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Is the Weather Getting Worse?

​The AP-NORC poll conducted in August 2019 shows that a majority of Americans think both weather and weather related disasters are getting more severe.

A survey conducted just days before Hurricane Dorian finds that 72% of Americans think that weather is becoming more extreme. An equal number say weather-related disasters are more extreme.

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Question: In your opinion, would you say weather is becoming more extreme, less extreme, or is it staying about the same?/In your opinion, would you say weather-related disasters are more severe, less severe, or has there been no change?
Source: AP-NORC poll conducted August 15-19, 2019 with 1,058 adults nationwide.

Only 13% say that neither weather nor weather-related disasters are becoming more extreme. Sixty-six percent say both are happening. 

Those with a college degree are more likely to say weather is becoming more extreme than those without a college degree (80% vs. 69%). Similarly, those with a college degree are also more likely to believe that weather related disasters are becomign more extreme (79% vs. 69%).

Among those who think the weather and weather related disasters are growing in severity, half think this change is caused by climate change. Fifty percent say that climate change is to blame for more extreme weather and the same amount attribute climate change as the cause of more extreme weather related disasters. 

Education differences emerge once again. Those with a college degree are more likely to blame climate change for more severe weather than those without a college degree. 

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Question: And would you say the weather is becoming more extreme mainly because of climate change or mainly because of natural year-to-year variations in the weather, or is it both equally?
Source: AP-NORC poll conducted August 15-19, 2019 with 1,058 adults nationwide.

Among those who believe weather related disasters are more severe, those with a college degree are also more likely to blame climate change for this increase in severity. 

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Question: And would you say weather-related disasters are more severe mainly because of climate change or mainly because of natural year-to-year variations in the weather, or is it both equally?
Source: AP-NORC poll conducted August 15-19, 2019 with 1,058 adults nationwide.

The nationwide poll was conducted August 15-29, 2019, using the AmeriSpeak Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interview using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,058 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.