Published: November 2009
The baseline time span for this database is (publication years)
1999-June 30, 2009 from the third bimonthly update (a 10-year + 6-month
period). The resulting database contained 27,989 (10 years) and 11,428 (2
years) papers; 53,136 authors; 176 nations; 2,494 journals; and 10,801
institutions. See additional information below in the overview &
According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC)1, which was completed in 2007, the
observed increases in temperature around the globe are more than likely due
to human activities, particularly with regard to greenhouse gas emissions,
and the warming and consequent rise in sea level will continue for
centuries, even if greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilized. The
IPCC report stated that there will be more frequent warm spells, heat
waves, and heavy rainfall with a confidence of greater than
90%, and an increase in droughts, tropical cyclones, and extreme high
tides with a confidence of greater than 66%.
Over the years (January 2002 and
September 2006), ScienceWatch.com has
analyzed climate change in the literature, and this month, we're taking
another look at the topic over the past decade and over the past two
years. The initial data pool was created using the search terms "climate
change*" or "global warm*" in titles, abstracts, and keywords of
original articles, reviews, and proceedings papers published between
January 1, 1999 and June 30, 2009. To make the paper lists more targeted
to research specifically dealing with climate change, we restricted the
search further with the same keywords, but only in the titles.
Over the past decade, the effects of climate change on many aspects of life
on Earth have been explored, including terrestrial ecosystem structure and
function, extinction risk, and the future of freshwater resources. One
study showed that climate change was a factor in the disappearance of 20
species of frogs and toads in the Monteverde cloud forest of Costa Rica.
Several papers deal with climate modeling and atmospheric circulation, and
although some conclude that changes in climate and circulation could be in
part due to natural variability, there is also little doubt that
anthropogenic causes also play a role. Highly cited review papers cover
topics including ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change,
human impacts, species distributions, and the effects of climate change on
one of the planet's most delicate ecosystems—coral reefs.
The two-year list covers many of the same topics as the 10-year list, such
as the effects of climate change on coral reefs and attributing climate
change to anthropogenic causes, but it also introduces some new concepts.
These include growing concern over black carbon in the atmosphere,
prioritizing climate change adaptations for food security purposes, the
idea that nitrogen oxide release from agro-biofuel production might negate
the benefit of replacing fossil fuels, and the possibility of developing
programs for assisted migration for animals affected by climate change.
1 Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Methodology: The baseline time span for
this database is (publication years) 1999-June 30, 2009 from the
third bimonthly update (a 10-year + 6-month period). The resulting
database contained 27,989 (10 years) and 11,428 (2 years) papers; 53,136
authors; 176 nations; 2,494 journals; and 10,801 institutions.
Rankings: Once the database was in place, it was used to
generate list of authors, journals, institutions, and nations. Rankings for
author, journal, institution, and country are listed in three ways:
according to total cites, total papers, and total cites/paper*. The paper
thresholds and corresponding percentages used to determine scientist,
institution, country, and journal rankings according to total cites/paper,
and total papers respectively are as follows:
*Unless otherwise specified, all rankings have a
5 paper threshold for all measures.