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19 Jun 2017

Global risk of deadly heat

Climatic conditions that challenge human thermoregulatory capacity currently affect around a quarter of the world’s population annually. Such conditions are projected to increase in line with CO2 emissions particularly in the humid tropics.

  • Camilo Mora
  • Bénédicte Dousset
  • Iain R. Caldwell
  • Farrah E. Powell
  • Rollan C. Geronimo
  • Coral R. Bielecki
  • Chelsie W. W. Counsell
  • Bonnie S. Dietrich
  • Emily T. Johnston
  • Leo V. Louis
  • Matthew P. Lucas
  • Marie M. McKenzie
  • Alessandra G. Shea
  • Han Tseng
  • Thomas W. Giambelluca
  • Lisa R. Leon
  • Ed Hawkins
  • Clay Trauernicht
12 Jun 2017

Household behaviour crowds out support for climate change policy when sufficient progress is perceived

Climate change mitigation will require both household and government action. This study shows that engaging in energy-saving behaviour at home leads to the perception that sufficient progress is being made through individual action, which reduces support for government policies.

  • Seth H. Werfel
12 Jun 2017

Biospheric feedback effects in a synchronously coupled model of human and Earth systems

Significant feedbacks in energy, agriculture, land use and the carbon cycle are identified for the twenty-first century when climate impacts on land are factored into climate projections so as to allow for two-way interactions between human and Earth systems.

  • Peter E. Thornton
  • Katherine Calvin
  • Andrew D. Jones
  • Alan V. Di Vittorio
  • Ben Bond-Lamberty
  • Louise Chini
  • Xiaoying Shi
  • Jiafu Mao
  • William D. Collins
  • Jae Edmonds
  • Allison Thomson
  • John Truesdale
  • Anthony Craig
  • Marcia L. Branstetter
  • George Hurtt
12 Jun 2017

Distinct global warming rates tied to multiple ocean surface temperature changes

The planet is warming; however, this includes periods of accelerated and slowed warming. Although the tropical Pacific played a role in the recent slowdown, this study shows sea surface temperatures across multiple basins influence the rate of warming.

  • Shuai-Lei Yao
  • Jing-Jia Luo
  • Gang Huang
  • Pengfei Wang
12 Jun 2017

Energy-Saving behaviour: Negative spillover to policy

Individuals are often asked to reduce their home energy consumption. But new research suggests that reminders of these personal energy savings may undermine public support for national-level policies.

  • Kaitlin T. Raimi
News and Views
31 May 2017

On our bookshelf

Books and Arts
31 May 2017

Whose forests, whose gain?

  • Constance L. McDermott
Books and Arts
31 May 2017

A road map for global environmental assessments

Increasing demand for solution-oriented environmental assessments brings significant opportunities and challenges at the science–policy–society interface. Solution-oriented assessments should enable inclusive deliberative learning processes about policy alternatives and their practical consequences.

  • Martin Kowarsch
  • Jason Jabbour
  • Christian Flachsland
  • Marcel T. J. Kok
  • Robert Watson
  • Peter M. Haas
  • Jan C. Minx
  • Joseph Alcamo
  • Jennifer Garard
  • Pauline Riousset
  • László Pintér
  • Cameron Langford
  • Yulia Yamineva
  • Christoph von Stechow
  • Jessica O'Reilly
  • Ottmar Edenhofer
31 May 2017

Emerging clean energy technology investment trends

Early-stage capital providers and clean energy technology incubators are supporting a new wave of innovations focused on end-use efficiency and demand control. This wave complements expanding investments in supply technologies required for electricity sector decarbonization.

  • A. Bumpus
  • S. Comello
31 May 2017

Identifying authors

A requirement for unique author identifiers will enable clearer tracking of scientific contributions.

31 May 2017

The balance of power

Britain's energy supply is undergoing a revolution: for the first time since 1880, electricity production was coal-free for 24 hours.

31 May 2017

Climate change impacts: Contemporary evolution

  • Bronwyn Wake
Research Highlights
31 May 2017

Climate dynamics: Shorter monsoon season

  • Graham Simpkins
Research Highlights
31 May 2017

Climate governance: EU emissions benefits

  • Michele Graffeo
Research Highlights
31 May 2017

Ecological impacts: Gut-wrenching heat

  • Alastair Brown
Research Highlights
31 May 2017

Forest disturbances under climate change

Changes in forest disturbance are likely to be greatest in coniferous forests and the boreal biome, according to a review of global climate change effects on biotic and abiotic forest disturbance agents and their interactions.

