Finally, this poll finds a slight shift nationally in views of whether the severity of recent hurricanes is linked to global climate change. Last year, Americans thought this was not the case, by a 54-39 percent margin. Today the public is more divided; 49 percent think recent severe hurricanes are just the kind of weather that happens from time to time, while 45 percent (up six points) think their severity is the result of climate change.
The percentages saying the severe weather likely results from global warming is up among both Democrats and independents; it's not significantly changed among Republicans.
Percentage Saying Severe Hurricanes Result from Global Warming
This survey was conducted by telephone among random samples of 1,109 adults nationally, including an oversample of blacks for a total of 176, Aug. 10-20, 2006; 501 adults in the Gulf Coast, Aug. 16-20; and 300 adults in New Orleans, Aug. 14-20. The New Orleans sample was supplemented by random cell-phone as well as land-line interviews. Error margins are three percentage points for the national sample, 4.5 points for the Gulf Coast sample and six points in New Orleans. Sampling, field work and tabulation for the Gulf Coast and New Orleans samples by TNS of Horsham, Pa., and for the national sample by ICR-International Communications Research of Media, Pa.