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Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 1367–1380 | Cite as

2014, The “year without a summer” in Italy: news media coverage and implications for the climate change debate

  • Federico Pasquaré MariottoEmail author
  • Corrado Venturini
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Climate change Summer 2014 Italy Weather Media TalTac2 Coverage 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge three anonymous reviewers for their challenging and helpful suggestions that significantly improved the quality of this work.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federico Pasquaré Mariotto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Corrado Venturini
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Theoretical and Applied SciencesInsubria UniversityVareseItaly
  2. 2.Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental SciencesBologna UniversityBolognaItaly

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