Accepted Paper:

Mapping Climate Change Discourses in Twitter  
Sabine Niederer (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

This paper analyses climate change-related Twitter messages (or ‘tweets’) to map the state of climate change debates online.

Paper long abstract:

This paper analyses climate change-related Twitter messages (or 'tweets') to map the state of climate change debates online, and consider four related climate change discourses: adaptation (to climate change), skepticism (towards the man-made origins and unprecedentedness of climate change), mitigation (the prevention of further climate change by minimizing its causes), and conflict (here taken to mean political unrest relatable to climate change vulnerability).

Here, I capture a year's worth of English-language climate-related tweets, exploring the network of climate change content. Twitter evidently does not produce 'climate science' but instead both puts scientific research into circulation while enabling up-close, located and platform-literate engagements that assess the resonance of sub-discourses within the broader online discussion of climate change. This paper does so in two mappings.

First, so-called keyword profiles, zoom-in views on particular discourses within the broader issue of climate change, enable a comparative view on the main actors and most-shared content per discourse. Secondly, a visualization of hashtag clusters that are dedicated to sub-issues, casualties and events present a time slice presenting the status quo of climate change, one that is not merely stating "what's happening" but rather serves as a progress report of the issue. Here, a close reading of the data shows that the tweets address both where we are with climate change adaptation and what is at stake. Combined, these case studies aim to unpack and give analytic complexity to important discourses within the issue of climate change.

Panel P32
Visualizing Climate - Changing Futures?