We are delighted to welcome Professor Hayley Jane Fowler, Newcastle University, as the new Specialty Chief Editor of our Interdisciplinary Climate Studies specialty section.
A well-recognized expert in the field of Climate Studies, Professor Fowler, specialises in the analysis of the impacts of climate change and variability on hydrological and water resource systems, widely collaborating with other institutions to examine the recent trends in extremes and future projections and their impacts on flood and drought risks.
A strong believer in open access publishing, Professor Fowler aims to expand both the section’s scope and the number of contributions that we receive and publish each year. “Interdisciplinary Climate Studies can fill an important gap that exists in the publishing of cross- and inter-disciplinary work on climate change and climate impacts research, expanding the scope of the journal to embrace applications of climate science in practice. Since Frontiers in Environmental Science is an interactive, open access journal it can become a forum for stimulating debate on complex issues in climate sciences and impacts.”
Professor Fowler stresses the importance of providing a bridge between climate modelers/scientists and impacts modelers/stakeholders. “I have been involved in a number of studies that provide tools with which stakeholders can use climate scenarios more effectively, and in the translation of climate information through to guidance for engineering design. It is critical that we provide this type of translation to enable the transformation of our societies into a future climate with robust adaptation measures.”
There is consensus amongst climate scientists that global warming is real and anthropogenically-caused, but there is still a huge gap between the science that climate scientists do and the messages that are transmitted and received by stakeholders and the public about this science. With this section, Professor Fowler aims to provide a high-quality forum for a debate around this still controversial issue; “Our changing climate will cause a large number of impacts, particularly around extreme weather events, which tend to be rapid-onset, but also around slow-onset mechanisms such as gradual reductions in water availability. Subject specific journals address many of the “Grand Challenges” in climate science such as the cascading set of mechanisms leading to sea-level rise, cryosphere-atmosphere exchanges, particularly in the Polar regions, the role of clouds and aerosols, the emerging field of bio-aerosols and their role in both atmospheric radiative and cloud condensation processes, the water cycle, and extreme weather and climate events.”
“The challenge is to translate cutting-edge climate science into useful information for societal adaptation, as well as improving the way we communicate and hold discourse on sometimes controversial results from climate studies.” As the new Chief Editor of Interdisciplinary Climate Studies, Professor Fowler would like to highlight opinions of specialists from different areas of expertise and likewise engage public discussion. “Solutions to these issues will require an integrated and interdisciplinary approach.”
She believes that Open Access can be a particularly useful tool in achieving this goal; enabling free dissemination of scientific information contributes to wider understanding of environmental issues and thus, increases chances of finding innovative solutions and accelerated advancements. “Many of the impacts of climate change will, and are, disproportionately affecting the poorest nations of the developing world, where access to traditional journal publications is limited. Publication in Open Access journals allows researchers and practitioners alike to access important research results and information useful for adaptation”. In her specialty section, she welcome contributions “from interdisciplinary research on climate processes and their interactions with other components, such as the hydrosphere or cryosphere, from the past, present and future, through to using climate science to understand future economic and social impacts or engineering solutions”.
To find more about our editorial board and the scope of the Interdisciplinary Climate Studies specialty section, please visit our webpage.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Martin Beniston, retiring Specialty Chief Editor, for the excellent foundations that he has laid down for this section and his continuous support for Frontiers in Environmental Science.