Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Climate change on Twitter: topics, communities and conversations about the 2013 IPCC report

Pearce, Warren; Holmberg, Kim; Hellsten, Iina; Nerlich, Brigitte

Authors

Warren Pearce

Kim Holmberg

Iina Hellsten

Brigitte Nerlich



Abstract

In September 2013 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its first comprehensive assessment of physical climate science in six years, constituting a critical event in the societal debate about climate change. This paper analyses the nature of this debate in one public forum: Twitter. Using webometric methods, tweets were analyzed to discover the hashtags used when people tweeted about the IPCC report, and how Twitter users formed communities around their conversational connections. In short, the paper presents the topics and tweeters at this particular moment in the climate debate.
The most used hashtags related to themes of science, geographical location and social issues connected to climate change. Particularly noteworthy were tweets connected to Australian politics, US politics, geoengineering and fracking. Three communities of Twitter users were identified. Researcher coding of Twitter users showed how these varied according to geographical location and whether users were convinced or critical of climate science or policy in their Twitter usage. Overall, users were most likely to converse with users holding similar views. However, two communities displayed significant links between climate convinced and critical users, suggesting that those engaged in the climate debate were exposed to views contrasting with their own.

Citation

Pearce, W., Holmberg, K., Hellsten, I., & Nerlich, B. Climate change on Twitter: topics, communities and conversations about the 2013 IPCC report. Manuscript submitted for publication

Journal Article Type Article
Deposit Date Dec 17, 2013
Journal PLoS ONE
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords climate change, twitter, social media, social networks, ipcc, climate scepticism, climate scientists, science communication
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/2236
Publisher URL http://www.plosone.org/
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0

Files


Pearce_et_al_ClimateChangeTwitter.pdf (1.1 Mb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0





Downloadable Citations