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Responding to Climate Change – an update

How are we reacting to climate change, why, and how might we act to mitigate it? Today we are updating PLOS’ Responding to Climate Change Collection, coinciding with a chance to  ask climate researcher and activist James Hansen about his work. Launched in June 2014, the PLOS RtCC collection aims to reveal human responses to climate change – be it disagreement, despair, prevention, or adaptation – and already contains over 30 papers.

Ten research articles are now being added, including:

Two of the additions – “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change as a Gateway Belief: Experimental Evidence” and “Simple Messages Help Set the Record Straight about Scientific Agreement on Human­Caused Climate Change” – are  reviewed in depth by blogger Sam Illingworth.

The  Responding to Climate Change Collection began in December 2013 with James Hansen and colleagues’ PLOS ONE paper “Assessing ‘Dangerous Climate Change’:  Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature”, a call to action on climate change through cohesive, unified steps to reduce fossil fuel emissions to pre­industrial era levels.

Later today, James Hansen will be taking part in PLOS’ ongoing Reddit Science AMA series – to find how you can ‘Ask Him Anything’, see  this blog from  PLOS Ecology Field Reports.

In response to Hansen et al.’s paper, PLOS ONE  called for submissions in atmospheric chemistry, alternative energy research, geoengineering, science policy, behavioural psychology, and ecosystem and habitat conservation, focussing on research to reduce fossil fuel emissions, return the Earth to a state of energy balance, and climate and conservation management strategies that counter the impact of climate change and preserve natural habitats. Over the 19 months since the call for papers, PLOS has received and published work in many varied areas of climate and behavioural science. The impact has been great, not only from the initial “Assessing ‘Dangerous Climate Change’” article, but  also from the breadth of research published in this coalescing research field.

By choosing to publish their research in an Open Access journal, climate researchers’ work is much more accessible to fellow scientists, policymakers, and the public. Allowing their work to be reused under the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC­BY) means progress in this critical field can be faster and unrestricted by permission barriers. PLOS welcomes more submissions in this field. For more information on the Responding to Climate Change Collection, contact  collections@plos.org.

POST UPDATE: Join/read the 8/12 James Hansen & Colleagues ‘PLOS Science Wednesday’ redditscience AMA  here.

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