Survey: Despite Majority, A Large Partisan Gap On Global Warming Evidence

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Once again, the world hit record heat levels. The average global temperature last month tied the hottest April on record four years ago.  (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

Once again, the world hit record heat levels. The average global temperature last month tied the hottest April on record four years ago. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Over two-thirds of Americans say there is solid evidence of global warming.

Currently, 67 percent say there is solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades, up four points since last year and 10 points since 2009, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

Similarly, an increasing proportion say that the rise in the earth’s temperature has mostly been caused by human activity. Currently, 42 percent say the warming is mostly caused by human activity, such as burning fossil fuels, while 19 percent say it is mostly caused by natural patterns in the earth’s environment.

Last year, 38 percent mostly attributed global warming to human activity and in 2010 34 percent gave that attribution.

The national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 4-7 among 1,511 adults finds increasing numbers of Democrats, Republicans and independents saying there is solid evidence of warming, although there continues to be a substantial partisan divide on this issue. Fully 85 percent of Democrats say there is solid evidence that the average temperature has been getting warmer, up from 77 percent last year and similar to levels in 2007 and 2008.

There is a definitive partisan gap on the issue.

Nearly half of Republicans (48 percent) say there is solid evidence of warming, compared with 43 percent last year and 35 percent in 2009. The percentage of Republicans saying there is solid evidence of warming is still lower than it was in 2006 and 2007, but is now about where it was in 2008. A majority of independents (65 percent) say there is solid evidence of warming. This is up from 53 percent in 2009, and lower than from 2006 to 2008.

A majority of moderate and liberal Republicans (58 percent) say there is solid evidence of warming, including 38 percent who say it is mostly due to human activity. By contrast, only 43 percent of conservative Republicans say there is evidence of warming, while 51 percent say there is not.

However, more conservative Republicans say there is evidence of warming than did so last year. In 2011, just 31 percent said the earth has been warming while 60 percent said there was no solid evidence of warming.

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