Washington Secrets

Poll: Hot days = global warming, cold days doesn't

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

The views of Independent voters blow in the wind when it comes to global warming.

According to an extensive new survey of 5,000 voters conducted over two-and-a-half years, independent voters believe human-caused climate change is real on hot days; on cold days, they don't.

The University of New Hampshire survey, published in the American Meteorological Society journal Weather, Climate and Society, said that the views on climate change by Granite State independents are echoed nationally.

Co-author Lawrence Hamilton said, "Independent voters were less likely to believe that climate change was caused by humans on unseasonably cool days and more likely to believe that climate change was caused by humans on unseasonably warm days. The shift was dramatic. On the coolest days, belief in human-caused climate change dropped below 40 percent among independents. On the hottest days, it increased above 70 percent."

Hamilton, a professor of sociology and senior fellow at the Carsey Institute, and co-author Mary Stampone, assistant professor of geography and the New Hampshire state climatologist, said Democrats and Republicans have more established views of global warming.

"We find that over 10 surveys, Republicans and Democrats remain far apart and firm in their beliefs about climate change. Independents fall in between these extremes, but their beliefs appear weakly held -- literally blowing in the wind. Interviewed on unseasonably warm days, independents tend to agree with the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change. On unseasonably cool days, they tend not to," Hamilton and Stampone said.

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