Climate Change Anxiety Surges

In a revealing analysis, Google data shared exclusively with BBC 100 Women indicates a significant rise in online searches related to “climate anxiety.” The data, covering the first ten months of 2023, underscores a notable increase of 27 times compared to the same period in 2017. This surge in queries extends beyond English, with Portuguese (+73 times), (simplified) Chinese (+8.5 times), and Arabic (+20%) showing substantial growth. While Nordic countries lead in search volume, the issue of climate anxiety appears to be a global concern.

Gender Disparities in Climate Anxiety

Studies suggest that women are more affected by climate anxiety than men. Research published in the journal Sustainability reveals that female respondents globally reported “greater levels of concern and negative emotions” about climate change. The study, based on a survey of 10,000 people aged 16 to 25 across 10 countries, highlights women’s higher predisposition to discuss and acknowledge their emotional responses to climate change.

Google Trends Insights

Google Trends data, combining “climate anxiety” and “eco-anxiety,” indicates a heightened search interest worldwide. Notably, Nordic countries, including Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, contribute over 40% of global search queries on climate anxiety. Google suggests an increase in queries related to the future of the planet, climate change adaptation, sustainability, and greenhouse gas emissions, reflecting a growing public interest in understanding and addressing climate-related issues.

The Intersection of Climate Change and Mental Health

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledges the mental health impacts of climate change, a topic gaining attention at COP28 in Dubai. Research indicates that women may face greater risks during climate change-related events, including increased vulnerability to violence and trafficking. Indirect impacts, such as early marriages due to economic pressures, highlight the gender-specific implications of climate change on mental health.


As climate change intensifies, concerns about its impact on mental health are gaining prominence. The surge in Google searches related to climate anxiety emphasizes the need for comprehensive discussions and actions to address the emotional toll of climate change globally. COP28 discussions on mental health underscore the recognition of the interconnectedness between environmental challenges and mental wellbeing.

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