Google Trends: Climate Change and Global Warming

This Google trends chart displays the relative number of searches for the terms “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” over the past five years.

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This Google Trends chart displays the relative number of searches for the terms “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” over the past five years. We can interpret a number of interesting things from this visualization. First that searches for both topics seem to grow in the lead up to election dates in early November. Interest then rapidly drops off in the following months.

This could however, be effected by the second trend: seasonality. Searches for both topics seem to be at their lowest amounts during the hottest months of the year. This could be due to the fact that people assume it should be hot during July, and are not surprised or concerned when it is. Another interesting thing to note is that while climate change has become the more scientifically accepted term, global warming has consistently remained the more popular search term.

However, both topics still follow almost identical Trends. I had expected to see search volume for both topics rise with the beginning of every new month, as this is the time when popular scientific journals such as Nature are released, yet there this does not seem to be a significant trend.