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Majority of Americans unaware of climate change issues--study

The researchers found that though 63 percent believe global warming is happening, only 50 percent understand that it’s mostly caused by human actions.

In a study released by Yale University titled 'Americans Knowledge of Climate Change,' majority of Americans are unaware of how grave climate change and global warming issues are.

Yale surveyors found that though 63 percent people believe that global warming is happening, they are unaware of what is causing it.

Only one in every ten said that they not just know about the issue but are also “very well informed” on the subject.

Study researchers noted in their report, they have "found important gaps in knowledge and common misconceptions about climate change and the earth system. These misconceptions lead some people to doubt that global warming is happening or that human activities are a major contributor, to misunderstand the causes and therefore the solutions, and to be unaware of risks."

For the study, researchers surveyed 2,030 people of various demographic mixes during the four week period between June and July 2010, to know about their knowledge on climate change and global warming, the possible causes, consequences and possible solutions.

Survey findings
The researchers found that though 63 percent believe global warming is happening, only 50 percent understand that it’s mostly caused by human actions.

Yale surveyors found that though 63 percent people believe that global warming is happening, they are unaware of what is causing it. Only one in every ten said that they not just know about the issue but are also “very well informed” on the subject.

Only 57 percent Americans know that greenhouse effect refers to those gases in atmosphere that are heat-trapping and 45 percent know that carbon dioxide traps heat from earth’s surface.

Majority of participants had some or other misconception about what causes climate change. Only 25 percent Americans know about ocean acidification or coral bleaching.

Three-fourths participants believe that government should come up with programs to educate all Americans on the issue.

Study researchers also noted that if grade would have been assigned to responses, 52 percent would have failed, while mere eight percent would have got an “A” or “B.”

Study results encouraging
As per the study director Anthony Leiserowitz at the Yale University, it’s high time that people understand the whole problem and start contributing in combating the problem.

"This study demonstrates that Americans need to learn more about the causes, impacts and potential solutions to global warming," revealed Leiserowitz.

Leiserowitz added that people know next to nothing about the problem as "there never has been a national strategy or effort to educate people about the simple facts about climate and we see that in the results."

“But it also shows that Americans want to learn more about climate change in order to make up their minds and take action," concluded Leiserowitz.