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Mapping the landscape of climate services

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Article
Author/s: 
Francesca Larosa and Jaroslav Mysiak
Environmental Research Letters
Publisher: 
IOP Publishing
Year: 
2019
Climate services are technology-intensive, science-based and user-tailored tools providing timely climate information to a wide set of users. They accelerate innovation, while contributing to societal adaptation. Research has explored the advancements of climate services in multiple fields, producing a wealth of interdisciplinary knowledge spanning from climatology to social sciences. The aim of this paper is to map the global landscape of research on climate services and to identify patterns at individual, affiliation and country level and the structural properties of each community. We use a sample of 358 records published between 1974 and 2018 and we quantitatively analyse them. We provide insights on the main characteristics of the community of climate services through Bibliometrics and we complement these findings with Network Science. We computed the centrality of each actor as derived from a Principal Component Analysis of 42 different measures. By exploring the structural properties of the networks of individuals, institutions and countries we derive implications on the most central agents. Furthermore, we detect brokers in the network, capable of facilitating the information flow and increasing the cohesion of the community. We finally analyse the abstracts of the sample via Content Analysis. We find a progressive shift towards climate adaptation and user-centric visions. Agriculture and Energy are the top mentioned sectors. Anglophone countries and institutions are quantitatively dominant, and they are also relevant in connecting different sides of the network of scholars, by building on established partnerships. We find that nodes facilitating the diffusion of information flows (the brokers) are not necessarily the most central, but they have a high degree of interdisciplinarity facilitating interactions of different communities.
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