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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050762

Mining Social Media to Identify Heat Waves

1
Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
2
Department of Geography and Environment, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 2 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changes in Heatwaves – Past, Present and Future)
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Abstract

Heat waves are one of the deadliest of natural hazards and their frequency and intensity will likely increase as the climate continues to warm. A challenge in studying these phenomena is the lack of a universally accepted quantitative definition that captures both temperature anomalies and associated mortality. We test the hypothesis that social media mining can be used to identify heat wave mortality. Applying the approach to India, we find that the number of heat-related tweets correlates with heat-related mortality much better than traditional climate-based indicators, especially at larger scales, which identify many heat wave days that do not lead to excess mortality. We conclude that social media based heat wave identification can complement climatic data and can be used to: (1) study heat wave impacts at large scales or in developing countries, where mortality data are difficult to obtain and uncertain, and (2) to track dangerous heat wave events in real time. View Full-Text
Keywords: heatwave; heatwave definition; Twitter mining; social media heatwave; heatwave definition; Twitter mining; social media
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Cecinati, F.; Matthews, T.; Natarajan, S.; McCullen, N.; Coley, D. Mining Social Media to Identify Heat Waves. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 762.

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