Hot topics within Earth and Planetary sciences 2012

Every third month Science direct lists the twentyfive hottest articles within a specific field of research. The present Hot topics list is based on number of downloads for each article during the full year of 2012.  However, the list is still a good indicator if one wants to find out what’s hot in geosciences.

Based on the Science Direct list for 2012, I have compiled the three hottest topics within Earth and Planetary sciences, and these are:

  1. Fresh water treatment/resources 6/25
  2. Ecology/Palaeoecology/Evolution 5/25
  3. Climate change/ocean acidification 5/25

Compared to the last published list the research focus of 2012 based on the most downloaded papers from Science Direct have changed somewhat. The most downloaded papers are now within Fresh water treatment/resources and three of these papers deal with reverse osmosis desalination. Reverse osmosis is one of the main technologies for producing fresh water from saline water and other wastewater sources. Fresh water shortage has become an important issue affecting the economic and social development in many countries, but there are still many challenges with reverse osmosis, as discussed by Kang & Kao (2012) and Pérez-Gonzaléz et al. (2012).

Papers on Ecology/Palaeoecology/Evolution and Climate change/ocean acidification have also attracted a lot of attention of the research community during 2012. The two subjects are tightly linked as exemplified by one of the most downloaded papers (nr 10 of 25), a review paper by Leslie Hughes from 2000: Biological consequences of global warming: is the signal already apparent?

Interestingly, the top downloaded paper within Earth and Planetary Sciences 2012 is a paper demonstrating the potential of microbial U(VI) reduction as an alternative technology to currently used physical/chemical processes for treatment and recovery of uranium in the nuclear industry (Chabalala & Chirwa, 2010). Perhaps this signals an increasing global need to find new methods in order to retreive natural resources that were previously considered to costly and technologically challenging?

To me, the 2012 hottest topics list signals increasing awareness within the research community that climatic and environmental changes, pollution and exploitation of natural resources presents new challenges in a world with increasing population pressure and demand of economic development!

Hot topics within Earth and Planetary Sciences (September 2012)

Every third month Science direct lists the twentyfive hottest articles within a specific field of research. The list is based on number of downloads for each article. Unfortunately there is a lagtime between the download count over a three month period and the time the list is published, which means that the Hot topics list today (4/1 2013) still displays the most downloaded papers during July to September 2012. However, the list is still a good indicator if one wants to find out what’s hot in geosciences.

Based on the Science Direct list for July to September last year, I have compiled the three hottest topics within Earth and Planetary sciences, and these are:

  1. Ecology/Palaeoecology/Evolution 11/25
  2. Water treatment/resources 7/25
  3. Environment and pollution 2/25

Since the last published list the research focus of the most downloaded papers have changed somewhat. The most downloaded papers are still within Ecology/Palaeoecology/Evolution but most of those papers deal primarily with evolution.

Number two on the list, Water treatment/rescources, deals primarily with the quality and supply of freshwater, a topic that is of growing importance in our overpopulated world. Strangely, only two papers deal with Environment and pollution, and both those papers are focused on plastic pollution of the marine realm.

Hot topics within Earth and Planetary Sciences (September 2011)

Every third month Science direct lists the twentyfive hottest articles within a specific field of research. The list is based on number of downloads for each article. Unfortunately there is a lagtime between the download count over a three month period and the time the list is published, which means that the Hot topics list today (21/1 2012) still displays the most downloaded papers during July to September 2011. However, the list is still a good indicator if one wants to find out what’s hot in geosciences.

Based on the Science Direct list for July to September have compiled the three hottest topics within Earth and Planetary sciences, and these are:

  1. Ecology/Palaeoecology/Evolution 10/25
  2. Environment and pollution 7/25
  3. Water treatment/resources 4/25

Since the last published list the research focus has changed somewhat. Although the most downloaded papers are still within Ecology/Palaeoecology several of those papers also deal with evolution.

Number two on the last list, Climate/Global change research, appears to have lost some ground to Environment and Pollution, perhaps indicating a societal trend that we have to clean up in our own backyards before accomplishing global changes.

In third place there is a lot of focus on our freshwater resources and their quality, something that is of vital importance in many areas around the world.

Important issues to consider for us all!

Hot topics within Earth and Planetary sciences (June 2011)

Every third month Science direct lists the twentyfive hottest articles within a specific field of research. The list is based on number of downloads for each article. Unfortunately there is a lagtime between the download count over a three month period and the time the list is published, e.g the Hot topics list today (12/11 2011) still displays the most downloaded papers during March to June 2011. But still, it is a good indicator if one wants to find out where the research focus was a few months ago 🙂

Based on the Science Direct list for March to June 2011 I have compiled the three hottest topics within Earth and Planetary sciences, and these are:

  1. Ecology/Paleoecology 10/25
  2. Climate/global change 8/25
  3. Water treatment/resources 3/25

This definitely tells us that there is a high demand on research concerning the ecological impact of climate and global change, whether it concerns changes that are going on today or in the past. It also indicates that there is a lot of focus on our freshwater resources and their quality.

Important issues to consider for us all.