Climate change: Voices from global south muted by climate science


Climate change academics from some of the regions worst hit by warming are struggling to be published, according to a new analysis. The study looked at 100 of the most highly cited climate research papers over the past five years. Less than 1% of the authors were based in Africa, while only 12 of the papers had a female lead researcher. The lack of diverse voices means key perspectives are being ignored, says the study’s author. Researchers from the Carbon Brief website examined the backgrounds of around 1,300 authors involved in the 100 most cited climate change research papers from 2016-2020. They found that some 90% of these scientists were affiliated with academic institutions from North America, Europe or Australia. The African continent, home to around 16% of the world’s population had less than 1% of the authors according to the analysis. There were also huge differences within regions – of the 10 authors from Africa, eight of them were from South Africa. When it comes to lead authors, not one of the top 100 papers was led by a scientist from Africa or South America. Of the seven papers led by Asian authors, five were from China.

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