Growing Public Climate Concern in 2021

Creciente preocupación pública por el clima en 2021

Dec 8, 2021

Along with 2021’s extreme heat, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods, we saw a remarkable increase in the American public’s understanding and concern about climate change.

Most Americans think that global warming is happening and harming Americans now, according to new survey results from Yale University and George Mason University.

Between March and September of 2021—a period of devastating extreme heat, wildfires, hurricanes and floods across the country—the proportion of Americans who think global warming is happening grew by six percentage points to reach a record-high of 76%.

Seven in ten Americans are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming. And 55% of Americans think that global warming currently harms people in the U.S.

These and other results from a nationally representative September 2021 survey indicate that more Americans are concerned about climate change now than at any time since these surveys began in 2008.

This year’s growth in Americans’ climate concern overlapped with significant extreme events, local resilience, scientific advances and global action on climate change. Two-thirds of U.S. adults perceive more frequent extreme weather, with 46% saying their local area has experienced extreme weather in the past year, according to a Pew Research Center survey

Climate Central’s resources are here to help you continue to cover local climate stories and grow public understanding of...

  • Climate Resilience. Local communities continue to face devastating fire seasons, coastal flooding, crop damage, and urban heat. We help to share their stories of both loss and resilience through Partnership Journalism.
  • Climate Solutions. Our growing Solutions Series provides briefs and reporting resources on the latest developments in wind energy to electric vehicles and climate-friendly homes.
  • Climate Futures. With nearly 200 interactive visuals, Picturing Our Future illustrates how climate actions we make this decade could transform coastal sites around the globe through sea level rise. 
  • Climate Science. We help to unpack and understand this year’s global assessment report on climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with more to come in 2022. 
  • Climate Policy. Our localized analysis and reporting resources connect the 2021 United Nations global climate summit to local audiences across the U.S. 

2021 has also been a remarkable year for Climate Matters. Our network is on track for a record year of climate reporting, and Climate Matters has just been designated by Tools of Change as one of the most "successful, innovative, replicable and adaptable" approaches worldwide for promoting environmental citizenship. 

These achievements would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our nationwide network of meteorologists and journalists. Thank you! 

We look forward to providing more localized data, analysis, and multimedia to help you understand the science and share the stories of climate change in 2022 with an increasingly concerned American public.