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16 Oct 2017

Corrigendum: Future global mortality from changes in air pollution attributable to climate change

  • Raquel A. Silva
  • J. Jason West
  • Jean-François Lamarque
  • Drew T. Shindell
  • William J. Collins
  • Greg Faluvegi
  • Gerd A. Folberth
  • Larry W. Horowitz
  • Tatsuya Nagashima
  • Vaishali Naik
  • Steven T. Rumbold
  • Kengo Sudo
  • Toshihiko Takemura
  • Daniel Bergmann
  • Philip Cameron-Smith
  • Ruth M. Doherty
  • Beatrice Josse
  • Ian A. MacKenzie
  • David  S. Stevenson
  • Guang Zeng
16 Oct 2017

Anthropogenic climate change detected in European renewable freshwater resources

Changes in European river flow have amplified the dry-south–wet-north contrast. Model simulations show that anthropogenic climate change accounts for this change with strong decreases in the Mediterranean and weak increases in northern Europe.

  • Lukas Gudmundsson
  • Sonia I. Seneviratne
  • Xuebin Zhang
9 Oct 2017

Habitat-based conservation strategies cannot compensate for climate-change-induced range loss

Distribution modelling of vascular plants, butterflies and grasshoppers in central Europe suggests that habitat-based conservation strategies will be insufficient to save species from regional extinction under twenty-first-century climate change.

  • Johannes Wessely
  • Karl Hülber
  • Andreas Gattringer
  • Michael Kuttner
  • Dietmar Moser
  • Wolfgang Rabitsch
  • Stefan Schindler
  • Stefan Dullinger
  • Franz Essl
9 Oct 2017

The appeasement effect of a United Nations climate summit on the German public

As a global media event, COP 21 had the potential to enhance understanding and motivate political action. This study shows that although media coverage reached the German public and promoted conference-specific knowledge, this did not translate into active engagement.

  • Michael Brüggemann
  • Fenja De Silva-Schmidt
  • Imke Hoppe
  • Dorothee Arlt
  • Josephine B. Schmitt
9 Oct 2017

Weakening of the North American monsoon with global warming

Past studies suggest the North American monsoon will weaken in the future. Correcting for model sea-surface temperature biases, however, reveals a reduction in monsoon-related precipitation due to increased atmospheric stability.

  • Salvatore Pascale
  • William R. Boos
  • Simona Bordoni
  • Thomas L. Delworth
  • Sarah B. Kapnick
  • Hiroyuki Murakami
  • Gabriel A. Vecchi
  • Wei Zhang
2 Oct 2017

Coral bleaching pathways under the control of regional temperature variability

The bleaching threat to coral reefs from warming is increasing, but risk locations are not clear. This study relates regional sea surface temperature variability to bleaching sensitivity and the future risk to coral reefs.

  • C. E. Langlais
  • A. Lenton
  • S. F. Heron
  • C. Evenhuis
  • A. Sen Gupta
  • J. N. Brown
  • M. Kuchinke
2 Oct 2017

Potential volcanic impacts on future climate variability

Projections of future climate do not typically include the effects of volcanic activity. By incorporating a range of volcanic futures into a coupled model, it is shown that volcanic forcing has quantifiable impacts on the time at which anthropogenic signatures emerge across various climate metrics.

  • Ingo Bethke
  • Stephen Outten
  • Odd Helge Otterå
  • Ed Hawkins
  • Sebastian Wagner
  • Michael Sigl
  • Peter Thorne
29 Sep 2017

Clearing clouds of uncertainty

Since 1990, the wide range in model-based estimates of equilibrium climate warming has been attributed to disparate cloud responses to warming. However, major progress in our ability to understand, observe, and simulate clouds has led to the conclusion that global cloud feedback is likely positive.

  • Mark D. Zelinka
  • David A. Randall
  • Mark J. Webb
  • Stephen A. Klein
29 Sep 2017

Considering agriculture in IPCC assessments

The treatment of agriculture has evolved over the lifetime of the IPCC, as tracked by the assessment reports. Efforts to quantify crop yield impacts and mitigation potentials have increased significantly, as has adaptation research. However, there remains a dearth of experimental and observational studies.

  • John R. Porter
  • Mark Howden
  • Pete Smith
29 Sep 2017

Improvements in ice-sheet sea-level projections

Ice losses from Antarctica and Greenland are the largest uncertainty in sea-level projections. Nevertheless, improvements in ice-sheet models over recent decades have led to closer agreement with satellite observations, keeping track with their increasing contribution to global sea-level rise.

