Americans almost uniformly say climate change is happening, though some differences — often political — remain over the extent to which humans affect it. A year of lockdowns and millions working from home during the pandemic did, in the view of many, help lessen the impact on the environment, particularly among those who think humans at least contribute to climate problems. But that has not changed Americans’ majority view that climate change needs to be addressed right away. 

Nearly all say climate change is happening, and most do see human activity at least contributing to it, either bearing the most responsibility or else in combination with natural patterns. 

But with the world living through the coronavirus pandemic, more Americans express even greater concern over more viruses, with perceived threats from climate change ranking close behind, among threats from nature and ahead of geological threats.

This CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,003 U.S. residents interviewed between April 13-16, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as the 2020 presidential vote and registration status. The margin of error is ± 2.8 points.