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  • 1. Climate change rings truer than global warming American skepticism about whether the  worlds weather is changing depends  partly on wording. More believe in  "climate change" than "global  warming," a new study by the  University of Michigan shows. Three of four people, or 74%, thought  the problem was real when it was  referred to as climate change, while  68% thought it was real when it was  called global warming, according to  questions posed by U­M psychologists  on a RAND­conducted survey of 2,267  U.S. adults.. "Wording matters," study co­author  Jonathon Schuldt said in announcing  CAPTION By Fen Montaigne the findings, which will be published in A book by author and journalist Fen Montaigne chronicles five months he spent studying the upcoming issue of Public Opinion  Antarcticas penguins and the impact of climate change on them with ecologist Bill Fraser. Quarterly. "While global warming focuses attention on temperature increases, climate change focuses  attention on more general changes," he said. "Thus, an unusually cold day may increase doubts about  global warming more so than about climate change." FOLLOW Green House      on Twitter   The study found the differences were due almost entirely to participants who identified themselves as  Republicans. While 60% of Republicans said they thought climate change was real, only 44% said they  believed in the reality of global warming. In contrast, 86% of Democrats thought climate change was a  serious problem, regardless of wording. "It might be a ceiling effect, given their high level of belief," co­author Sara Konrath, a U­M  psychologist, speculated. "Or it could be that Democrats beliefs about global climate change might be  more crystallized, and as a result, more protected from subtle manipulations." The good news, the study says, is that Americans may not be as polarized on the issue as previously  thought. "When the issue is framed as global warming, the partisan divide is nearly 42 percentage  points. But when the frame is climate change, the partisan divide drops to about 26 percentage points."  said the third author, Norbert Schwarz, who is also affiliated with the U­M Ross Business School and  the Institute of Social Research. As part of the study, the researchers also analyzed the use of the two terms by political think tank  websites. They found that conservative groups tend to call the phenomenon global warming, while  liberal ones call it climate change.