Citation: Archer E, Males J (2023) PLOS Climate: Our first year. PLOS Clim 2(2): e0000170. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pclm.0000170
Published: February 22, 2023
Copyright: © 2023 Archer, Males. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.
Competing interests: JM is the Executive Editor of PLOS Climate. EA is the Editor-in Chief of PLOS Climate.
It has been a turbulent year for the global climate on many levels. The dramatic impacts of climate change on the earth systems, including extreme weather events, continue to manifest . Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions, economic pressures, and stretched energy systems have been increasingly evident, often interacting in challenging ways. Whilst COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh made only marginal progress in abating greenhouse gas emissions, it did deliver a significant and hopeful advance on loss and damage [2, 3]. This year has also been notable for a growing recognition of the need for interlinked action on climate and biodiversity, for example through incorporation of a climate target in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework , and of the need for integrated research and policy programmes to address the nexuses between climate and food, water and security.
Against this global backdrop, PLOS Climate has had an extraordinary first year as a new venue for peer-reviewed climate research. Since our first articles were published in February 2022 and we set ourselves a crucial mission , we’ve been delighted to see the journal develop into a flourishing, energetic worldwide community of authors, reviewers and editors. We have published articles across our broad and multidisciplinary scope, from basic climate science through to research on policy and governance at local to global scales. This wealth of original research has been accompanied by a series of timely Reviews, and by thoughtfully-written Opinions that have addressed current issues in climate science, policy and practice, and identified priorities for future research.
We’ve also been driving our mission forward by reaching out to those global and regional communities we aim to serve, whether that be directly, or through partners and collaborators across the world. We will continue to prioritise making PLOS Climate a truly inclusive home for research from all regions. It has been a privilege to connect with researchers and practitioners working across the climate space at conferences, through visits to institutions and online events, and to hear direct from them how we can best meet their needs. We have particularly enjoyed opportunities to speak to early career researchers and hear their particular perspectives—not just on the substance of their research, but also on their experiences in academia and publishing. We look forward to partnering closely with them in future activities.
One of our key areas of focus has been the interface between research and policy, and we have been working hard with our editorial board to explore ways in which PLOS Climate can connect scientific research with policy- and decision-makers, and provide a forum for discussion of research-policy interactions. This will remain an important priority for the journal in 2023 and beyond, and we hope to continue building a network of connections with stakeholders across this interface.
Furthering Open Science is a fundamental part of PLOS Climate’s mission, and we have relished the opportunity to discuss prospects for enhancing openness in climate research, including in a number of conference sessions we have either organised or contributed to this year. Just recently, we announced a new integration with the preprint server EarthArXiv (https://eartharxiv.org/), which allows PLOS Climate authors to opt-in to have their manuscript automatically posted as a preprint on EarthArXiv when they submit to the journal (https://latitude.plos.org/2023/01/eartharxiv-live/). We hope this facility will encourage more widespread adoption of preprinting, which has a number of tangible benefits for authors and the wider community (https://plos.org/open-science/preprints/).
As we position PLOS Climate as a venue for the assessment and dissemination of potential solutions to era-defining planetary challenges, we could not have ignored the vital connections between climate and health, water, and sustainability. We have therefore been delighted to work with our sister journals within the PLOS portfolio to convene a number of projects, including calls for papers, on vital interdisciplinary issues. We have also seen the Latitude blog (https://latitude.plos.org/) take off as a platform for discussion and debate on topics across a wide range of environmental issues.
Looking ahead, we have a busy calendar of activities planned for this year, and we are setting ambitious goals to keep our sights set on delivering against PLOS Climate’s important mission. We are excited to continue to expand the part we play in building a rigorous evidence base for tackling the global climate crisis.
Finally, we are deeply grateful to our editorial board, whose insights and enthusiasm have been a constant source of support and inspiration for us, and one of the journal’s core strengths. We look forward to expanding our editorial community and ensuring that an ever wider range of perspectives and experiences is reflected in our conversations and priorities.
WMO. State of the Global Climate 2022: WMO Provisional report. WMO. 2022. Available from https://library.wmo.int/index.php?lvl=notice_display&id=22156#.Y9zWsXbP02x
- 2. Harris PG (2023) COP27: From preventing dangerous climate change to salving loss and damage. PLOS Clim 2(1): e0000150.
- 3. Pflieger G (2023) COP27: One step on loss and damage for the most vulnerable countries, no step for the fight against climate change. PLOS Clim 2(1): e0000136.
- 4. Archer E, Obura D, Leadley P, Arneth A, Smith P, Mori AS (2022) Establishing a climate target within the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. PLOS Clim 1(12): e0000106.
- 5. Archer E, Males J (2022) PLOS Climate: A new, inclusive home for open climate research. PLOS Clim 1(2): e0000015.