Twitter might have a better read on floods than NOAA

beSpacific 2020-02-12

The Verge: “Frustrated tweets led scientists to believe that tidal floods along the East Coast and Gulf Coast of the US are more annoying than official tide gauges suggest. Half a million geotagged tweets showed researchers that people were talking about disruptively high waters even when government gauges hadn’t recorded tide levels high enough to be considered a flood. Capturing these reactions on social media can help authorities better understand and address the more subtle, insidious ways that climate change is playing out in peoples’ daily lives. Coastal flooding is becoming a bigger problem as sea levels rise, but a study published recently in the journal Nature Communications suggests that officials aren’t doing a great job of recording that.

The Verge spoke with Frances Moore, lead author of the new study and a professor at the University of California, Davis. This isn’t the first time that she’s turned to Twitter for her climate research. Her previous research also found that people tend to stop reacting to unusual weather after dealing with it for a while — sometimes in as little as two years. Similar data from Twitter has been used to study how people coped with earthquakes and hurricanes…”