Re: Google Trending The Webosphere

Dave Ng has a fun post below comparing Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Climate:

If we do expand the scale so that you can see the peaks for climate change, this is what you get:

googltrends2.jpgIt would be interesting to see if web interest is maybe dictated by seasonal events (like certain weather examples)

What’s also interesting about searching climate change is, Australia always tops the country list for “most searches” of climate (blue), climate change (red), and global warming (orange):

country climate trends

So, I decided to dig a bit deeper into Australia, and determine if indeed there exists a seasonal trend. Here’s what I found:

australia climate trends

Interestingly, every year there is a lull in traffic in mid-April, July, late August and December (or conversely, increased traffic in all other months). The lull in December is likely an artifact, however, given the huge increase in traffic searching for Christmas-related items is probably diluting the signals from terms searched (as well as other terms, like science, arts, sustainability, and biodiversity – see here).

Another interesting trend to note is the increased search of both climate change and global warming with respect to climate, which remained constant. However, all three follow a distinct pattern, thus indicating the motivation for searching these terms shares a common thread.

What might this commonality be? Well, I typed in a number of parameters into google with no luck: “weather” had way too many hits compared to these terms to and did not show a similar pattern, while “storm” showed no correlation with these terms whatsoever. However, searching “rain” proved fruitful:

climate and rain google trend

Now, it isn’t perfectly correlated – but the general peaks and valleys all line up except for December of 2006. It would seem, then, that rainy weather (either too much, or lack thereof) might have Australians concerned about climate…

Any ideas why?

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: