Saturday, August 15, 2020
Home Environment Three-Quarters of Americans See Weather Disasters, Like Hurricane Dorian, Worsening

Three-Quarters of Americans See Weather Disasters, Like Hurricane Dorian, Worsening

Nearly three-quarters of Americans see weather disasters, like Hurricane Dorian, worsening and most of them blame global warming

Nearly three-quarters of Americans see weather disasters, like Hurricane Dorian, worsening and most of them blame global warming to some extent, a new poll finds.

And scientists say they’re right.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey shows 72% of Americans think catastrophic weather is more severe, while 4% see it as less nasty. About one-quarter say those disasters are about as extreme as they always were.

Half of those who think weather disasters are worsening say it’s mainly because of man-made climate change, with another 37% who think natural randomness and global warming are equally to blame.

Americans, Weather Disasters, Hurricane
FILE – Destruction lies in the wake of Hurricane Irma in St. Martin, Sept. 6, 2017. VOA

The poll was conducted in mid-August before Dorian formed, pummeled the Bahamas and put much of the U.S. East Coast on edge.

“We continue to loot our environment and it causes adverse weather,” said John Mohr, 57, a self-described moderate Republican in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he was bracing for Dorian’s arrival.

On Tybee Island, Georgia, Tony and Debbie Pagan said they rarely worried about hurricanes after buying their home nearly 50 years ago.

Hurricane David in 1979 and Floyd in 1999 threatened them but did little damage. The last four years haven’t been so kind.

Also Read- Microsoft Joins Hands with Facebook to Fight ‘Deepfakes’

One miss, but two hits

Hurricane Matthew raked the island in 2016 and pushed several inches of floodwater into the Pagans’ low-lying house. Hurricane Irma the following year sent 2 feet of water surging into the home. And this year Hurricane Dorian threatened, but didn’t hit.

“This is climate change, though President Trump denies that it is,” Tony Pagan, 69, a retired electrician, said as he and his wife finished packing to leave Wednesday. “He needs to open his eyes.”

Majorities of adults across demographic groups think weather disasters are getting more severe, according to the poll. College-educated Americans are slightly more likely than those without a degree to say so, 79% versus 69%.

Americans, Weather Disasters, Hurricane
FILE – Indian residents queue with plastic containers to get drinking water from a tanker in the outskirts of Chennai, May 29, 2019. An unrelenting heat wave triggered warnings of water shortages and heatstroke in India on June 1. VOA

But there are wide differences in assessments by partisanship. Nine in 10 Democrats think weather disasters are more extreme, compared with about half of Republicans.

Americans this summer also are slightly more likely to say disasters are more severe when compared with a similarly worded question asked after hurricanes in 2013 and 2017.

“People are catching up with the science! Extreme events are always partly due to natural variability, but we do think many are increasing in frequency because of climate change,” Cornell University climate scientist Natalie Mahowald said in an email.

Heat, rain

Also Read- Solar Leads Decade of Investment in Renewable Energy

It’s more than hurricanes. A recent U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report found that heat waves are happening more often, are nastier and last longer, while heavy downpours are increasing globally, said NASA and Columbia University climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig.

Chris Dennis, 50, a registered nurse and self-described liberal Democrat in Greenville, South Carolina, said he is seeing more intense and more frequent weather disasters than in the past.

“Years ago, we didn’t hear of these kinds of storms, at least that frequently,” Dennis said, taking a break from watching the CNN forum on climate change for Democratic presidential candidates. He said he kept noticing the damning statistics on carbon dioxide put in the air, saying the “numbers are cranking up like the national debt clock … that’s pretty significant, what we’re doing to our environment.”

Scientific studies indicate a warming world has slightly stronger hurricanes, but they don’t show an increase in the number of storms hitting land, Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said. He said the real climate change effect causing more damage is storm surge from rising seas, wetter storms dumping more rain and more people living in vulnerable areas.

Skeptic

Not everyone sees climate change making weather worse.

Though she’s weary of dealing with storms three of the past four years, Sandy Cason of Tybee Island said she’s not ready to blame climate change. She noted Georgia got hit by several powerful hurricanes in the 1800s.

“If you go back and read, it’s a cyclical thing. It really is,” Cason said. “If you read enough about the old storms, I don’t think you can” attribute the most recent storms to climate change.

The AP-NORC poll of 1,058 adults was conducted Aug. 15-18 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods and later were interviewed online or by phone. (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

18,952FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,780FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Here’s How an Online Training Helped me Land my Dream Job

About the Author: Apurva Bhalerao is a postgraduate in Mechatronics. She joined Internshala Trainings for Internet of Things training. She shares how an online...

Internships for Students With Good People Skills

College students, especially the first and second year ones, often hesitate to apply to internships for the reason that they don’t have any job-specific...

73% Females in Rajasthan Facing Issues in Procuring Sanitary Napkins During Lockdown

Seven of every 10 adolescent females, nearly 73 per cent, in Rajasthan say they have had a problem procuring sanitary pads during lockdown in...

I Believe Dance is like Talking Without Speaking: Govinda

Actor Govinda sees dancing more like talking, sans words. "I believe that dance is more like talking without having to actually speak or use words....

Google Search to Provide you With Necessary Information About Floods in India

Google is already sending public alerts to people hit by flooding in India and users in India can now use Search to simply enter...

Yoga Improves Symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder: Researchers

Researchers have suggested that yoga improves symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder, a condition with chronic nervousness and worry, suggesting the popular practice may be...

Young Women More Stressed Than Men During Lockdown: Survey

A recent survey on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people between 10 and 24 years in UP, Bihar and Rajasthan has revealed...

Doctors Estimated 3 Folds Rise in Deaths of Patients During Lockdown Due to “Waitlist Mortality”

By Ashish Srivastava The nationwide lockdown imposed from March 24 has affected services across sectors, and key areas of medical care were also not left...

Recent Comments