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ClimateMedia: Understanding climate change phenomena and impacts from digital technology and social media

ClimateMedia: Understanding climate change phenomena and impacts from digital technology and social media
Climate change is amongst the most striking environmental challenges of modern times, producing major socio-ecological impacts with economic repercussions. More dynamic, automated, and social-oriented observatory systems are needed to tackle climate change in order to consider adequate mitigation and adaptation responses. Online social media data has been seen as an opportunity to get insights on which climate phenomena and impacts people perceive of highest relevance and concern. Concurrently, the information created and shared by social media users may not always align with that from scientific facts and observations, bringing many challenges to climate change political decision-making and actions. The project ClimateMedia aims: (1) to understand the extent to which climate change phenomena (e.g., extreme weather, wildfires, floods) are reported by social media users, (2) how those users perceive climatic impacts on several social-ecological dimensions (e.g., health, conservation, economic production), and (3) how divergent/congruent such reports and perceptions from social media users are to the scientific evidence published on the theme. The project will adopt recent technological advances in artificial intelligence algorithms, namely from Natural Language Processing, to explore textual content about climate change from social media data and the scientific literature from Portugal. By understanding how divergent or aligned social media users’ perceptions are from/with scientific facts, outputs from this project will constitute a tool for practitioners to redirect awareness actions and establish appropriate political goals for the people. This is part of the visions shared by several initiatives on climate change at global (e.g., United Nations’ Sustainable Goals for Climate Action 2030), regional (e.g., European Climate action and the EU Green Deal), and national (Portuguese Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation extended to 2025 and the Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality 2050) levels. Ultimately, ClimateMedia serves as a proof-of-concept determining the feasibility of a future development of a social observatory system of climate change using social media information.
Team
Principal Investigator
Ana Sofia Vaz

Ana Sofia Vaz

Position: Post-Doc Researcher
Groups:
INVASIONS, LACOS21
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Researchers
Fernanda Alves Martins

Fernanda Alves Martins

Position: Research Assistant
Groups:
APPLECOL, LACOS21
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Hugo Rebelo

Hugo Rebelo

Position: Auxiliary Researcher
Group:
BATECO
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Students
Ana Sofia Cardoso

Ana Sofia Cardoso

Position: PhD Student
Groups:
INVASIONS, LACOS21
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Technical Staff
Catarina da Silva

Catarina da Silva

Position: Research Technician
Group:
INVASIONS
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Javier Martinez Arribas

Javier Martinez Arribas

Position: Data Technician
Groups:
APPLECOL, LACOS21
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Other members
Alípio Jorge (DCC-FCUP); João Santos (UTAD); Domingo Alcaraz-Segura (Universidad de Granada); Siham Tabik (Universidad de Granada).
State
Ongoing
Proponent Institution
Associação BIOPOLIS (CIBIO-InBIO)
Funded by
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)
Dates
2023 (Duration: 1 year)
Participant Institutions
CITAB-UTAD, Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, Universidad de Granada, Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Tecnologia e Ciência (INESC-Tec)
Reference
2022.06965.PTDC
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