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#Climatechange vs. #Globalwarming: Characterizing Two Competing Climate Discourses on Twitter with Semantic Network and Temporal Analyses

1
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, Wuxi 214000, China
3
School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
4
Strategy and Innovation Department, Rennes School of Business, 35065 Rennes, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17031062
Received: 5 December 2019 / Revised: 20 January 2020 / Accepted: 3 February 2020 / Published: 7 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Psychological Impacts of Global Climate Change)
Distinct perceptions of the global climate is one of the factors preventing society from achieving consensus or taking collaborative actions on this issue. The public has not even reached an agreement on the naming of the global concern, showing preference for either “climate change” or “global warming”, and few previous studies have addressed these two competing discourses resulting from distinct climate concerns by differently linking numerous climate concepts. Based on the 6,662,478 tweets containing #climatechange or #globalwarming generated between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2018, we constructed the semantic networks of the two discourses and examined their evolution over the decade. The findings indicate that climate change demonstrated a more scientific perspective and showed an attempt to condense climate discussions rather than diffuse the topic by frequently addressing sub-topics simultaneously. Global warming triggered more political responses and showed a greater connection with phenomena. Temporal analysis suggests that traditional political discussions were gradually fading in both discourses but more recently started to revive in the form of discourse alliance in the climate change discourse. The associations between global warming and weather abnormalitiessuddenly strengthened around 2012. Climate change is becoming more dominant than global warming in public discussions. Although two discourses have shown more similarities in the rank order of important climate concepts, apparent disagreements continue about how these concepts are associated. These findings lay the groundwork for researchers and communicators to narrow the discrepancy between diverse climate perceptions. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; global warming; semantic network analysis; temporal analysis; public discourse; Twitter climate change; global warming; semantic network analysis; temporal analysis; public discourse; Twitter
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Shi, W.; Fu, H.; Wang, P.; Chen, C.; Xiong, J. #Climatechange vs. #Globalwarming: Characterizing Two Competing Climate Discourses on Twitter with Semantic Network and Temporal Analyses. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1062.

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