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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Climate Change Beliefs in U.S. Depend on the State Where You Live

U.S. global warming map

(Photo : Yale) Interactive global warming map from Yale

The majority of Americans, or 63 percent, believe global warming is occurring and almost half of it is being caused by human activities.

Researchers at Yale University released an interactive map showing detailed differences in public perception about global warming on a national, state, congressional district and county level.

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The data used to create the seven maps were from 12 surveys conducted between 2008 and 2013 by the Yale Project on Climate Communication and the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication. Researchers used it to make their projections and compare the results to state and local surveys.

They surveyed participants in all 50 states, including 435 Congressional districts, 3,000 counties, and 381 cities. Researchers compiled their data into a set of interactive maps  that can be found at http://environment.yale.edu/poe/v2014.

Collectively, 63 percent of Americans were found to believe global warming but those numbers ranged from a low of 54 percent in coal-friendly West Virginia to 81 percent in Washington, D.C. Citizens in Hawaii, New York and California are the next biggest believers at 75 percent, 72 percent and 70 percent, respectively. Lowest numbers generally were found in Middle America and in parts of the Southeast, areas where the Republican Party is strong.

When it comes to policy support, the majority of Americans surveyed believe government should allocate more funds to renewable energy sources and regulate carbon dioxide by setting limits on coal-fired power plants.

"These differences are partly due to the fact that different groups often think differently about the issue," said study lead author Peter Howe of Utah State University.

Researchers clarified that the interactive maps show estimates of public opinion and that more research is needed to determine accuracy.

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