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41% Say Global Warming Causes Extreme Weather, 43% Disagree

With hurricane season in full swing, Americans have mixed views on whether global warming is behind extreme weather conditions.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of American Adults believe global warming is creating climate changes that lead to more extreme weather events.  Forty-three percent (43%) disagree with that assessment, while 16% are not sure.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The latest findings show little change from January of last year. However, the number of Americans who feel global warming is linked to extreme weather is down 14 points from early June 2008 when 55% felt that way.  At that time, just 25% said global warming and extreme weather had no relation to each other.

Still, separate polling shows that 59% say global warming it at least a somewhat serious problem.  Just 37% do not think climate change is a serious issue.  These findings have remained fairly consistent for years now.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on August 26-27, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

While 73% of Democrats say global warming leads to extreme weather conditions, 66% of Republicans and 53% of adults not affiliated with either political party disagree.

Americans who live close enough to a shoreline to be impacted by a hurricane are just as evenly divided on this question as those who do not.

Men are slightly more skeptical of global warming leading to extreme conditions than women are.

While Hurricane Irene did less damage than originally predicted, all Americans nationwide still are concerned about the hurricane’s impact on the struggling U.S. economy.

While a majority of Americans nationwide continue to acknowledge significant disagreement about global warming in the scientific community, most go even further to say some scientists falsify data to support their own beliefs.