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Science of cloud and climate science: An analysis of the literature over the past 50 years
  • Sylvia Sullivan,
  • Corinna Hoose
Sylvia Sullivan
University of Arizona

Corresponding Author:sylvia@email.arizona.edu

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Corinna Hoose
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
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Clouds pose a particularly difficult challenge within Earth’s climate system. They are relatively small in spatiotemporal scale but still have a strong influence on radiative fluxes, global circulation, and precipitation patterns. Increasing research attention has been devoted to them over the past 50 years, and we give a summary of the resulting body of scientific literature in this introductory chapter. Articles on clouds and climate are doubling every 8 years, a rate about twice that of scientific publications generally. This expanding number of publications correlates with more citations, but citation rates have also slowed in the most recent decade, despite a growing number of atmospheric science students. We show some basic “science of science” (SciSci) analyses of the clouds and climate literature, such as authorship networks or abstract text mining for techniques, and suggest that further SciSci analyses may help us to process the proliferation of results on clouds and climate and optimize how we do research in the crucial years ahead.