Comment | Published:

Mental health risk and resilience among climate scientists

Nature Climate Changevolume 8pages260261 (2018) | Download Citation

Awareness of the threats to mental health posed by climate change leads to questions about the potential impacts on climate scientists because they are immersed in depressing information and may face apathy, denial and even hostility from others. But they also have sources of resilience.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Crimmons, A. et al. The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment (United States Global Change Research Program, 2016);

  2. 2.

    Manning, C. & Clayton, S. in Psychology and Climate Change: Human Perceptions, Impacts, and Responses (eds Clayton, S. & Manning, C.) (Elsevier, in press).

  3. 3.

    Bradley, G., Reser, J., Glendon, A. I. & Ellul, M. in Stress and Anxiety: Applications to Social and Environmental Threats, Psychological Well-Being, Occupational Challenges, and Developmental Psychology (eds Kaniasty, K. et al.) 33–42 (Logos, 2014).

  4. 4.

    Searle, K. & Gow, K. Int. J. Clim. Change Strateg. Manage. 2, 362–379 (2010).

  5. 5.

    Cunsolo Willox, A. et al. Reg. Environ. Change 15, 169–182 (2015).

  6. 6.

    Richardson, J. H. When the end of human civilization is your day job. Esquire (7 July 2015).

  7. 7.

    Lee, M. R. & Blanchard, T. C. Am. Behav. Sci. 56, 24–47 (2012).

  8. 8.

    Cope, M. R., Slack, T., Blanchard, T. C. & Lee, M. R. Soc. Sci. Res. 42, 872–881 (2013).

  9. 9.

    Drury, J. & Reicher, S. J. Soc. Issues 65, 707–725 (2009).

  10. 10.

    Hope, E., Velez, G., Offidani-Bertrand, C. & Keels, M. Cultur. Divers. Ethn. Minor. Psychol. 24, 26–39 (2017).

  11. 11.

    Christens, B. D., Peterson, N. A. & Speer, P. W. Health Educ. Behav. 38, 339–347 (2011).

  12. 12.

    Bamberg, S., Rees, J. & Schulte, M. in Psychology and Climate Change: Human Perceptions, Impacts, and Responses (eds Clayton, S. & Manning, C.) (Elsevier, in press).

  13. 13.

    Ojala, M. Environ. Educ. Res. 18, 625–642 (2012).

  14. 14.

    Fritze, J. G., Blashki, G. A., Burke, S. & Wiseman, J. Int. J. Ment. Health Syst. 2, 13–22 (2008).

  15. 15.

    Fraser, J., Pantesco, V., Plemons, K., Gupta, R. & Rank, S. J. Ecopsychol. 5, 70–79 (2013).

Download references

Author information


  1. The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH, USA

    • Susan Clayton


  1. Search for Susan Clayton in:

Competing interests

The author has no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Susan Clayton.

About this article

Publication history


Issue Date


Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing