A poll conducted by non-profit Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit has found that only six in ten adults agree that climate change is occurring and is caused by human activity throughout the world.
Researchers from ComRes polled 2,045 adults, with participants being weighted by age, gender, region, and social grade in order to make it representative of the UK population.
Although six in 10 adults might be viewed as low by some, the results actually show an upward trend as in 2014 a similar poll was carried out, finding that 57 per cent of people thought that climate change was caused by human activity.
This percentage rose again in 2015 when 59 per cent of people were found to agree. This year that figure rises to 64 per cent.
Joanna Haigh, from Imperial College London, told New Scientist that:
“For people who have worked on climate change for decades, the finding that people recognise the sheer weight of scientific evidence is extremely heartening.
“But as the climate system sends increasingly urgent signals of the stress it is coming under, this understanding must be turned into action to address to the problem.”
In the poll respondents were also asked what proportion of climate scientists think that climate change is the result of human activities.
Although 97 per cent of scientists currently believe human activity to be the cause, only 20 per cent of adults thought that “almost all” scientists believed this.
A further 49 per cent thought that “a majority” of scientists believed climate change to be the result of human activity.
At the end of January it was discovered that the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) – the UK home of climate change sceptics – had been hit by a membership fee slump of 60 per cent.
The figures, which were unearthed by Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in London, found that in the 12 months up to September 2016 the group received only £5,409 in fees – down a total of 62 per cent from 2011, when the foundation received £14,300.