Alaskans feel the heat of global warming

A new study finds that most Alaskans believe global warming is happening and is a serious threat to the state. The statewide survey, with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University, was commissioned by Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz of Decision Research and conducted this summer by the Craciun Research Group.

Jean Craciun, research director for CRG said, "Across the board, no matter what political affiliation or ethnic background, Alaskans are united in their concern about the impacts of global warming."

Highlights of the survey include:

  • Most Alaskans believe global warming is already having major impacts, including the loss of sea ice, melting permafrost, coastal erosion, and forest fires, among other impacts.

  • Many expect that global warming will have dangerous impacts on Alaskans within the next 10 years.

  • Majorities of Alaskans report that global warming is a serious threat to themselves and their families, their local communities, Alaska as a whole, the United States, other countries, and to plants and animals.

  • Most Alaskans support the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and the signing of international treaties to reduce emissions, but oppose higher taxes on electricity or gasoline.

"With governments now debating what to do about global warming, decisions that will affect Alaska for generations to come hang in the balance and Alaskans are clearly paying attention," said Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, the lead study investigator.

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Decision Research is a non-profit scientific research institute with offices in Eugene, OR and Vancouver, B.C. Craciun Research Group is an Alaskan research firm with offices in Anchorage, AK, Washington D.C., and Seattle WA.

For further information about the study or to obtain the Executive Summary and full report, please contact Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz in Oregon 541-485-2400 or Jean Craciun at Craciun Research Group in Anchorage 907-279-3982, in Seattle 206-443-8346.

A full copy of the report is also available online. Please visit: http:/www.alaskaclimatechange.org


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