Overall, we find that public understanding of global warming remained relatively stable in 2022:
- Americans who think global warming is happening outnumber those who think it is not happening by a ratio of more than 4 to 1 (70% versus 16%).
- More than half of Americans (58%) understand that global warming is mostly human-caused. About one in four (27%) think it is due mostly to natural changes in the environment.
- A majority of Americans (64%) say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming. This includes about one in four (27%) who say they are “very worried.”
To assess anxiety and depression symptoms arising from people's concerns about global warming, we adapted validated brief screening instruments for general anxiety disorder (the GAD-2) and depression (the PHQ-2). We found that a small, but notable percentage of Americans are experiencing psychological distress because of global warming:
- About one in ten Americans report experiencing symptoms of anxiety because of global warming for several or more days out of the last two weeks. Almost as many report experiencing symptoms of depression because of global warming.