The Rise and Fall of Global Newspaper Coverage of Global Warming and Climate Change


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Joe Romm of ThinkProgess/Climate presented a graph yesterday that showed the dwindling newspaper coverage of global warming and climate change.  See his post Silence of the Lambs: Climate Coverage Drops At Major U.S. Newspapers, Flatlines on TV.  The graph was produced by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado.  See their webpage here.  U.S. Newspaper coverage of global warming and climate change peaked in 2006 and 2007 with the release of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and the IPCC/Gore nomination and award of the Nobel Peace Prize. Coverage has been declining ever since.

Worldwide newspaper coverage of global warming and climate change shows a curiously different curve.

Worldwide, newspaper coverage peaked in December 2009. And what does that coincide with?  CLIMATEGATE!

World Newspaper Coverage

It should go without saying, if global warming enthusiasts would like additional newspaper coverage, someone at one of the research facilities, or a hacker, will have to release another round of emails that show climate scientists behaving badly.

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UPDATE:  A couple of bloggers suggested that the 2009 COP climate conference in Copenhagen may have been the cause of spike in 2009. The following gif animation compares screencaps of Google Trends for “Climate Conference”, “COP conference” and “Climategate”.  The conferences occur annually but there was unusually high interest in the one in 2009 (that trailed Climategate by a few weeks).

Google Trends - Climate Conference v COP Conference v Climategate

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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7 Responses to The Rise and Fall of Global Newspaper Coverage of Global Warming and Climate Change

  1. Bob Tisdale says:

    This is a quick post that shouldn’t require me to answer lots of questions. I may be a little slow to moderate comments, but I’ll check back around lunchtime.

    Enjoy your day.

  2. Thanks Bob, quite interesting.
    There is also an attention hiatus!

  3. Brian H says:

    What do the letters in the second graph refer to?

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    Brian H: When you’re at the Google trends website, if you hold your cursor over the letter, a small window appears with an example of the use of the search term, citing the newspaper name and the headline itself.

  5. Brian H says:

    That’s fine, but on your page the GIF animation is way too fast for any of that. Where’s the Google Trends link? Noseeum.

  6. Bob Tisdale says:

    Brian H: I have to sign in at Google Trends, so a link I provided may not work for you.

    Please Google “google trends”, then run the searches on your own to determine. Then you can see what’s attached to the letters. You’ll be disappointed.


  7. Pingback: Studie: Interesse am Klimawandel erlahmt weltweit - Donner und Doria

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