20 years of PAGES news

The four-page insert included in this issue is a copy of the first ever PAGES news created 20 years ago in Spring 1993. We thought this milestone provided an opportunity to reflect on how far PAGES news has come in that time, but also how many of the issues discussed in our first newsletter still remain pertinent today.

A quantitative paleobibliographic analysis reveals the steady growth of PAGES news in the last 20 years. We found evidence of five distinct stylistic eras and observed that the number of pages in each issue has increased 12-fold from four in 1993 to around 50 in current issues (Fig. 1). Likewise there is a strong correlation between the number of pages and the number of science highlights articles (r2= 0.92; P<0.01), with early issues usually containing one article and more recent issues 15±2. If this trend continues over the next 20 years, PAGES news will be a daunting 100 pages thick and feature 35 articles by the year 2033!

Hans Oeschger, the first chair of PAGES, observed in his introduction to the first issue that global change research is advancing at a remarkable pace, and many of the issues he highlighted back in 1993 are still relevant today. An improved understanding of past global change is crucial for evaluating present environmental conditions and for creating predictive climatic models. Paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental data have the unique ability to provide detailed insights into ecosystem responses to climate change at different time scales, which can inform future policymaking.

We hope you enjoy a little trip back in time via our first issue. And for anyone thinking about replying to the Call for Title Suggestions advertisement on the last page: Although we have happily stuck to the “unimaginative title” PAGES news for 20 years, we are, of course, still open to your suggestions for improvement.

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Figure 1: Paleobibliographic analysis of PAGES news.

Category: Announcements | PAGES Magazine articles

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