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(03/14/07) -

U.S. Fears Hurricanes Due to Global Warming

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in the United States believe climate change could bring about devastating weather events, according to a poll by Gallup released by USA Today. 69 per cent of respondents are worried that hurricanes will become more powerful as a result of global warming.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in the United States believe climate change could bring about devastating weather events, according to a poll by Gallup released by USA Today. 69 per cent of respondents are worried that hurricanes will become more powerful as a result of global warming.

In addition, more than 60 per cent of respondents are concerned about flooding and droughts, a rise in ocean levels, and a heightened prevalence of tropical diseases. In addition, 57 per cent of respondents believe some animal species will become extinct, 50 per cent expect Northern Europe will cool dramatically due to changes in the Gulf Stream, and 33 per cent are worried about human life ceasing to exist on earth.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. More than 1,500 residents died as a result of the storm and its aftermath.

The term global warming refers to an increase of the Earth’s average temperature. Some theories say that climate change might be the result of human-generated carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

In 1998, several countries agreed to the Kyoto Protocol, a proposed amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The agreement commits nations to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The U.S. signed the protocol but has not ratified it.

Earlier this month, Republican Florida governor Charlie Crist discussed his views on climate change, saying, “The conditions of weather and rising water levels have the most profound impact on our state than any other. I am confident that we can have some appropriate mandates, as much as California has done, to set an example, to do the right thing, to get our arms around this issue.”

Polling Data

Next, as you may know there is a lot of talk these days about global warming and what its effects might be. Are you worried that each of the following will happen as a result of global warming?

Worried

Not worried

Hurricanes will become more powerful

69%

31%

Flooding and droughts will become more common

67%

33%

Ocean levels will rise, leaving many
coastal lands under water

63%

37%

Tropical diseases will become more
prevalent around the world

62%

38%

Animal species will become extinct

57%

42%

Northern Europe will cool dramatically
due to changes in the Gulf Stream

50%

49%

Human life will cease to exist on earth

33%

66%

Source: Gallup
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,018 American adults, conducted from Feb. 22 to Feb. 25, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.