Psychological stress of environmental decline

Other Names:
Psycho-terratic disorders
Climate grief
Global dread
Environmental despair

Public concern over environmental change is at a record high. Doomsday scenarios are capturing the headlines at an accelerating rate.

Eco-anxiety is defined by the Climate Psychology Alliance as “heightened emotional, mental or somatic distress in response to dangerous changes in the climate system".

“Ecological grief” has been described as “The grief felt in relation to experienced or anticipated ecological losses, including the loss of species, ecosystems, and meaningful landscapes due to acute or chronic environmental change".


A Yale survey (Climate Change in the American Mind: March 2018) shows that 62% of participants said they were "somewhat" worried when it comes to climate. That number is up from 49% in 2010. The number of those who claimed to be "very" worried was 21%, which is double the rate of a similar study conducted in 2015.  Another 2018 survey showed that 70% of people in the US say that they are worried about climate change, or that they feel helpless (51%).

A survey in January 2020 found that 2/3 of young people in the UK are experiencing eco-anxiety.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 15: Life on Land
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
08.11.2020 – 09:07 CET