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Americans Have Never Been So Sure About Climate Change—Even Republicans

Look at the massive shift among Republicans on the issue this year.
A man stands in front of art by Ugo Rondinone

A man stands in front of art by Ugo Rondinone

Photographer: Luke MacGregor

Maybe it's the pope. Or the freakish year in extreme climate records. It might even be explained by the United Nations climate talks and the bright lights of the presidential election cycle. Whatever the cause, U.S. views on climate change are shifting—fast. 

Three-quarters of Americans now accept the scientific consensus on climate change, the highest level in four years of surveys conducted by the University of Texas at Austin. The biggest shocker is what's happening inside the GOP. In a remarkable turnabout, 59 percent of Republicans now say climate change is happening, up from 47 percent just six months ago.