A new poll by the Center for Climate Change Communication (4C) at George Mason University finds that a majority of U.S. citizens who identify as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents want the government to do more to tackles climate change. Sixty-two percent of those polled said that the U.S. government “absolutely should” or “probably should” takes steps to address climate change. This goes against the views of many Republican congressmen—as well as the party platform—who largely oppose action on climate change.
“The findings from this survey suggest there is considerable support among conservatives for accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels and toward clean renewable forms of energy, and for taking steps to address climate change,” said Edward Maibach, director of 4C at George Mason University. “Perhaps the most surprising finding, however, is how few of our survey respondents agreed with the Republican Party’s current position on climate change.”
The survey found that only 35 percent of those polled agreed with the Republican platform on climate change, which opposes cap-and-trade legislation and demands halting the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases.
Republicans also strongly approved support for renewable energy in the poll. Seventy-seven percent of those polled said the U.S. should use more renewable energy and nearly two-thirds of these said the transition should begin “immediately.” Fifty-two percent of Republicans polled said that fossil fuel use should be curbed as well.
“Over the past few years, our surveys have shown that a growing number of Republicans want to see Congress do more to address climate change,” added Maibach.
Global warming has caused temperatures to rise by approximately 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) over the last century. Already climate change is leading to rising sea levels, melting glaciers, vanishing Arctic sea ice, acidifying marine waters, and worsening floods and droughts among other impacts.
(04/01/2013) Warming about twice as fast as the rest of the world, the Arctic is already undergoing massive upheavals from climate change: summer sea ice is thinning and vanishing, land based ice sheets are melting, and sea levels are rising. Now a new study in Nature Climate Change predicts that vegetation cover in the Arctic could expand by over 50 percent by 2050. Although increased vegetation would sequester additional carbon, this would be more-than-offset by the loss of the albedo effect, whereby sunlight bounces off white (snow and ice covered) parts of the Earth.
(03/28/2013) Critics of climate change often claim that warming has stopped since the late 1990s. While this is categorically false (the last decade was the warmest on record and 2005 and 2010 are generally considered tied for the warmest year), scientists do admit that warming hasn’t occurred over land as rapidly as predicted in the last ten years, especially given continually rising greenhouse gas emissions. But a recent study in Geophysical Research Letters has found this so-called missing heat: 700 meters below the surface of the ocean.
(03/26/2013) Climate scientists have linked the massive snowstorms and bitter spring weather now being experienced across Britain and large parts of Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice.
(03/13/2013) India’s dependence on coal-fired power plants for energy may be leading directly to the deaths of 80,000 to 115,000 of its citizens every year, according to the first ever report on the health impacts of coal in the country. The report, commissioned by the Conservation Action Trust and Greenpeace-India, deals only with the direct health impact of coal and not climate change. But even ignoring the rising pain of global warming, the bleak report outlines that coal consumption in India is causing over 20 million asthma attacks, nearly a million emergency room visits, and killing some 10,000 children under five annually.
(03/13/2013) This week, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear II, the head of U.S. military forces in the Pacific, told The Boston Globe that climate change was the gravest threat in the region. While such an assessment may be surprising, given North Korea’s recent nuclear tests, the U.S. military has long viewed climate change as a massive destabilizing force on global security.
(03/11/2013) Tropical forests may be less sensitive to global warming than previously thought, argues a new study published in Nature Geoscience.
(03/08/2013) Average global temperatures are now higher than any point during the past 4,000 years despite being in the midst of what should be a cooling interval, reports a new study published in the journal Science.
(03/08/2013) An increasing number of Americans believe there is evidence for climate change, reveals a new poll conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan.
(03/06/2013) Carbon dioxide now makes up around 395 parts per million in the atmosphere, according to new data from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Measuring atmospheric carbon in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, the NOAA notes that last year saw a jump of 2.67 parts per million, second only to a record jump in carbon concentrations in 1998—2.93 parts per million. The news further dampens hopes that nations will stick to their goal of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.