Worldwide opinion on climate change as measured via Twitter

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Hardiman, Breen
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MSc in Data Analytics
Dublin Business School
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The last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2014 has concluded that the earth is warming and human influence is the main cause. This has not led to the meaningful action by nations around the world to address the impacts from the report. One would assume that with overwhelming scientific consensus supporting anthropogenic climate change, the time for debate would be over. Yet public opinion on the topic remains divided. Twitter provides access to publicly available data where people express their opinion on a wide variety of topics including climate change. This dissertation explores the differences in public opinion between geographic regions around the world, as expressed on twitter, with 10,006 tweets collected over five days in March, 2020. It further explores the theme of the tweets to understand the variation in topics being discussed under the climate change umbrella in the different geographies. In addition, this paper also examines a number of machine learning models using differing techniques to assess their respective performance in opinion classification. The trends seen point to where future research should focus to expand on the results found in this paper.