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Call for papers: Discussion meeting on statistical aspects of climate change

Motivated by the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this year, The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Discussion Meetings Committee and the RSS Environmental Statistics Section are jointly inviting submissions of discussion papers on statistical aspects related to climate change analysis.

This article is part of the ISC’s Transform21 series, which features resources from our network of scientists and change-makers to help inform the urgent transformations needed to achieve climate and biodiversity goals.

These papers can be on any statistical aspect related to climate change including, for example, probabilistic modelling, forecasting, and uncertainty quantification of climate change itself, as well as the statistical analysis of its socioeconomic and environmental impacts across society. Examples of topics of interest include (but are not restricted to):

  • Inference and uncertainty quantification from model ensembles
  • Data assimilation from satellite and ground data sources
  • Climate change detection and attribution and climate tipping points
  • Using coincidental data in estimating climate change and its impacts
  • Remaining statistical challenges in predicting impacts of climate change/tackling climate change.

Papers selected for publication will be presented at a multi-paper discussion meeting held at the RSS International Conference in September 2022, and subsequently published in one of the series of Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (JRSS), together with all contributions to the discussion at the meeting itself or submitted in writing shortly afterwards. All submitted papers are refereed, both for their scientific quality and their potential to generate discussion. Papers that meet the first criterion but not the second may, with the agreement of the authors, be referred to the editors of the Journal for review as a regular paper. 

Submitted papers should be substantially shorter than is typical for a single‐paper discussion meeting (16 pages max excluding supplementary material following standard JRSS formatting instructions). RSS shall employ a two-step process to expedite the peer review process. Full details are as follows:

  1. Abstract submission. Authors are invited to send a single‐page abstract (400 words max) of their proposed paper to Judith Shorten, the RSS Journals Manager ( by 31 July 2021.
  2. Full paper submission. Notification of accepted abstracts will be made by 14 August 2021 together with an invitation to submit a full paper. Full papers (16 pages max) should then be submitted via manuscript central to the most appropriate journal series (A, B or C) selecting the “Discussion Paper” option. Deadline for full paper submission is 31 October 2021.
  3. Refereeing. All papers received by 31 October 2021 will be refereed using the Society’s standard criteria for discussion meeting papers (scientific quality and discussability).
  4. Final versions of accepted papers will be ready for pre‐printing by mid‐2022.

Informal enquiries about the call can be made by email to the Discussion Papers Editor Adam Sykulski at Find out more on the RSS website.

Photo by Alexander Hafemann on Unsplash.

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