Climate change science is evolving toward adaptation and mitigation solutions

Danial Khojasteh, Milad Haghani, Abbas Shamsipour, Clara C. Zwack, William Glamore, Robert J. Nicholls, Matthew H. England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synthesizing the extensive and ever-growing climate change literature is becoming increasingly challenging using conventional review processes, yet is crucial to understand key trends, including knowledge and policy related gaps, managing widespread impacts, and prioritizing future efforts. Here, we employ a systematic approach to interrogate ~130,000 international peer-reviewed climate change articles published between 1990 and 2021. We examine the time–space evolution of research topics and international collaborations, providing insights into broad scale climate change research themes, how they are developed and/or are interconnected. Our analyses indicate that significant thematic adjustments have occurred over the past three decades. Whilst all major areas of climate research have grown in output metrics, there has been a relative shift from understanding the physical science basis toward evaluating climate change impacts, adaptation, and mitigation. There has also been a significant internationalization of climate research with the ratio of international over domestic research increasing from 0.05 in 1990 to nearly 0.60 in 2021. These findings reveal a growing need for collective and coupled adaptation-mitigation actions to address climate change. The repeatable method and overall results presented herein can help to complement existing large-scale literature assessments, such as future IPCC reports.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change
Early online date24 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2024


  • biodiversity
  • climate change impacts
  • climate risks
  • ecosystem services
  • global change
  • integrative assessment
  • sustainability

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