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Home » More Europeans are taking climate change seriously. In the U.S., not so much.

More Europeans are taking climate change seriously. In the U.S., not so much.

More Europeans are taking climate change seriously. In the U.S., not so much.

In some countries, the number of people "very concerned" about the personal impact of climate change more than doubled. In the U.S., it's flat.

Intense concern about climate change is increasing among people in several major economies, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center that found that 72 percent of those polled were worried climate change will harm them personally at some point in their lifetime.

The survey included more than 16,000 people across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region and represented people's views of the threat of climate change, their willingness to make personal sacrifices to address it and their perceptions of international efforts to curb global warming.

The poll was conducted in the spring but its release comes after a series of extreme weather events — ranging from devastating floods in Germany, China and the United States to sweltering heat waves across the Northern Hemisphere — plagued multiple continents in recent months.

Most countries saw a sharp increase in those who said they are “very concerned” that climate change will affect them personally in their lifetime.

In Germany, for instance, 18 percent of people expressed being “very concerned” in 2015, compared to 37 percent this year. Australia saw a comparable uptick, with 34 percent of people saying they are “very concerned” about climate change, a 16-point increase over 2015.

Only Japan saw a significant decline in those who are very concerned about climate change. Pew researchers found an 8-point decrease, to 26 percent, over 2015.

In the U.S., these views didn't change significantly since 2015, they said.

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