In the article, It’s all in a name: ‘Global warming’ versus ‘climate change’ by University of Michigan scholars* more people believed in climate change than in global warming. I want to put out there, as a counter balance, is the information from Google search trends which shows global warming outpacing climate change, especially in the United States in terms of search traffic.

Global Warming in Blue Outpaces Climate Change

The study results were summarized as “Overall, 74 percent of people thought the problem was real when it was referred to as climate change, while about 68 percent thought it was real when it was referred to as global warming.”  There are more folks, however, searching on global warming (blue) than either climate change (red) or sustainability (yellow).

By the numbers, global warming search traffic is about 2.7M, 1M in the U.S.A. with climate change at 1.2M globally and 301,000 in the U.S.A. which is about the same amount of traffic as for sustainability in the U.S. while it is only 800,000 worldwide.

Based on search results I would recommend that climate change folks emphasize global warming and climate change, linking them together and, from my point of view, including them both as major category of sustainability.

*Jonathon Schuldt co-authored the study with U-M psychologists Sara Konrath and Norbert Schwarz.