84% of Indians say global warming is happening

A massive majority — 84 per cent — of Indians seem convinced that global warming is a reality that can no longer be ignored.

This is 15 per cent higher than in 2011 when 69 per cent of Indians were of the opinion that global warming was now a reality. This was revealed by a nationwide survey conducted by CVoter on behalf of the Yale Program of Climate Change Communication.

The survey was conducted between October 2021 and January 2022 and covered a scientifically designed random sample size of 4,619 adult Indians who were above 18 years of age. Clearly, as effects of climate change seem visible in the communities where they live, global warming is now an important issue for contemporary Indians. A similar survey on climate change was conducted in late 2011 and the responses have been compared to get an inkling about awareness levels of Indians.

Yet, the survey by CVoter on behalf of Yale also reveals that a lot of Indian respondents needed to be provided with a short definition of global warming and how it affects weather patterns before they agreed with the contention that global warming is indeed happening.

Awareness levels were not very high without the respondents being provided with a definition and a short description. For instance, the survey reveals that 54 per cent of Indians either know just a little about global warming or have never heard of it while a small minority of 9 % stated that they know a lot about global warming.

Speaking on the subject, Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale University said, “It is important to note, however, that lack of awareness of the issue does not mean that individuals have not observed changes in local weather and climate patterns, as evidenced in the Observations, Vulnerabilities, and Resilience to Local Weather Events section later in this report.”

Dr. Jagadish Thaker of the University of Auckland, said, “This suggests that many people in India may have observed changes in their local climate and weather patterns without understanding that these changes are related to the broader issue of global climate change.”

About three in four people in India have noticed changes in rainfall in their area in the last 10 years. India is geographically diverse, and different parts of the country experience different patterns of heat, rainfall, and extreme weather. A large majority of people in India say they have observed changes in local climate and weather patterns in their own area.

Nationally, more than four in ten people in India (46 per cent) say the average amount of rainfall in their local area has increased over the past 10 years, while 30 per cent say it has decreased, and 22 per cent say it has stayed about the same. Compared to 2011, a higher percentage of people in India now say the average amount of rainfall in their local area has increased over the past 10 years (+12 percentage points), while a smaller percentage say it has decreased (-16).

Speaking on the issue, Yashwant Deshmukh, founder and director of CVoter International said, “The trendlines are clear. Over the past decade, Indians have become much more concerned about climate change, supportive of climate policies, and want the Indian government to be a global leader on climate change.”

Additionally, 35 per cent of the respondents in India stated that they hear about global warming from media platforms at least once a week. A majority of Indians (57 per cent) think global warming is the result of human activities while 31 per cent think the change is due to natural causes. When it comes to Indians personally experiencing the effects of global warming, there has been a 24 per cent jump compared to 2011 with 74 per cent of the respondents agreeing with the contention.

20221020-111808

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