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Global Challenges

Vol 2 (4 Issues in 2017)
Editors-in-Chief: Jörn Ritterbusch, Kirsten Severing, Editors: Prisca Henheik, Anna Troeger, Till von Graberg
Online ISSN: 2056-6646
Global Challenges (GCH2) cover image


Global Challenges is a peer reviewed multidisciplinary open access journal that publishes original research articles, reviews and commentaries covering a broad spectrum of current global challenges:

Our vision is to mobilise research, debate and leadership in the global challenges and create a platform for directing and setting the research and policy agenda.


  • Create a community of researchers, policy makers, practitioners and funders engaged in addressing complex global problems
  • Advance research and enable decision makers to base policy and practice on scientific evidence
  • Encourage multidisciplinary conversations between scientific fields and between scientists and social scientists
  • Articulate the policy and practice implications of primary research
  • Make measurable progress in the mitigation of global challenges

We welcome quality research papers, reviews, editorials and commentaries spanning research and practice. The journal gives priority to quality research reports, that develops our understanding of, or addresses, the global challenges. Original research papers must report well-conducted research with conclusions supported by the data presented in the paper.

Climate Change

Climate change can certainly be regarded as one of the greatest challenges for humanity in the 21st century. The impacts of anthropogenic climate change on the physical state of the climate system, on the natural environment and on human societies are already visible today and will exacerbate in the future without decisive action in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation. This section of Global Challenges invites submissions related to the physical science of climate change and its impacts (in as far as they are relevant for global climate policy) as well as mitigation and adaptation strategies. Cross-connections to the other sections of Global Challenges include the important role of the transformation of energy systems in climate mitigation and the impacts of climate change on freshwater resources, agriculture and human health.

Energy is one of the most important resources of the modern society, which is also responsible for major environmental and societal problems such as the climate change. It also touches areas such as policies, geopolitics, security, poverty, innovations, economics, etc. Energy is increasingly linked to other ‘big’ challenges such as food production, use of limited resources, and development issues, which urge to address the energy issues in a more integrated way. Energy is one of the grand challenges ahead, which requires not only understanding the ‘big’ picture of energy or the technologies to solve the problems, but it demands strong collaboration across different disciplines and better communication between academia, policy-makers, NGOs, and other professionals.

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
The complex interactions between agriculture, food and nutrition raise profound global challenges. Today an estimate 850 million people do not have enough to eat and billions have a nutritionally inadequate or unbalanced diet, with major implications for global health. Looking to the future, continued population growth and rising incomes raise questions over the ability of the world to feed itself in a sustainable manner. Linkages with wider global issues such as energy and climate change are critical here. Whilst for some, scientific and technological advances are seen to offer solutions that will ensure the world will be adequately, others highlight the need to address fundamental global economic, social and political inequities. The one issue where there is agreement is the need for concerted action at the local, national and global levels, with complex interdependencies and relations between these.

Global Health
We live in an increasingly interdependent world where health and well-being are shaped by circumstances, decisions and events occurring in far-away places. Pandemics spread between countries within days, health professionals emigrate from countries where they trained, lifestyles shift from one place to another, food supply lines are globally integrated, and environmental health risks like climate change defy national borders. Extreme poverty and inequality remain at unacceptably high levels, thereby representing major threats to global health as well as direct consequences of ill-health. Today, the risks and potential rewards of globalization for health are great, but managing these risks and reaping these rewards depends on the effective management of globalization by the world’s governments, civil society organizations, businesses and international institutions. The health section of Global Challenges aims to be recognized as a leading source of empirical studies, evidence syntheses and critical analyses that address transnational health threats and social inequalities requiring global collective action. Submissions that use interdisciplinary, mixed-method and/or new approaches are especially welcome.

Water touches every aspect of human life and endeavour. Indeed, without water there would be no life, and there is no substitute for it. Yet we continue to treat water as a commodity of little importance until faced with the situation of too much or too little. Globally, the frequency of flood and drought periods continues to increase and more than 40% of the world’s population is touched by water scarcity. This section of Global Challenges invites submissions related to water management in its broadest sense including urban and rural issues, flood and drought management, water and sanitation, environmental protection and ecosystem services. Strong linkages and inter-connections exist with climate change, food production, energy generation and human health. Global solutions demand a multi-disciplinary approach across the physical and biological sciences, engineering, medical sciences, social sciences, economics and politics.

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