By Megan Ranney
2015 is a big year for climate change.
Besides the United Nations Climate Change Conference set to take place in Paris later this year, the U.N. is scheduled to ratify its 17 proposed sustainable development goals in September — several of which aim to preserve the world’s ecosystems and combat climate change.
With Mashable’s sixth annual Social Good Summit just months away, and the United Nations Foundation promoting climate change as its #Action2015 theme this month, we pulled search data from Google Trends to take a closer look at interest in climate change around the world.
The following map shows how countries rank, based on their volume of climate change-related searches over the past 12 months.
Four of the five top countries, Tuvalu, Samoa, Vanuatu and Fiji, are island nations located in the South Pacific, a region that has been notoriously affected by drought and rising sea levels. The top search terms for these countries include “sea level,” “adapting climate change” and “water scarcity.”
The countries with the lowest climate change-related search volume are Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, Russia and Iraq. Syria, where drought played a role in leading to the country’s current civil war, may rank low partly because ongoing fighting has led to intermittent power outages in Damascus and elsewhere.
Globally, there are common themes in the questions people asked about climate change. Its causes and effects, as well as how it can be prevented, are among the world’s top search queries. Also ranking highly are questions about whether climate change is real, and whether or not it’s man-made.