Actor Leonardo DiCaprio's call for action on climate change during his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards ceremony drew more attention to the issue than the Paris Agreement in 2015 or Earth Day, a new study reports.

According to a study titled "Big Data Sensors of Organic Advocacy: The Case of Leonardo DiCaprio and Climate Change" published in Plos, DiCaprio's acceptance speech for his Best Actor award didn't cause a huge increase in media coverage of climate change. However, it did cause Twitter activity about climate change to increase 636 percent.

"The number of tweets including the phrases 'climate change' or 'global warming' on the day of DiCaprio's speech were at the highest recorded value in our database with more than 250,000 tweets on that day," according to the report, co-authored by University of California San Diego School of Medicine researcher Eric Leas and San Diego State University Grad uate School of Public Health researcher John Ayers.

About 36 million people watched the Academy Awards in February. DiCaprio won Best Actor for his role in "The Revenant" and is one of the most high-profile activists for action on climate change in the entertainment world.

During his speech, the actor told the audience that the filming of the movie was complicated by climate change.

"Making 'The Revenant' was about man's relationship to the natural world. A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history," DiCaprio said.

"Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow," he added.

During the speech, DiCaprio also told political leaders to "stop procrastinating" on climate change policy. Using that platform to push that message had a noticeable increase in how Twitter and Google users sought out information about climate change in subsequent days, according to the study.

The study reported that Google searches for "climate change" also increased in the hours and days following DiCaprio's speech.

In just the first hour following his speech, Google searches for climate change increased 261 percent and were up 78 percent on the day of the speech. The increase in searches remained high for days, with searches still up 39 percent above normal four days later.

Searches for "global warming" were even higher, with a 210 percent increase the day of DiCaprio's speech and a 42 percent increase four days later. In total, there were 320,680 Google searches for either global warming or climate change in the days following DiCaprio's speech.

In comparison, DiCaprio's speech caused 3.2 times as much Twitter activity as the conference that concluded with the Paris Agreement in December, the world's first international climate change agreement, and 5.3 times as much Twitter activity as Earth Day.

The study argued that celebrity grandstanding can reach far more people than traditional media strategies of spreading scientific information.

"The example of DiCaprio and others demonstrates that dissemination can occur completely outside the context of a campaign and can even generate more public engagement than planned events," the study noted.

"Top-down frameworks are useful but communication strategies should be adapted to include a greater emphasis on bottom-up approaches where experts dedicate more resources to listening, dialoguing and empowering the public who themselves can become advocates for change."