ClimateQ&A : bridging the gap between climate scientists and the general public (Papers Track)

Natalia de la Calzada (Ekimetrics); Theo Alves Da Costa (Ekimetrics); Annabelle Blangero (Ekimetrics); Nicolas CHESNEAU (EKIMETRICS)

Poster File Recorded Talk Cite
Natural Language Processing Behavioral and Social Science


This research paper investigates public views on climate change and biodiversity loss by analyzing questions asked to the ClimateQ&A platform. ClimateQ&A is a conversational agent that uses LLMs to respond to queries based on over 14,000 pages of scientific literature from the IPCC and IPBES reports. Launched online in March 2023, the tool has gathered over 30,000 questions, mainly from a French audience. Its chatbot interface allows for the free formulation of questions related to nature*. While its main goal is to make nature science more accessible, it also allows for the collection and analysis of questions and their themes. Unlike traditional surveys involving closed questions, this novel method offers a fresh perspective on individual interrogations about nature. Running NLP clustering algorithms on a sample of 3,425 questions, we find that a significant 25.8% inquire about how climate change and biodiversity loss will affect them personally (e.g., where they live or vacation, their consumption habits) and the specific impacts of their actions on nature (e.g., transportation or food choices). This suggests that traditional methods of surveying may not identify all existing knowledge gaps, and that relying solely on IPCC and IPBES reports may not address all individual inquiries about climate and biodiversity, potentially affecting public understanding and action on these issues. *Note: we use “nature” as an umbrella term for “climate change” and “biodiversity loss”.

Recorded Talk (direct link)