Do you remember when “The Cosby Show” was the top-rated U.S. television program, the Berlin Wall was intact, the World Wide Web was still in development, and a typical mobile phone weighed about 4 kg? If you do, you may remember volume 1 of the Journal of Climate appearing in your mailbox or your institution’s library in 1988. Looking back upon that first volume, now available online as well as on my bookshelf, I see among the authors the names of many colleagues who remain active and others who are fondly remembered.
This issue marks a milestone, the 25th volume of a journal that has changed in many ways. Where volume 1 consisted of 12 issues and 1313 pages, the current volume will have 24 issues and will likely exceed 6500 pages. Nearly half of the papers published in 1988 had a single author. Today, climate research is much more collaborative, as technology has lowered some of the barriers to working together. A larger fraction of today’s papers are recognized to be relevant to public policy because of the more general realization of the profound effects that climate variability and climate change have on society and the environment.
One aspect has not changed—the Journal of Climate continues to occupy an important place in your office, although it is now more likely to be found on your virtual desktop than on a bookshelf. For that I credit the authors, reviewers, editors, and the production staff who collaborate to produce this journal. I look forward to the next milestone and I can only wonder what developments a future Chief Editor will describe in the first issue of volume 50 in January 2037.