  • Rupert Seidl
  • Dominik Thom
  • Markus Kautz
  • Dario Martin-Benito
  • Mikko Peltoniemi
  • Giorgio Vacchiano
  • Jan Wild
  • Davide Ascoli
  • Michal Petr
  • Juha Honkaniemi
  • Manfred J. Lexer
  • Volodymyr Trotsiuk
  • Paola Mairota
  • Miroslav Svoboda
  • Marek Fabrika
  • Thomas A. Nagel
  • Christopher P. O. Reyer
29 May 2017

A global economic assessment of city policies to reduce climate change impacts

Quantification of the economic costs of the urban heat island effect for the main cities around the world. The cost–benefit analyses for some mitigation options are presented and their contribution to the global mitigation efforts is discussed.

  • Francisco Estrada
  • W. J. Wouter Botzen
  • Richard S. J. Tol
22 May 2017

Priority for the worse-off and the social cost of carbon

The social cost of carbon (SCC) is usually calculated by an approach that gives less importance to future generations and does not consider well-being distribution. This study presents an alternative that takes these aspects into account.

  • Matthew Adler
  • David Anthoff
  • Valentina Bosetti
  • Greg Garner
  • Klaus Keller
  • Nicolas Treich
22 May 2017

Better out than in

Continued US membership in the Paris Agreement on climate would be symbolic and have no effect on US emissions. Instead, it would reveal the weaknesses of the agreement, prevent new opportunities from emerging, and gift greater leverage to a recalcitrant administration.

  • Luke Kemp
22 May 2017

Climate mitigation from vegetation biophysical feedbacks during the past three decades

Greening—increasing leaf area index—affects regional climate in a number of contradictory ways. The net global effect is now revealed to be cooling that has offset the equivalent of 12% of global land-surface warming over the past 30 years.

  • Zhenzhong Zeng
  • Shilong Piao
  • Laurent Z. X. Li
  • Liming Zhou
  • Philippe Ciais
  • Tao Wang
  • Yue Li
  • Xu Lian
  • Eric F. Wood
  • Pierre Friedlingstein
  • Jiafu Mao
  • Lyndon D. Estes
  • Ranga B. Myneni
  • Shushi Peng
  • Xiaoying Shi
  • Sonia I. Seneviratne
  • Yingping Wang
22 May 2017

Population-based emergence of unfamiliar climates

The signal to noise ratio of temperature change can be used to determine exposure to unusual, unfamiliar and unknown climates. For large groups of the world’s population, mitigation can delay the onset of unfamiliar or unknown climates by several decades.

  • Dave Frame
  • Manoj Joshi
  • Ed Hawkins
  • Luke J. Harrington
  • Mairead de Roiste
22 May 2017

Climate change economics: Make carbon pricing a priority

Estimates of the social cost of carbon vary widely as a function of different ethical parameters. Faced with values ranging from US$10 to US$1,000 per tCO2 and above, some perplexed policymakers have adopted 'target-consistent' carbon pricing instead.

  • Cameron Hepburn
News and Views
15 May 2017

Australian climate extremes at 1.5 °C and 2 °C of global warming

Limiting warming to 1.5 °C is expected to lessen the risk of extreme events, relative to 2 °C. Considering Australia, this work shows a decrease of about 25% in the likelihood of record heat, both air and sea surface, if warming is limited to 1.5 °C.

  • Andrew D. King
  • David J. Karoly
  • Benjamin J. Henley
15 May 2017

Understanding the regional pattern of projected future changes in extreme precipitation

Regional projections of daily extreme precipitation are uncertain, but can be decomposed into thermodynamic and dynamic contributions to improve understanding. While thermodynamics alone uniformly increase extreme precipitation, dynamical processes introduce regional variations.

  • S. Pfahl
  • P. A. O’Gorman
  • E. M. Fischer
15 May 2017

Hydroclimate: Understanding rainfall extremes

Warming induced by greenhouse gases will increase the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, causing heavier rainfall events. Changing atmospheric circulation dynamics are now shown to either amplify or weaken regional increases, contributing to uncertainty in future precipitation extremes.

