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Posted Tue Jul 31 2012: from ClimateWire:
1988 vs 2012: How heat waves and droughts fuel climate perception
Coming on the heels of decades of research, the 1988 North American drought bridged the gap between scientific and popular understanding, pulling climate change down out of the atmosphere and planting it firmly in the minds of the U.S. public. From that union came the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the modern climate movement and its counterpart, the climate skeptic movement. More than two decades later, the drought of 2012 has reignited national interest in global warming. National news coverage is up, and a recent poll found that recognition of climate change rose 5 percent on the back of the July heat wave. Yet the debate today is framed within fundamentally different parameters, polarized by party lines and upstaged at every turn by the woes of a flagging global economy. For a significant portion of Americans' belief in climate change seems inextricably linked to the weather, rising with the temperature only to fade again as the seasons turn.
[Read more stories about: deniers, drought, global warming, weather extremes]

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Americans are fair weather fans.

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