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Yale Climate Opinion Maps - U.S.

Peter Howe, Matto Mildenberger, Jennifer Marlon, Anthony Leiserowitz, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

This visualization focuses on public acceptance of climate science. The set of interactive maps illustrates public opinion on a variety of climate beliefs, risk perceptions, and policy support. The data is from the Yale Project on Climate Communication and is updated every one to two years. The most recent data at the time of this record is 2019.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Educator will need to develop guiding questions to give context to the data on the maps.
  • While this tool is not a stand-alone activity, a few minutes of engaging with the maps is likely to elicit observations and questions. In particular, it can be useful to examine regional differences in attitudes about climate change. Students could also design their own questions and answers after exploring the maps.
  • It may be helpful to demonstrate the visualization for students to illustrate the many ways to display and interpret data.
  • The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, who publishes this research, offers a host of information about public perceptions of climate change. The website offers non-technical research summaries and graphics.
  • Article on Consensus in Skeptical Science is a good resource http://www.skepticalscience.com.

About the Content

  • The information is useful for students to learn how Americans feel about different aspects of climate change and how those beliefs vary in different parts of the country.
  • Detailed data from this research is available below the main map, and links to additional public opinion research are also included within the web site.
  • Graphical representation on national, state, congressional district, and county levels of people's opinions related to global warming, risk perceptions of global warming, and policy options to address climate change.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    - spatially large dataset
    - model displays information from national --> counties
    - easy to use graphic

    Additional Notes:
    - Survey is based on more than 22,000 Americans.

About the Pedagogy

  • These interactive graphics invite inquiry and engage students to consider how Americans' beliefs about climate change vary across different topics. Students can select different sets of public opinion data from a dropdown menu and the results are displayed on a map of the US. Results can be shown as a national average, statewide averages, or can be broken down by county or congressional district.
  • Visualization is intuitive to use and offers multiple opportunities to explore data.
  • Requires basic map reading skills to interpret data.
  • Lesson plans and teacher guide are not provided with the visualization. However, the tool can be incorporated into existing lessons, or new lessons can be developed using the tool.
  • Free data download and details of survey methods are provided.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Color coding: warm colors such as red and orange indicate agreement with climate science and policy; cool colors indicate lack of acceptance of climate science.
  • The estimates will be updated periodically when new Climate Change in the American Mind survey results are released.
  • The estimates on the maps are current as of 2019. Students can also look at maps for 2016 and 2014 and maps for Canada to compare current US views with those at other times and in other places.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Yale Program on Climate Change resources for educators
Entered the Collection: April 2018 Last Reviewed: July 2016

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