  • Geert Lenderink
  • Hayley J. Fowler
News and Views
8 May 2017

Climate negotiators’ and scientists’ assessments of the climate negotiations

It is difficult to objectively evaluate climate negotiation outcomes. This study shows that climate negotiation participants are pessimistic about the specific approach of voluntary pledges, but are optimistic about the general usefulness of negotiations, particularly if they are more involved.

  • Astrid Dannenberg
  • Sonja Zitzelsberger
  • Alessandro Tavoni
1 May 2017

Peak growing season gross uptake of carbon in North America is largest in the Midwest USA

Using carbonyl sulfide as a tracer, gross primary production in the Midwest USA is shown to significantly exceed that of any other region of North America. This approach provides a valuable means of assessing the regional accuracy of ecosystem land models.

  • Timothy W. Hilton
  • Mary E. Whelan
  • Andrew Zumkehr
  • Sarika Kulkarni
  • Joseph A. Berry
  • Ian T. Baker
  • Stephen A. Montzka
  • Colm Sweeney
  • Benjamin R. Miller
  • J. Elliott Campbell
1 May 2017

Amplification of wildfire area burnt by hydrological drought in the humid tropics

Predictions of fire-burnt areas are typically based on climate data. Including hydrological processes in models improves projections of burnt area in Borneo, with large wildfires clustered in years of hydrological drought associated with strong El Niño events.

  • Muh Taufik
  • Paul J. J. F. Torfs
  • Remko Uijlenhoet
  • Philip D. Jones
  • Daniel Murdiyarso
  • Henny A. J. Van Lanen
1 May 2017

Biogeochemistry: Tracing carbon fixation

Land surface models show large divergences in simulating the terrestrial carbon cycle. Atmospheric observations of the tracer carbonyl sulfide allow selection of the most realistic models.

  • Alexander Knohl
  • Matthias Cuntz
News and Views
1 May 2017

Ecohydrology: When will the jungle burn?

Fire weather indices are unsuited to forecast fire in tropical rainforests. Now research shows the area burnt across Borneo is related to drought-depleted water tables, presenting the opportunity to predict fire danger in these environments.

  • David Bowman
News and Views
28 Apr 2017

Aligning agriculture and climate policy

The 4‰ initiative to sequester carbon in soils has the potential to connect sustainable development goals, enhance food security and mitigate climate change by utilizing waste organic residues.

  • A. Chabbi
  • J. Lehmann
  • P. Ciais
  • H. W. Loescher
  • M. F. Cotrufo
  • A. Don
  • M. SanClements
  • L. Schipper
  • J. Six
  • P. Smith
  • C. Rumpel
28 Apr 2017

Out of the lab and into the field

Decision scientists have identified remedies for various cognitive biases that distort climate-change risk perceptions. Researchers must now use the same empirical methods to identify strategies for reproducing — in the tumult of the real world — results forged in the tranquillity of their labs.

  • Dan M. Kahan
  • Katherine Carpenter
28 Apr 2017

The IPCC and the politics of anticipation

In the emerging post-Paris climate governance regime, the role of scientific expertise is radically changing. The IPCC in particular may find itself in a new role, where projections of future climate function as a kind of regulatory science. This poses great challenges to conventional ideals of scientific neutrality.

  • Silke Beck
  • Martin Mahony
28 Apr 2017

Correction: Expanding research views

28 Apr 2017

Political swings and roundabouts

With a politically tumultuous spring and the window on keeping global average temperatures below 2 °C above preindustrial levels closing, environmental advocacy perhaps has a more important role now than ever before.

28 Apr 2017

Communication: Real-world interventions

  • Jenn Richler
Research Highlights
28 Apr 2017

Environmental psychology: Conflicting climate attitudes

  • Michele Graffeo
Research Highlights
28 Apr 2017

Glaciology: Greenland's ice loss

  • Graham Simpkins
Research Highlights
28 Apr 2017

Hydroclimate: Declining Arctic river icings

  • Alastair Brown
Research Highlights
24 Apr 2017

Biochar built soil carbon over a decade by stabilizing rhizodeposits

The long-term efficacy of biochar as a means of increasing soil organic carbon (SOC) remains underexplored. Research now shows that 8.5 years after biochar was added to a subtropical soil the formation of microaggregates stabilized and increased SOC.

