Important journals that publish on climate science (Working List/Resource)


The banner at the top of Nature Climate Change’s website.

I have often seen in the past journals publishing on climate change and then being cited as evidence for something when those journals and their papers really are a nothing but a detriment to one’s reputation. Such an example can be found here. This list of papers that supposedly support skeptic arguments (some don’t, some do) cites a publishing company (Scientific Research) that is known to publish “junk science” and whose journals are not a reliable source of information (despite their being peer-reviewed.) This is just one example, and if anyone would like to point me to others, go right ahead. But I always cringe whenever I see someone using such a company’s papers to support their position. Why not simply cite papers from respected and high-impact journals to support your position (there are quite a few)? Most of these journals actually are good resources for peer-reviewed papers for both climate realists and alarmists, as they tend to publish papers supporting both points of view (despite the shrill assertions of some skeptics).

But now to the purpose of this resource. Below is a list (in no particular order) of mainly high-impact (somewhat so, usually above a 1.5 impact factor according to Thomson Reuters), peer-reviewed, and reliable journals that frequently publish about some aspect of climate science, which is a multidisciplinary science that includes geophysics, solar physics, biology, meteorology, atmospheric science, oceanography, and many other fields of study. However, it is important to note that certain journals are excluded from this list because they don’t regularly publish on climate science, despite their reliability and high level respect among the science community. If you want to come to me to try to prove something using a scientific paper, try to make it one of these or at least another one I would regard as reliable.

In addition, journals not on this list that are published by the organizations who publish journals on this list may still be reliable, even if they don’t publish on climate change often.

As with all my working lists, it may be incomplete and reasonable new suggestions are welcome. Also, if you want it off the list and have a reasonable argument for why and what I should do with it feel free to tell me.

As a last note to those who are interested in further knowledge about journals publishing in climate science, I would recommend this list.



Nature – One of the best known, high-impact journals out there. Climate science is the subject of a considerable amount of papers in it. Published by NPG (Nature Publishing Group).

Nature Geoscience – Publishes on more than just climate science but still has a good amount of high-impact papers on climate science. Published by NPG.

Nature Climate Change – Very similar to Journal of Climate in that it publishes virtually only high-impact papers on climate science, except this time it’s even more constrained to a certain field: climate change science. Published by NPG.

Nature Communications – It’s similar to Scientific Reports in that it’s published by NPG, publishes many papers on climate science (but many other fields as well) and is open access.

Scientific Reports – Publishes many papers on climate science as well as other subjects and is open access. Published by NPG.

Science – Basically the same description as Nature but it’s published by the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). It and Nature are the highest-impact journals on this list.

Science Advances – Though climate science is not the main focus of this journal, they do publish on it relatively frequently and since it’s published by the AAAS, it’s reliable. In addition, it’s open access.

Environmental Research Letters – It publishes heavily on climate science and offers a good diversity of viewpoints. Published by the IOP (Institute of Physics).

Geophysical Research Letters – A great source for new, high-impact research on climate science. Published by the AGU (American Geophysical Union).

Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres (JGR) – Similar to Geophysical Research Letters but doesn’t publish a ton of papers on anything other than atmospheric science, hence the name. Published by the AGU.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) – PNAS doesn’t publish very many papers on climate science per issue but the ones they do publish are very high impact. Published by the NAS (National Academy of Sciences).

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society  (BAMS) – Publishes a few (usually at least one) high-impact articles on climate science per issue. Published by the AMS (American Meteorological Society).

Journal of Climate – This journal is only about climate, so of course it publishes virtually only on climate science. Published by the AMS.

Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology – Similar to Journal of Climate, but this time it’s about applied climatology in addition to applied meteorology, so naturally there are fewer articles on climate science. Published by the AMS.

Climate of the Past – Publishes papers on paleoclimatology but also on other aspects of climate change. Published by the EGU (European Geoscience Union).
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics – Publishes high-impact papers on atmospheric science, which includes a large amount of climate research. Published by the EGU.
The Cryosphere – Publishes high-impact papers on the state of earth’s ice, which is a hot topic in climate discussions and in climate science. Published by the EGU.
Earth System Dynamics – Publishes papers on different earth system processes, one of which is climate, so of course there would be a body of research on climate science in the journal. Published by the EGU.

Global Change Biology – Publishes high-impact papers mainly on the biological aspects of climate change. Published by Wiley.

Climate Dynamics – Very similar to Journal of Climate in that it publishes high-impact papers virtually only on climate science, especially the dynamics (interacting components of the climate system). Published by Springer.
Climatic Change – Very similar to Nature Climate Change in that it publishes virtually only on climate change. It was founded by Stephen Schneider and is published by Springer.
Quatenary Science Reviews – Publishes high-impact papers mainly on all things past (or more specifically, quaternary science), including paleoclimate, paleoglaciology, and paleohydrology. Published by Elsevier.
International Journal of Climatology – Like other journals on this list, it’s similar to Journal of Climate in that it’s main focus is climate science. Published by the RMetS (Royal Meteorological Society).
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society – Similar to BAMS in that it doesn’t publish exclusively on climate science but it does publish a good amount on it. Published by the RMetS.
Atmospheric Science Letters – One of the lowest-impact journals on this list but still publishes a large amount of climate science research. Published by RMetS.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters – Climate science is just one aspect (though a significant one) of many covered by this journal. Published by Elsevier.
Ecological Modelling – Publishes mainly about ecology (hence the name) but this does include a good amount of climate science research. Published by Elsevier.
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics – Though the lowest impact journal on this list, it publishes about astrophysics, atmopsheric, and solar physics (hence the name), and thus it talks about solar influences on climate pretty regularly. Published by Elsevier.
Theoretical and Applied Climatology – Publishes virtually only on climate science and climate change. Published by Springer.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology – Talks about past climate, environment, and of course, ecology. Published by Elsevier.
Global and Planetary Change – Talks about changes in the environment, climate, and planets. Published by Elsevier.
Earth-Science Reviews – This high-impcat journal talks about all things earth science, which of course would include climate science. Published by Elsevier.
Climate Research – Publishes research on all things climate. Known for the 2003 Soon and Baliunas controversy and for former editor Dr. Chris de Freitas. Published by Inter-Research.
Atmospheric Research – Publishes papers on atmospheric science, which would naturally include papers on climate science as well. Published by Elsevier.
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology – Publishes papers on certain land types’ meteorology and also papers on bioclimatology. Published by Elsevier.
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change – Publishes papers on everything related to climate change, similar to Nature Climate Change. Edited by Mike Hulme and published by Wiley.

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