Steve Bloom writes:
It looks like Springer [a company that publishes many science journals, N.] is providing a useful service in issuing open-access summaries of the state of the science within each Earth Science specialty (many, but not all, will pertain to climate science).
The new polar science one is further organized by sub-specialty, each containing a brief discussion of the science and (most valuable IMO) links to a number of papers comprising the state of the science. It's short enough so that someone unfamiliar with the field can acquire an overview in short order. Apparently the plan is to update annually.
Here's the intro to their Polar science news in brief summary:
The addition of the ‘‘News in Brief’’ series to our Views and News section will highlight recent significant research in the last year—from high-impact papers to emerging research fronts—and will include papers with both classic and new hot topics. This series will offer a rotating view among the major Earth Science areas, as various experts will be invited to provide a brief look around the recent research conducted in their area. This selection of research papers is left up to each expert and due to the broadness of each field is not intended to be a comprehensive overview. Links to the published work are provided in each section.
David Carlson, former Director of the International Programme Office for the International Polar Year, has been invited to provide a glimpse into the latest findings in polar science. Carlson outlines selected research of global relevance hoping that readers will discover the fascinating connections among and across these topics, and the unintended prominence of three restless partners: ocean, wind and ice.
The summary's summary is also well worth reading:
Despite complexity and uncertainty, a compelling message emerges from evidence presented here: ice of some form (sea ice, glacier ice, snow) erodes or reduces or disappears, largely as a consequence of changes in atmosphere and ocean, with the result that global atmosphere and ocean systems change. As I write this, a predicted equatorial Pacific warm event (El Niño in ENSO terms) has unexpectedly paused. Or stopped. Or, perhaps even reversed? At the same time there occurs in polar regions: extreme Arctic sea ice loss, extraordinary Greenland surface melt, record Arctic Ocean temperatures, steady decline in Antarctic bottom water, continuing decrease in northern hemisphere snow coverage.
Should we regard emerging uncertainties in tropical systems and changes in polar systems as coincidence? I think not. Anchors of the climate system at the warm (equatorial) and cold (polar) ends have come loose. In what direction(s) will the system drift? With what consequences for ecosystems and humanity? It remains challenging to determine cause from correlation and to quantify trends amidst variability, but we can anticipate the general directions and we know the major players: ocean, wind and ice.
I wish they'd do this every quarter instead of once a year, but it's still very nice of them to do this. It's an exciting time to be a cryospheric scientist.