Aims and Scope


Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) publishes high-impact, innovative, and timely research on major scientific advances in all the major geoscience disciplines. Papers are communications-length articles and should have broad and immediate implications in their discipline or across the geosciences. GRL maintains the fastest turn-around of all high-impact publications in the geosciences and works closely with authors to ensure broad visibility of top papers.

GRL is a Letters journal; limiting manuscript size expedites the review and publication process. GRL also publishes a limited number of frontier articles, by invitation from Editors. GRL's mission is to disseminate concisely written, high-impact research reports on major scientific advances in AGU disciplines [PDF]. With this goal, the Editorial Board evaluates manuscripts submitted to GRL according to the following criteria:

  • High impact innovative results with broad geophysical implications at the forefront of one or several AGU disciplines.

  • Results with immediate impact on the research of others and requiring rapid publication.

  • Instrument or methods manuscript introducing an innovative technique that makes new science advance possible, with immediate applications to AGU disciplines.

GRL has been in publication since 1974. The Editors are adapting GRL to the evolving needs of the Earth science community. GRL Editors are topical: the subject of the paper determines which Editor handles the review and decision process. For more information, please read this Eos editorial.

Covers (1997–present) are available.

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Featured Special Collection

A Census of Atmospheric Variability from Seconds to Decades 

The atmosphere varies naturally on all length scales from millimeters to thousands of kilometers, and on all time scales from seconds to decades and longer.  This special collection of Geophysical Research Letters synthesizes and summarizes that variability through a phenomenological census.  The collection brings together some of the most influential and definitive papers to have been published in this journal in recent years.  The topics covered include turbulence on time scales of seconds and minutes, gravity waves on time scales of hours, weather systems on time scales of days, atmospheric blocking on time scales of weeks, the Madden–Julian Oscillation on time scales of months, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and El Niño–Southern Oscillation on time scales of years, and the North Atlantic, Arctic, Antarctic, Pacific Decadal, and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillations on time scales of decades.  The collection is accompanied by a Commentary article, which provides an authoritative, concise, and accessible point of reference for the most important modes of atmospheric variability.

A Census of Atmospheric Variability from Seconds to Decades