Gallup poll: 46% of Americans attribute this past warm winter to natural variation, 30% to global warming
A new Gallup poll has found that 79% of Americans agree that this winter has been warmer than usual in their local area; 46% attribute the cause to normal year-to-year variation in temperatures, while 30% attribute it to global warming. The remaining 3% go for an unspecified cause.
There was clear variation in the result by region. More than nine in 10 of those living in the East (92%) and Midwest (95%) say this winter was warmer than usual, compared with 77% in the South and 55% in the West.
Republicans and independents are more likely to say the warmer temperatures are due to normal year-to-year temperature variations (51% each); 19% and 28% of the two groups, respectively, say it was warmer due to global warming. Democrats are more likely to say the cause is global warming (43%) than natural fluctuation (37%).
Gallup noted that Republicans are less likely than Democrats and independents to live in the East, and slightly more likely to live in the South, which may partially explain why Republicans are less likely than either independents or Democrats to have perceived a warmer-than-usual winter.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted 8-11 March 8-11 2012, with a random sample of 1,024 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.