats (68%) are more than twice as likely as Republicans (26%) to say that they have already felt the effect of climate change.
— Kathy Frankovic, Carl Bialik, and Taylor Orth contributed to this article
Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.
Image: Adobe Stock (Monika Wisniewska)