With a backdrop of cooling towers at a power plant and chemical factory, a miner in the foreground shovels coal in Xiahuayuan, Hebei province, China. Oded Balilty/AP
Containers are seen at Southampton Docks, England. Carbon emissions from goods imported and consumed in the UK are rising more quickly than greenhouse gases are being cut domestically, MPs warned on April 18, 2012. Chris Ison/PA/AP
This handout photo, taken in 2009, shows research assistant professor Katey Walter Anthony igniting trapped methane from under the ice in a pond on the campus at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Massive amounts of greenhouse gases trapped below thawing permafrost will likely vent into the air over the next several decades, accelerating and amplifying global warming, scientists warn. Todd Paris/ University of Alaska/AP
Sonson, 12, looks for recycled items at a landfill in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in this 2011 photo. The hydrocarbon gas methane is produced through several natural and human sources, including decomposition of wastes in landfills, according to a NASA website on climate change. Rodrigo Abd/AP
In this image made with a slow shutter speed, lava flows down the Tungurahua volcano, as seen from Cotalo, Ecuador, in the early hours of Dec. 17, 2012. A small but very important component of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide (CO2) is released through natural processes such as volcano eruptions as well as through human activities, according to NASA. Dolores Ochoa/AP
A tract of Amazon jungle recently cleared by loggers and farmers is seen near Altamira in Para State, November 15, 2012. After years of gains against destruction of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil appears to be suffering an increase in deforestation, which in turn increases greenhouse gases. Stian Bergeland/Rainforest Foundation Norway/Reuters
Mearl McCartney plants soybeans, April 28, 2004, using a no-till drill, south of Bowling Green, Ohio. Planting crops without plowing the soil may help slow global climate change by trapping carbon in soil instead of releasing its byproduct, carbon dioxide into the air, according to researchers. J.D. Pooley/AP
A Holstein cow is shown at Coventry Valley Farm in Coventry, Vt., June 16, 2009. Yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm wants its cows to burp less. Working with 15 Vermont farms to change cows' diets so they emit less methane, it has reduced cow burping by as much as 18 percent. Toby Talbot/AP
The sun sets behind an oil refinery on Rosedale Highway, in Bakersfield, Calif., Aug. 21, 2007. California’s largest greenhouse gas emitters began buying permits in a landmark “cap-and-trade” system meant to control emissions of heat-trapping gases and spur investment in clean technologies as of Nov. 14, 2012. Casey Christie/The Bakersfield Californian/AP
Scientists, policymakers, and activists been holding out hope that an increase in extreme weather events might prompt Americans to embrace policies that curb greenhouse-gas emissions. They may be waiting a long time, a new study suggests.
Americans generally may be more ready to adapt to extreme weather and climate events, which are projected to become more frequent with global warming, than to curb greenhouse-gas emissions driving the long-term warming trend.