Study: Climate Change is Making People Angrier Online

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; According to a study, hate speech increases on social media when temperatures rise above 30°C (86F).

Climate Change Is Making People Angrier Online

Hate speech increases on social media when temperatures rise above 30°C (86F), new research says.

By Laura Millan Lombrana
13 September 2022 at 20:47 GMT+10

Climate change is making us angrier online. A lot angrier.

Hateful comments spike on social media when temperatures rise above 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit), researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research have found.

“It’s an indicator of how well people can adapt to high temperatures,” said Annika Stechemesser, lead author of the study published in The Lancet Planetary Health earlier this month. “If temperatures go too hot or too cold, we found that there’s an increase in online hate speech, no matter the socioeconomic differences, religion or political beliefs.” 

Global warming of about 1.1°C on average since pre-industrial times has unleashed all sorts of extreme weather events across the world. This summer, drought and a string of heat waves hit Europe, China and the US. For humans, heat is associated with psychiatric hospitalizations, increased rates of suicide and more domestic violence, according to research. 

And aggressive behavior online has been linked to violence offline too. Incensed posts have led to more violence toward minorities, including mass shootings, lynchings and ethnic cleansing, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank.

Read more:

The findings of the study;

Temperature impacts on hate speech online: evidence from 4 billion geolocated tweets from the USA

Annika Stechemesser, MSc , Prof Anders Levermann, PhD , Leonie Wenz, PhD 

Open Access Published:September, 2022DOI:

The prevalence of hate tweets was lowest at moderate temperatures (12 to 21°C) and marked increases in the number of hate tweets were observed at hotter and colder temperatures, reaching up to 12·5% (95% CI 8·0–16·5) for cold temperature extremes (–6 to –3°C) and up to 22·0% (95% CI 20·5–23·5) for hot temperature extremes (42 to 45°C). Outside of the moderate temperature range, the hate tweets also increased as a proportion of total tweeting activity. The quasi-quadratic shape of the temperature–hate tweet curve was robust across varying climate zones, income quartiles, religious and political beliefs, and both city-level and state-level aggregations. However, temperature ranges with the lowest prevalence of hate tweets were centred around the local temperature mean and the magnitude of the increases in hate tweets for hot and cold temperatures varied across the climate zones.

Read more:

Interestingly the study finding doesn’t seem to say quite what the Conversation said. The study finding appears to be that hate tweets are lowest when temperatures are closest to the mean temperature for the region, which suggests people feel least distressed when temperatures feel normal for their locale. The variation in intensity of this effect in different climate zones is also intriguing.

Even if the study methodology and conclusions are correct, and that is a big if, this does not appear to imply global warming would cause everyone to become angrier. Global warming is gradual on a human timescale. Most people who move to warm places like Florida don’t stay permanently angry, they adapt – just as people would adapt to any gradual changes in the local climate. And if they feel too warm, they can just switch on the air conditioner, providing energy remains affordable.

via Watts Up With That?

September 13, 2022 at 08:42PM

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