Structure and content of the discourse on climate change in the blogosphere: The big picture

Dag Elgesem*, Lubos Steskal, Nicholas Diakopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Based on the texts of 1.3 million blog posts and the structure of the links between the blogs in which these posts appeared, this study presents an analysis of the discourse on climate change in the English-language blogosphere. Our approach combines community detection with probabilistic topic modeling to show how topics related to climate change are discussed across various parts of the blogosphere. We find that there is one community of predominantly climate skeptical blogs but several accepter communities. The topic analysis reveals a series of issues that are characteristic of the climate change discourse in the blogosphere. Two topics, one related to climate change science and one related to climate change politics, are particularly important for characterizing the discourse. We also find that the distribution of topics over the communities cuts across the divide between skeptics and non-skeptics (accepters) and that there are differences in the patterns of interactions between the skeptics and different groups of accepters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-188
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironmental Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015


  • blogosphere
  • climate change discourse
  • community detection
  • skeptics
  • topic modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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