  • Andrew Shepherd
  • Sophie Nowicki
29 Sep 2017

Whither methane in the IPCC process?

In anticipation of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report we look back at our evolving understanding of atmospheric CH4. Though sources, sinks, and atmospheric burden are now well known, apportionment between the myriad sources and sinks, and forecasting natural emissions, remains a challenge.

  • Patrick M. Crill
  • Brett F. Thornton
29 Sep 2017

Look back, looking forward

Understanding of anthropogenic climate change has evolved since the IPCC's First Assessment Report. Further progress relies on continued collaboration between observationalists and modellers.

29 Sep 2017

Storms ahead

As the climate changes, extreme storm and flood events are increasing in intensity and frequency, exposing more people to their impacts. Resilience planning needs to start now to limit these impacts.

29 Sep 2017

Progress in climate modelling

Development and planning for the sixth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) has been years in the making. Nature Climate Change speaks to the Chair of the CMIP Panel, Veronika Eyring, about the aims and projected outcomes of the project.

  • Graham Simpkins
29 Sep 2017

Behavioural economics: Cash incentives avert deforestation

There is tension in developing countries between financial incentives to clear forests and climate regulation benefits of preserving trees. Now research shows that paying private forest owners in Uganda reduced deforestation, adding to the debate on the use of monetary incentives in forest conservation.

  • Juan Camilo Cárdenas
News and Views
29 Sep 2017

New vigour involving statisticians to overcome ensemble fatigue

This Perspective considers how to better use and explore climate model output, considering whether statisticians can help achieve better design of ensembles and interpretation of output.

  • Rasmus Benestad
  • Jana Sillmann
  • Thordis Linda Thorarinsdottir
  • Peter Guttorp
  • Michel d. S. Mesquita
  • Mari R. Tye
  • Petteri Uotila
  • Cathrine Fox Maule
  • Peter Thejll
  • Martin Drews
  • Kajsa M. Parding
29 Sep 2017

Biogeochemistry: Peat decomposition

  • Alastair Brown
Research Highlights
29 Sep 2017

Climate mitigation: Adaptation in Africa

  • Graham Simpkins
Research Highlights
29 Sep 2017

Interdisciplinary research: Ecological impacts

  • Bronwyn Wake
Research Highlights
29 Sep 2017

Transportation: Expanding carpool lanes

  • Graham Simpkins
Research Highlights
25 Sep 2017

A typology of loss and damage perspectives

A typology of four perspectives on loss and damage is developed based on the study of actor perspectives, including interviews with stakeholders in research, practice, and policy. This may help with navigation of this necessarily ambiguous territory.

  • Emily Boyd
  • Rachel A. James
  • Richard G. Jones
  • Hannah R. Young
  • Friederike E. L. Otto
25 Sep 2017

Membership nominations in international scientific assessments

The composition of international scientific assessments influences their credibility. This study shows that membership nomination in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was driven by a group of core individuals based on prior institutional co-membership.

  • Philip Leifeld
  • Dana R. Fisher
25 Sep 2017

Climate policy: Transparency for Loss and Damage

Loss and Damage (L&D) has been gaining traction since the Paris Agreement took the issue on as a separate article, arguably creating a third pillar of international climate policy. Debate so far has led to vague definitions of the remit of the L&D mechanism; research on actor perspectives may help to propel this discourse forward.

  • Reinhard Mechler
News and Views
18 Sep 2017

Urban cross-sector actions for carbon mitigation with local health co-benefits in China

The use of cross-sectoral strategies, such as the exchange of waste energy through co-location of industry, business and residential areas, is shown to be effective for greenhouse gas and particulate mitigation in this study of 637 Chinese cities.

  • Anu Ramaswami
  • Kangkang Tong
  • Andrew Fang
  • Raj M. Lal
  • Ajay Singh Nagpure
  • Yang Li
  • Huajun Yu
  • Daqian Jiang
  • Armistead G. Russell
  • Lei Shi
  • Marian Chertow
  • Yangjun Wang
  • Shuxiao Wang
18 Sep 2017

Increased costs to US pavement infrastructure from future temperature rise

The selection of materials for road construction in the United States is based on assumptions of a stationary climate. With increasing temperatures, upholding these practices could add up to US$26.3 billion in US-wide maintenance costs by 2040 under RCP8.5.

