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Celebrating the wide-ranging impact of PLOS Climate publications

PLOS Climate is committed to providing a platform for research with real-world impact, and specifically encourages submissions that can help build a stronger and more accessible evidence base for policy- and decision-making, as well as spurring further scientific investigation. We spoke to the authors of several articles published in PLOS Climate to learn about how their research had been picked up by fellow researchers, decision-makers, industry, and wider societal stakeholders.

Lynne Falconer, author of “Insight into real-world complexities is required to enable effective response from the aquaculture sector to climate change”

“We realised that the discussion of the impacts of climate change on aquaculture needed to move away from broad sector level assessments to more targeted investigations that consider the real issues that are experienced throughout the various production stages and the wider supply chain. However, we also realised that there are many real-world complexities that would need addressed and this would require a more structured approach to identify what is relevant to specific locations and parts of the sector. Using Norwegian salmon aquaculture as an example, we compiled a range of potential climate stressors, impacts and adaptation responses to facilitate discussions on how researchers, industry and policymakers can work together to get a better understanding of what is known and what further research and innovation is required to address future challenges. We are pleased that our paper is now being used by companies to identify potential risks to their operations, and hope it is a step towards addressing some of the challenges from climate change.”

Katherine Browne, author of “Adaptation finance failing to reach the most vulnerable: A multi-level model of household political power in Madagascar”

“We reported the findings of this study directly to the Adaptation Fund Secretariat, including the Director of the Adaptation Fund, in a private presentation in late 2020. When the article was published the Adaptation Fund commented for a press release:

“The Adaptation Fund welcomes this important and insightful study. The Fund prides itself on transparency and open, inclusive stakeholder engagement throughout its projects. The Adaptation Fund puts the needs, views, and priorities of vulnerable communities in developing countries at the heart and center of its work. In our country- and locally-led projects, national, multilateral and regional implementing entities are able to directly access financing, implement and manage the projects. We are always striving to further improve our work for the most vulnerable, and studies like this one help us enhance our approaches to ensure that the most vulnerable continue to benefit from the funding, including on the household level,” says Mikko Ollikainen, Manager of the Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat.

“Another other form of impact is that, in addition to publishing our research findings, we also developed community reports based on the household surveys conducted. The content of the reports was guided by the preferences of community leaders, who expressed in meetings and focus groups what type of demographic and vulnerability information would be most relevant to them.

“I think that together these examples illustrate how our work has had an impact on both the local and global level.”

Kisei Tanaka, author of “The recent normalization of historical marine heat extremes”

“Our publication has generated significant attention, particularly in the media and on social media platforms. The recent extreme marine heat events in the southeast USA have brought our research back into focus, making our findings and approach more relevant than ever. We are still gathering information from individuals who have reached out to us in response to our publication, and we are optimistic about the continued future impact of our research on communities and decision-making processes.”

Curt Stager, author of “Once and future changes in climate and phenology within the Adirondack uplands (New York, USA)”

“This paper has indeed had some meaningful impact in upstate New York. It has been cited as a source of information on lake ice retreat in the Adirondacks by a new state-wide Climate Impacts Assessment that will be published this year, has triggered commentary and discussions in local media by raising the issue of how local cultures face greater existential threats than local species, and has been the focus on numerous slide presentations I have been invited to offer throughout the region during the past year. It is also serving as the founding document of reference for ongoing research on the Phenology Trail at Paul Smith’s College, which has been built into two of our science courses.”

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