event 29 Jun 2022

Research Article // Evolution of water–energy–food–climate study: current status and future prospects

By Yuanchun Zhou, Bin Wei, Ran Zhang and Hui Li. Based on the bibliometric analysis, this paper reviewed the current situation of Nexus research over the past decade. The authors highlight the Nexus needs to be considered in a global and systematic way. While optimal resource management, policy formulation and implementation are the main topics, climate change and uncertainty are the major issues of concern.

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Graphical Abstract (Zhou et al., 2022)


The relationship between changing climate and the three sectors of water, energy and food is increasingly drawing attention today while all of them are vital for sustainable development. This paper undertakes a bibliometric analysis of 1,959 published articles from 2010 to 2020 to provide a knowledge base of current Nexus studies. The main research power, knowledge domains, evolution trends and frontier hotspots are analyzed. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) The USA, China and England contributed most in this field. Applied Energy published most articles. (2) The knowledge domains of Nexus studies mainly focus on the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze the mutual consumption of resources, the impact of environmental changes on resources, policy formulation and implementation and so on. Besides direct interlink evaluation, other synergistic impacts should also be considered from the macro and microscale. (3) The evolution trend in this field has changed from the conceptual framework to management policy, risk security and optimal management: from knowing to taking actions. (4) The current hot points of this field are climate change and uncertainty. This study presents an in-depth analysis of water, energy, food and climate Nexus research to inform more potential studies in this field.


February 2022


Journal of Water and Climate


Zhou, Y., Wei, B., Zhang, R., & Li, H. (2022). Evolution of water–energy–food–climate study: current status and future prospects. Journal of Water and Climate Change, 13(2), 463-481.


Evolution of water–energy–food–climate study: current status and future prospects

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