  • Zhe (Han) Weng
  • Lukas Van Zwieten
  • Bhupinder Pal Singh
  • Ehsan Tavakkoli
  • Stephen Joseph
  • Lynne M. Macdonald
  • Terry J. Rose
  • Michael T. Rose
  • Stephen W. L. Kimber
  • Stephen Morris
  • Daniel Cozzolino
  • Joyce R. Araujo
  • Braulio S. Archanjo
  • Annette Cowie
24 Apr 2017

Climate change enhances interannual variability of the Nile river flow

Nile basin countries are expected to double their population by 2050. Observations and climate model projections now suggest water resources may be additionally stretched by a 50% (±35%) increase in interannual Nile flow variability in the twenty-first century.

  • Mohamed S. Siam
  • Elfatih A. B. Eltahir
24 Apr 2017

Drylands face potential threat under 2 °C global warming target

Limiting average global warming to 2 °C will not limit regional warming to the same levels. This study shows drylands have warmed, and will continue to warm, more than the humid lands that are primarily responsible for emissions.

  • Jianping Huang
  • Haipeng Yu
  • Aiguo Dai
  • Yun Wei
  • Litai Kang
24 Apr 2017

Weakening temperature control on the interannual variations of spring carbon uptake across northern lands

Atmospheric CO2 concentration measurements at Barrow, Alaska, together with coupled atmospheric transport and terrestrial ecosystem models show a declining spring net primary productivity response to temperature at high latitudes.

  • Shilong Piao
  • Zhuo Liu
  • Tao Wang
  • Shushi Peng
  • Philippe Ciais
  • Mengtian Huang
  • Anders Ahlstrom
  • John F. Burkhart
  • Frédéric Chevallier
  • Ivan A. Janssens
  • Su-Jong Jeong
  • Xin Lin
  • Jiafu Mao
  • John Miller
  • Anwar Mohammat
  • Ranga B. Myneni
  • Josep Peñuelas
  • Xiaoying Shi
  • Andreas Stohl
  • Yitong Yao
  • Zaichun Zhu
  • Pieter P. Tans
24 Apr 2017

Water resources: Future Nile river flows

Climate change is projected to increase annual Nile river flow; importantly, year-to-year variability is also expected to increase markedly. More variable flows could present a challenge for consistent water resource provision in this region.

  • Declan Conway
News and Views
17 Apr 2017

Energy budget constraints on climate sensitivity in light of inconstant climate feedbacks

Estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity differ depending on the method of calculation. This study shows estimates based on the historical energy budget are low as climate feedbacks vary with time and the bias depends on the sensitivity of the system.

  • Kyle C. Armour
17 Apr 2017

Migration induced by sea-level rise could reshape the US population landscape

Sea-level rise will impact heavily populated coastal areas, necessitating adaptation or migration. This study considers how potential migration away from affected areas will have a broader effect on the US population landscape.

  • Mathew E. Hauer
17 Apr 2017

The subtle origins of surface-warming hiatuses

Using an energy budget approach to understanding decadal temperature trends, this study highlights that observational uncertainty exceeds energy–flux deviations that affect such trends. Thus the origin of recent warming slowdown is unidentifiable.

  • Christopher Hedemann
  • Thorsten Mauritsen
  • Johann Jungclaus
  • Jochem Marotzke
17 Apr 2017

Climate-induced migration: Impacts beyond the coast

Global warming and sea-level rise will potentially impact millions of people in coastal zones. New research shows that such migration will affect all US states, including inland states which are unprepared for such an inflow of residents.

  • Jeroen C. J. H. Aerts
News and Views
17 Apr 2017

Global energy budget: Elusive origin of warming slowdown

Global surface warming was slower than expected in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Research attributes similar events to ocean or atmosphere fluctuations, but the subtle origins of these events may elude observational detection.

  • Richard P. Allan
News and Views
10 Apr 2017

An observation-based constraint on permafrost loss as a function of global warming

Permafrost loss can be projected by considering its distribution against warming air temperatures. Using observations to constrain loss estimates, this study investigates loss under different levels of warming.

  • S. E. Chadburn
  • E. J. Burke
  • P. M. Cox
  • P. Friedlingstein
  • G. Hugelius
  • S. Westermann