  • B. Shane Underwood
  • Zack Guido
  • Padmini Gudipudi
  • Yarden Feinberg
18 Sep 2017

Western Pacific emergent constraint lowers projected increase in Indian summer monsoon rainfall

Climate models typically predict an increase in Indian summer monsoon rainfall with anthropogenic warming. Correcting for precipitation biases in the tropical western Pacific using an emergent constraint methodology, however, reduces the magnitude of these increases by ∼50%.

  • Gen Li
  • Shang-Ping Xie
  • Chao He
  • Zesheng Chen
18 Sep 2017

Infrastructure: Roadways in a rut

Higher air temperatures cause roadway surfaces to deteriorate more rapidly. Now research suggests that adapting design and material selection procedures to use future climate information can dramatically decrease the damage and ensuing repair cost.

  • Jo Sias Daniel
News and Views
18 Sep 2017

Mitigation: Decarbonization unique to cities

Strategies that reduce fossil-fuel use can achieve both global carbon mitigation and local health-protection goals. Now research shows the dual benefits of compact urban design and circular economy policies in Chinese cities.

  • Nadine Ibrahim
News and Views
11 Sep 2017

Climatic vulnerability of the world’s freshwater and marine fishes

To understand how species will cope with warming, knowledge of the thermal limits is needed. This study estimates 2,960 ray-fin fish species’ thermal sensitivity. Comparison with projected warming highlights vulnerable freshwater and marine regions.

  • Lise Comte
  • Julian D. Olden
11 Sep 2017

Biology: Survival of the finfish

A trait-based approach for assessing physiological sensitivity to climate change can connect a species' evolutionary past with its future vulnerability. Now a global assessment of freshwater and marine fishes reveals patterns of warming sensitivity, highlighting the importance of different biogeographies and identifying places where vulnerability runs high.

  • Jennifer Sunday
News and Views
4 Sep 2017

Change in the magnitude and mechanisms of global temperature variability with warming

Natural climate variability can enhance or suppress anthropogenic warming. Model results now show natural variability will decrease in magnitude under warmer conditions, altering the mechanisms causing it and its influence on warming rates.

  • Patrick T. Brown
  • Yi Ming
  • Wenhong Li
  • Spencer A. Hill
4 Sep 2017

More losers than winners in a century of future Southern Ocean seafloor warming

Warming waters are causing marine species to shift; however, how species found in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean will adapt is unclear. This study projects significant habitat reductions for individual benthic taxa and benthic communities over the next century.

  • Huw J. Griffiths
  • Andrew J. S. Meijers
  • Thomas J. Bracegirdle
4 Sep 2017

Climate variability: Picking apart climate models

Data and model-based evidence suggests that future weather patterns will be more complex than simply those of the past plus background warming. Now research offers physical explanations of how short-term climate variability might adjust.

  • Chris Huntingford
News and Views
1 Sep 2017

Climate risks across borders and scales

Changing climates are outpacing some components of our food systems. Risk assessments need to account for these rates of change. Assessing risk transmission mechanisms across sectors and international boundaries and coordinating policies across governments are key steps in addressing this challenge.

  • Andrew J. Challinor
  • W. Neil Adger
  • Tim G. Benton
1 Sep 2017

Improving the use of climate information in decision-making

To enable society to better manage the risks and opportunities arising from changes in climate, engagement between the users and the providers of climate information needs to be much more effective and should better link climate information with decision-making.

  • Chris D. Hewitt
  • Roger C. Stone
  • Andrew B. Tait
1 Sep 2017

Solar geoengineering reduces atmospheric carbon burden

Solar geoengineering is no substitute for cutting emissions, but could nevertheless help reduce the atmospheric carbon burden. In the extreme, if solar geoengineering were used to hold radiative forcing constant under RCP8.5, the carbon burden may be reduced by ∼100 GTC, equivalent to 12–26% of twenty-first-century emissions at a cost of under US$0.5 per tCO2.

  • David W. Keith
  • Gernot Wagner
  • Claire L. Zabel
1 Sep 2017

Transparent scenario development

  • Henrik Carlsen
  • Richard J. T. Klein
  • Per Wikman-Svahn
1 Sep 2017

Getting involved

Public participation in climate change research is reaching new-found heights due to an explosion in the number and diversity of citizen-science projects. These offer distinct opportunities for scientists to encourage education and outreach whilst maximising scientific gain.

1 Sep 2017

Rapid adaptive responses to climate change in corals

Pivotal to projecting the fate of coral reefs is the capacity of reef-building corals to acclimatize and adapt to climate change. Transgenerational plasticity may enable some marine organisms to acclimatize over several generations and it has been hypothesized that epigenetic processes and microbial associations might facilitate adaptive responses. However, current evidence is equivocal and understanding of the underlying processes is limited. Here, we discuss prospects for observing transgenerational plasticity in corals and the mechanisms that could enable adaptive plasticity in the coral holobiont, including the potential role of epigenetics and coral-associated microbes. Well-designed and strictly controlled experiments are needed to distinguish transgenerational plasticity from other forms of plasticity, and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and their relative importance compared with genetic adaptation.

  • Gergely Torda
  • Jennifer M. Donelson
  • Manuel Aranda
  • Daniel J. Barshis
  • Line Bay
  • Michael L. Berumen
  • David G. Bourne
  • Neal Cantin
  • Sylvain Foret
  • Mikhail Matz
  • David J. Miller
  • Aurelie Moya
  • Hollie M. Putnam
  • Timothy Ravasi
  • Madeleine J. H. van Oppen
  • Rebecca Vega Thurber
  • Jeremie Vidal-Dupiol
  • Christian R. Voolstra
  • Sue-Ann Watson
  • Emma Whitelaw
  • Bette L. Willis
  • Philip L. Munday
1 Sep 2017

Air pollution: Wildfire threats

  • Graham Simpkins
Research Highlights
1 Sep 2017

Climate dynamics: Tropics to stratosphere

  • Graham Simpkins
Research Highlights
1 Sep 2017

Geoengineering: Perceived controllability

  • Jenn Richler
Research Highlights
1 Sep 2017

Health impacts: Plant protein changes

  • Bronwyn Wake
Research Highlights
28 Aug 2017

Threats to North American forests from southern pine beetle with warming winters

The southern pine beetle is projected to be able to expand into vast areas of the northeastern US and southeastern Canada by 2050 posing risks to forest structure, biodiversity and associated ecosystem services.

  • Corey Lesk
  • Ethan Coffel
  • Anthony W. D’Amato
  • Kevin Dodds
  • Radley Horton
21 Aug 2017

Enhanced warming of the subtropical mode water in the North Pacific and North Atlantic

Warming of surface ocean waters is well known, but how the subsurface waters are changing is less clear. This study shows that subtropical mode water in the North Atlantic and North Pacific is warming at twice the rate of the surface waters.

  • Shusaku Sugimoto
  • Kimio Hanawa
  • Tomowo Watanabe
  • Toshio Suga
  • Shang-Ping Xie
21 Aug 2017

Unexpected changes in community size structure in a natural warming experiment

A warmer climate is generally expected to favour smaller organisms and steeper body-mass–abundance scaling through food webs. Results from across a stream temperature gradient now show that this effect can be offset by increasing nutrient supply.

  • Eoin J. O’Gorman
  • Lei Zhao
  • Doris E. Pichler
  • Georgina Adams
  • Nikolai Friberg
  • Björn C. Rall
  • Alex Seeney
  • Huayong Zhang
  • Daniel C. Reuman
  • Guy Woodward
14 Aug 2017

Catalysing a political shift from low to negative carbon

Policymakers are beginning to understand the scale of carbon dioxide removal that is required to keep global warming “well below 2 °C”. This understanding must now be translated into policies that give business the incentive to research, develop and deploy the required technologies.

  • Glen P. Peters
  • Oliver Geden
7 Aug 2017

Karakoram temperature and glacial melt driven by regional atmospheric circulation variability

The mass balance of glaciers will influence regional water resources in the Himalayas. Changes in atmospheric dynamics, the Karakoram vortex contraction, and interaction with the monsoon influence the glacial melt of the region.

  • Nathan Forsythe
  • Hayley J. Fowler
  • Xiao-Feng Li
  • Stephen Blenkinsop
  • David Pritchard
2 Aug 2017

Cities spearhead climate action

Following President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, cities worldwide have pledged support to combat climate change. Along with a growing coalition of businesses and institutions, cities represent a beacon of hope for carbon reduction in politically tumultuous times.

  • Mark Watts
2 Aug 2017

Impacts of the Larsen-C Ice Shelf calving event

A giant iceberg has calved off the Larsen-C Ice Shelf, the largest remaining ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, reducing its total area by ~10%. Whilst calving events are a natural phenomenon and thus not necessarily indicative of changing environmental conditions, such events can impact ice-shelf stability.

  • Anna E. Hogg
  • G. Hilmar Gudmundsson