2014, The “year without a summer” in Italy: news media coverage and implications for the climate change debate
- 250 Downloads
In 2014, there was virtually no summer in northern and central-southern Italy. Storm after storm battered the peninsula, triggering floods and landslides from Veneto to Puglia. We studied the coverage of “the year without a summer” in Italy by analyzing the content of 171 news articles from two influential online newspapers. Our software-based analysis enabled us to observe that the two newspapers hardly ever mentioned climate change in their coverage of the weather anomaly that affected Italy in the summer of 2014. This type of coverage is in line with climate science, according to which there is no evidence of a climate change-related influence on summer precipitation patterns in Southern Europe—whereas such influence has been documented for northern Europe. We compared our results with a recent paper, which documented that the same online dailies chose to represent the particularly hot summer of 2012 in Italy as a direct consequence of climate change. We corroborated this comparison also on the basis of a preliminary analysis we performed on the media coverage of the exceptionally hot and arid summer of 2015 in Italy.
KeywordsClimate change Summer 2014 Italy Weather Media TalTac2 Coverage
We would like to acknowledge three anonymous reviewers for their challenging and helpful suggestions that significantly improved the quality of this work.
- Bolasco, S., & Canzonetti, A. (2005). Some insights into the evolution of 1990s’ standard Italian using text mining techniques and automatic categorisation. In M. Vichi, P. Monari, S. Mignani, & A. Montanari (Eds.), New developments in classification and data analysis. Studies in Classification, Data analysis, and Knowledge Organization (pp. 293–302). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bolasco, S., & Della Ratta-Rinaldi, F. (2004).Experiments on semantic categorization of texts: analysis of positive and negative dimension. In: G. Purnelle, C. Fairon, & Dister. A. (Eds.), Les pois des mots (pp. 202–210). Actes des 7 Journées Internationales d’analyse statistique des données textuelles. Louvain: Presse Internationale de Louvain.Google Scholar
- Briffa, K. R., & Jones, P. D. (1816). The climate of Europe during the 1810s with special reference to 1816. In C. R. Harington (Ed.), The year without a summer. World climate in 1816 (pp. 122–135). Ottawa, ON: Canadian Museum of Nature.Google Scholar
- Candela, A. (2015). Storytelling e cambiamenti climatici nella rappresentazione mediatica delle previsioni meteorologiche [Storytelling and climate change in the media representation of weather forecasts]. Studi Culturali, 12(3), 1–18.Google Scholar
- Epson Meteo Centre (2014). Italia: tutti i dati di un’estate anomala [Italy: all the data about the anomalous summer]. http://www.meteo.it/news/estate-anomala-pioggia-e-freddo-al-centro-nord-5733.shtml. Accessed May 12, 2015.
- Epson Meteo Centre (2015). Cronaca meteo: Luglio 2015 [Meteorological conditions in Italy in July 2015]. http://www.meteo.it/news/cronaca-meteo-luglio-2015-6924.shtml. Accessed September 23, 2015.
- European Environmental Agency, EEA (2012). Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012, an indicator-based report. EEA Report No. 12/2012, Copenhagen, Denmark, 304 pp.Google Scholar
- Giuliano, L., & La Rocca, G. (2010). Validity and reliability of the automatic classification of texts according to the negative-positive criterion”. In S. Bolasco, I. Chiari, & L. Giuliano (Eds.), Statistical analysis of textual data, Sapienza University of Rome, Actes des 9èmes JADT, Rome 9–11 June (pp. 61–72). Milan: LED.Google Scholar
- Harington, C. D. (1992). The year without a summer: World climate in 1816. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Museum of Nature.Google Scholar
- Haylock, M. R., Hofstra, N., Klein Tank, A. M. G., Klok, E. J., Jones, P. D., & New, M. (2008). A European daily high-resolution gridded data set of surface temperature and precipitation for 1950–2006. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113(D20), D20119. doi: 10.1029/2008JD010201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Inglisa, M. (2008). La rappresentazione dei cambiamenti climatici nei media italiani [The representation of climate change in the Italian media]. Milan: IBI.Google Scholar
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007). Climate Change 2007: The physical science basis. In S. Solomon, D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K. B. Averyt, M. Tignor & H. L. Miller (Eds.), Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-88009-1.Google Scholar
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2012). Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaptation. A special report of working groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by C. B. Field et al., 52 pp., Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, U. K., and New York.Google Scholar
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014). Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. In: C. B. Field, V. R. Barros, D. J. Dokken, K. J. Mach, M. D. Mastrandrea, T. E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K. L. Ebi,Y. O. Estrada, R. C. Genova, B. Girma,E. S. Kissel, A. N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P. R. Mastrandrea, L. White (Eds.), Summary for policy makers. Contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge (pp. 1–32).Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Jogesh, A. (2012). Handbook of Climate Change and India: Development, Politics and Governance. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Kuha, M. (2009). Uncertainty about causes and effects of global warming in US news coverage before and after Bali. Language and Ecology, 2, 1–18.Google Scholar
- Lamb, H. H. (1995). Climate, history and the modern world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- McCombs, M. (2004). Setting the agenda. The mass media and public opinion. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
- NIMBUS, 2014. http://www.nimbus.it/clima/2014/140804Luglio2014.htm. Accessed February 26, 2016.
- NASA Earth Observations (2014). Global temperature anomalies for July 2014. http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/view.php?datasetId=GISS_TA_M&year=2014. Accessed June 8, 2015.
- Osgood, C. E., Suci, G. J., & Tannenbaum, H. P. (1957). The Measurement of Meaning. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
- Piervitali, E., Conte, M., & Colacino, M. (1997). Summer air temperature anomalies in Europe during the century 1811–1910. Il Nuovo Cimento, 20, 195–208.Google Scholar
- Russo, S., Dosio, A., Graversen, R. G., Sillmann, J., Carrao, H., Dunbar, M. B., et al. (2014). Magnitude of extreme heat waves in present climate and their projection in a warming world. Journal of Geophysical Research, 119, 12500–12512.Google Scholar
- Weart, S. R. (2003). The discovery of global warming. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar