Climate change is a broad topic that has been discussed extensively during the last decade. The main hypothesis was that Donald Trump had an impact on this discussion about the topic, and the research set out to see if our claim was true.

Google US was chosen as focus and searched for an answer, with the general query "climate change". In the 90 days prior to our research the interest spiked in two precise days: 27th September 2016 and 10th November 2016.

These spikes were located after two important events tied to the current election in the United States: the first presidential debate and the election of Donald Trump.

Looking on Google, the overwhelming majority of the content presented to the user was composed by news. The news outlets were then chosen as focus as the following analysis.


With one of the two introductory questions of the project, the aim was to investigate if the interest on climate change evolved through time and if there was a connection with Donald Trump. Looking for an answer to this claim, the search took place on Google Trends. Since the object of the investigation was clear, the research terms were quite specific. With the query “climate change” the search was conducted in the last 90 days only in the US. From the trendline we can see that the interest spikes in two specific moments.
To better understand what type of sites people saw searching with the same query in those two days, we used Google advanced search. The first page results were collected and divided in three categories: adwords, news and general websites. These first findings were then compared with a generic search on Google, without time filters.


Data source: Google Trends, Google

Google Trends lets the user download raw data about the interest of a given query: that's what we used to visualize the trend in the last 90 days.

As for the first page of Google (US), we manually scraped each source from each link, categorizing it in three areas: adwords, general websites (such as the scientific community websites, like NASA's), and news outlets.