When temperatures rise, so does the number of people using Twitter to talk about the weather.
“For more than a decade, people have used social media to express themselves and inform and engage users across the globe. Now, a new study by Florida State University researchers examines the impact rising temperatures have on Twitter activity, and how government officials use the social media tool to warn the general public of heatwave conditions,” reads a statement emailed to MMW.
FSU doctoral student Jihoon Jung and Assistant Professor of Geography Chris Uejio co-authored the paper published in the International Journal of Biometeorology.
The big discovery? Researchers found in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City that as temperatures rose, the number of temperature-related tweets increased.
“If more agencies start to include social media and tap into what people are actually experiencing in real time, they can improve their extreme heat early warning systems,” Uejio said. “We are also hoping that these government groups will start to include more health information in their social media messaging.”
As the official report summary explains, extreme heat early warning systems are comprehensive programs where government officials communicate with the public and take actions such as opening cooling shelters or emergency distress lines that people can call if they have heat-related problems.
“A purpose of this study was to improve those early warning systems,” Uejio said.