Americans are more likely to express belief in global warming after average worldwide temperatures rise, according to a new study from Stanford University. A survey conducted earlier this month shows 73 percent of Americans believe the Earth’s warmth has increased over the last 100 years –- down from the peak of 85 percent that Stanford recorded in 2007 and 2008. Why the decline? Several factors could be involved, including a faltering economy, researchers said. The subsequent fall is partially because “about one-third of the country does not trust environmental scientists,” the study said. Instead, “those citizens decide whether global warming has been happening by paying close attention to the last year's average world temperature.”
-- Wilborn P. Nobles, III
Correction: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the study linked a peak in public opinion regarding climate change to the release of Al Gore's movie 'An Inconvenient Truth.'