Researchers analyzed more than 7.7 billion geotagged tweets sent from 190 countries between 2015 and 2021. They used a language analysis tool to measure the sensitivity of tweets to daily weather data.
Compared with normal weather days, the researchers found that “both extreme heat and extreme precipitation events worsen emotional states online globally, raising the rates of posts with negative phrases and also lowering the proportion of posts with positive words.” They also determined that people tweeted more negatively during torrential rains and heatwaves, when daylight saving time was shortened.
These results may not come as a surprise. But the researchers suggest that the findings show that adapting to climate change is difficult, as the findings show consistency in tweets from more than 43,000 countries. That study was already started to explore the links between climate change and mental health in the first place.
Weather directly affects social media posts!
“As of now, we see little evidence of adaptation in the way these new global extreme weather events affect human emotions,” says Minor, a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University and co-author of the study.
Obradovich, chief scientist and co-author of a nonprofit called The Regeneration Project, also found that there was a big shift in emotions during a record-breaking heatwave in the Pacific Northwest and southwestern Canada in 2021. The researchers showed that negative emotions in tweets increased tenfold compared to the typical heatwave in the United States. Minor and colleagues plan to continue monitoring social media sentiment in the face of more extreme weather events; Research shows that it will occur more frequently amid rising global temperatures.