Analysis and forecasting of sequential data, key problems in various domains of engineering and science, have attracted the attention of many researchers from different communities. When predicting the future probability of events using time series, recurrent neural networks (RNNs) are an effective tool that have the learning ability of feedforward neural networks and expand their expression ability using dynamic equations. Moreover, RNNs are able to model several computational structures. Researchers have developed various RNNs with different architectures and topologies. To summarize the work of RNNs in forecasting and provide guidelines for modeling and novel applications in future studies, this review focuses on applications of RNNs for time series forecasting in environmental factor forecasting. We present the structure, processing flow, and advantages of RNNs and analyze the applications of various RNNs in time series forecasting. In addition, we discuss limitations and challenges of applications based on RNNs and future research directions. Finally, we summarize applications of RNNs in forecasting.

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