Nearly all weathercasters (over 99%) think climate change – as defined by the American Meteorological Society – is happening.
Nearly half of weathercasters (46%) are convinced that the climate change over the past 50 years has been primarily or entirely due to human activity, and nearly one-quarter (22%) think it is more or less equally caused by human activity and natural events. About one-quarter (24%) think the change has been primarily or entirely due to natural events.
Weathercasters have diverse views on the extent to which additional climate change can be averted over the next 50 years, if mitigation measures are taken worldwide: only 13% think a large amount or all additional climate change can be averted; many more think a moderate (39%) or a small (34%) amount of additional climate change can be averted; and 13% think almost no additional climate change can be averted.
Weathercasters also hold diverse views about the extent to which harm – to people’s health, agriculture, fresh water supplies, transportation systems, and homes and other buildings – can be prevented over the next 50 years: a quarter (23% to 26%) think a large amount or almost all of the harm to these things can be prevented; one-quarter to one-third (26% to 36%) think a moderate amount of harm can be prevented; and another quarter (24% to 28%) think only a small amount or none of the harm can be prevented.
Slightly over half (54%) of weathercasters think the local climate in their area has changed in the past 50 years as a result of climate change, while one-quarter (24%) think it hasn’t, and a nearly one quarter say they don’t know (22%). Most weathercasters who think their local climate has changed say the impacts have been approximately equally mixed between beneficial and harmful (60%); one-third (33%) say the impacts of been primary or exclusively harmful, and 6% say the impacts have been primarily beneficial.