Global warming is once again becoming a hot topic for Americans, new data suggests.

A U.S. national survey released Tuesday finds that public concern about global warming is increasing, with public belief that it is occurring rising to 61 per cent, up from 57 per cent since January. And 50 per cent of Americans believe the phenomenon is caused by people  — an increase of three points.

Fifty-three per cent of respondents now worry about the impact global warming will have (an increase of three points) and 63 per cent believe it will affect them personally (an increase of five points).

Researchers believe that with a pickup in the economy and renewed consumer confidence, Americans' thoughts are returning to environmental issues. "The BP oil disaster is also reminding the public of the dark side of dependence on fossil fuels, which may be increasing support for clean energy policies," said Anthony Leisorowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, in a release.

The survey was conducted by researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities.

The survey also found that 77 per cent of respondents support the regulation of carbon dioxide as a pollutant; 87 per cent want more funding for research into renewable energy sources and 83 per cent support tax rebates for consumers who purchase fuel-efficient vehicles and solar panels.

The survey was conducted using an online panel of 1,024 American adults aged 18 and older between May 14 and June 1, 2010. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.