Scientists communicate online via social media about climate change. They engage with other scientists as well as with journalists, civil society and politicians. To what extent and how their language use varies depending on whom they talk to was examined by Stefanie Walter, Ines Lörcher and Michael Brüggemann by combining network and automated content analysis. The full article with all findings is now available online (open access).
While Donald Trump was responsible for most peaks in the Twitter debate on climate change in recent years, 2018 was different: a scientific report trumped Trump in triggering the most intensive Twitter debate related to climate change.
As in previous years, we take a look at the Twitter data our Online Media Monitor (OMM) has gathered over the course of 2018, and describe the events that triggered tweets about climate change, as well as the most important domains that were linked to and the most active accounts in our sample.
The paper “From “Knowledge Brokers” to Opinion Makers: How Physical Presence Affected Scientists’ Twitter Use During the COP21 Climate Change Conference” was published in the International Journal of Communication. This study investigates the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference summit and examines scientists’ social media use by analyzing “digital traces” that scientists left on social media during the summit. Using geolocated tweets, we compare the Twitter use of scientists who attended the conference with those who did not. Combining automated, quantitative, and qualitative content analysis, the study shows how scientists participating in the conference provided live reporting and formed a transnational network. Scientists at the conference and elsewhere engaged in political advocacy, indicating a shift toward a new pattern of hybrid science communication, which includes characteristics that have formerly been attributed to journalism and advocacy.
The full paper is available online.
by Stefanie Walter and Fenja De Silva-Schmidt
Our Online Media Monitor has been collecting tweets for roughly a year now – time for a little retrospection.
The tool provides ongoing monitoring of the transnational online media debate on climate change by searching for related tweets. Tweets are collected if they contain the following hashtags or key words: #climatechange OR “climate change” OR “global warming” OR “Klimawandel”. Additional criteria are that the tweets got at least 5 retweets and contain at least one link.
COP21 in Paris ended on Saturday night with a global pact to reduce emissions and keep global warming below two degrees.
It was the first time that all 196 participating countries agreed on such a deal and as such now is a good time to reflect on the eventful two weeks.
When 196 nations met in Paris for COP21, the event naturally attracted global attention. It also fostered transnational debates on Twitter.
The Internet and more specifically social media enable many-to-many communication without the limitations of physically doing so, e.g having to convene in one geographical location. I wanted to find out the extent to which COP21 had “gone global” on Twitter. Besides this rather specific question, I was also interested in the general impact of COP21 on Twitter.
During the past two weeks of the UN summit, we have read about the problems that civil society actors have faced in making their voices heard.
Following on from the November 13 Paris terror attacks protests and other public events were banned in the city. Under these circumstances, social media represent a means through which civil society organisations can stand up for what they believe in and receive public attention.
In this blog post, I want to take a look at the climate change debate taking place on twitter, and the actors participating in it. During the conference, I have collected tweets using Google Tags based on the hashtag #climatechange. The following preliminary analyses are based on tweets collected between 30th of November and 8th of December 2015.
There’s always much to be said about climate change. During COP21, a critical and potentially future-determining event, there’s even more to be said. We have, for example, already read on this blog how journalists cover the conference, what different climate narratives exist or on how many layers climate change affects us.
What is often forgotten in the public discourse on climate change, however, is how regular people around the world make sense of what’s going on in Paris. The teenager in Newark, the student in Madrid or the businesswoman in Pune. It has often times been reiterated that climate change affects every one of us. In this analysis I will shed some light into how climate change is discussed on the “front page of the internet”: Reddit.
Anyone with a passing interest in climate change will know how intractably difficult international negotiations have proved in the past, reaching a low-point at Copenhagen.
Whatever the outcome this week in Paris, the preponderance of ‘square brackets’ in the latest draft document (signifying those issues still to be resolved) indicates that the task remains troublesome. While a scientific consensus on the basics of climate change has been established, a political consensus has been less forthcoming1,2. One reason for this is that climate change is not a uniquely scientific issue, but a public issue involving science3. We need to explore the public meanings of climate change, and allow these meanings to inform the debate around political responses to climate change. I suggest that one way to scratch the surface of such meanings is through the vibrant use of Twitter around the COP21 event4.
Author’s note: Hello and a very warm welcome to the first entry of the Climate Matters blog. For the two weeks of the Paris Summit (30.11-14.12), this University of Hamburg blog will provide regular, global media summaries using our Online Media Monitor.
We’ll also post daily entries from one or more of our exceptional team of bloggers. We have leading climate researchers, communicators and journalists who each bring unique, critical and analytical perspectives on happenings in Paris. We hope you enjoy!