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Anthony Leiserowitz, Edward Maibach, Seth Rosenthal, John Kotcher, Jennifer Carman, Liz Neyens, Teresa Myers, Matthew Goldberg, Eryn Campbell, Karine Lacroix and Jennifer Marlon


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts, Mathematics

Resource Type

  • Scientific Papers or Reports, 96 pages

Regional Focus




Climate Change in the American Mind, April 2022

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  • This detailed report explains the results of a survey of about 1,000 Americans and their opinions about global warming and climate change.
  • The survey asked questions about people's beliefs, emotional responses, and perceived risks related to climate change and global warming.
Teaching Tips


  • This paper offers interesting insights into how Americans think about our changing climate.
  • Students will be able to read and interpret data regarding a survey that covers many facets of climate change opinion.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be able to read many types of graphs and charts.
  • Students should have some prior knowledge of how surveys are conducted.
  • The paper is lengthy but it can be downloaded for use offline or accessed using the interactive table of contents.


  • Cross-curricular connections can be made in math classes discussing data analysis or in social studies classes thinking about how different cultures or groups of people think differently.
  • Language arts classes could use this paper when working on informational and technical reading strategies. 
  • Try using the Executive Summary section for a class discussion. Students can discuss how American opinions are changing, what opinions were and were not surprising, and what these opinions mean for climate action in the United States.
  • As an extension, have students conduct a corresponding survey of their own. Using the questions provided, students can ask a set number of family members or friends and report their findings back to the class. You can even create a class report of your findings using a graphics tool.
Scientist Notes
This website provides a PDF link to the report summary "Climate Change in the American Mind." The report is based on findings from a survey asking Americans their beliefs and attitudes about global warming. The report provides the survey questions along with raw data displayed as graphs and charts. This is a well-sourced resource and would be a great addition to an older classroom discussing the changing attitude toward global warming.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.10 By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
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