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24 Jul 2017

A revival of Indian summer monsoon rainfall since 2002

Since ∼1950, a significant reduction in Indian monsoon rainfall has been observed. Here, it is shown that land–ocean temperature contrasts have produced more favourable monsoon conditions since 2002, reviving summer monsoon rainfall over India.

  • Qinjian Jin
  • Chien Wang
24 Jul 2017

Small-island communities in the Philippines prefer local measures to relocation in response to sea-level rise

It is often assumed that increased flooding due to sea-level rise will lead to mass migration. However, this study shows that residents of island communities in the Philippines prefer to implement local adaptation measures in response to frequent severe flooding rather than relocate.

  • Ma. Laurice Jamero
  • Motoharu Onuki
  • Miguel Esteban
  • Xyza Kristina Billones-Sensano
  • Nicholson Tan
  • Angelie Nellas
  • Hiroshi Takagi
  • Nguyen Danh Thao
  • Ven Paolo Valenzuela
24 Jul 2017

Continued increase of extreme El Niño frequency long after 1.5 °C warming stabilization

CMIP5 simulations reveal that the frequency of extreme El Niño events doubles under the 1.5 °C Paris target, and continues to increase long after global temperatures stabilize due to emission reductions. Extreme La Niña events, however, see little change at either 1.5° or 2 °C warming.

  • Guojian Wang
  • Wenju Cai
  • Bolan Gan
  • Lixin Wu
  • Agus Santoso
  • Xiaopei Lin
  • Zhaohui Chen
  • Michael J. McPhaden
24 Jul 2017

Importance of the pre-industrial baseline for likelihood of exceeding Paris goals

In order to meet internationally agreed temperature limits, it is important to have a defined baseline. This study shows for low-emission scenarios the likelihood and timing of exceedance are highly dependent on the baseline, as are allowable carbon emissions.

  • Andrew P. Schurer
  • Michael E. Mann
  • Ed Hawkins
  • Simon F. B. Tett
  • Gabriele C. Hegerl
24 Jul 2017

Climate dynamics: Land warming revives monsoon

A weakening land–ocean temperature difference, owing to a rapidly warming Indian Ocean, has seen the Indian monsoon trending downward since the 1950s. New research gives hope for a revival in monsoon rainfall as land warming catches up with, and exceeds, ocean warming.

  • Mathew Koll Roxy
News and Views
24 Jul 2017

Sea-level-rise impacts: Questioning inevitable migration

It is assumed that sea-level rise due to climate change will be so severe that those living near sea level will be forced to relocate. However, new research around a series of islands that have suffered subsidence due to a recent earthquake suggests that instead, island residents remain and use a range of strategies to adapt to regular flooding.

  • Dominic Kniveton
News and Views
17 Jul 2017

Localized rapid warming of West Antarctic subsurface waters by remote winds

The subsurface waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula are warming rapidly. This study shows that changes in coastal winds in East Antarctica are remotely impacting this region and drive the upwelling of warm deep water.

  • Paul Spence
  • Ryan M. Holmes
  • Andrew McC. Hogg
  • Stephen M. Griffies
  • Kial D. Stewart
  • Matthew H. England
17 Jul 2017

Balancing Europe’s wind-power output through spatial deployment informed by weather regimes

Weather regimes drive variability in wind-power generation across Europe, affecting energy security. Strategically deployed wind turbines in regions of contrasting weather regime behaviour can be used to balance wind capacity and minimize output variability.

  • Christian M. Grams
  • Remo Beerli
  • Stefan Pfenninger
  • Iain Staffell
  • Heini Wernli
17 Jul 2017

Climate impacts of oil extraction increase significantly with oilfield age

The footprint of oil typically considers combustion emissions, neglecting extraction emissions. This study shows that production declines with depletion for 25 significant oil fields, whilst emissions increase through greater energy expenditure.

  • Mohammad S. Masnadi
  • Adam R. Brandt
17 Jul 2017

The limits of modifying migration speed to adjust to climate change

Analysis synthesizing 49 tracking studies shows that flexibility in the major determinant of migration duration is insufficient to adjust to ongoing climate change, and is unlikely to explain many of the changes in arrival timing already observed.

  • Heiko Schmaljohann
  • Christiaan Both
10 Jul 2017

Human disturbance and upward expansion of plants in a warming climate

A large proportion of European alpine plants are able to spread upslope faster than current climate velocities. Nevertheless, invasive species tend to be particularly effective dispersers, making them an additional pressure on the vulnerable native flora.

  • Matteo Dainese
  • Sami Aikio
  • Philip E. Hulme
  • Alessio Bertolli
  • Filippo Prosser
  • Lorenzo Marini
30 Jun 2017

Aligning climate policy with finance ministers' G20 agenda

There is no longer a choice between climate policy and no climate policy. G20 finance ministers have to play a key role in implementing smart climate policies like carbon pricing. Yet they remain reluctant to take advantage of the merits of carbon pricing for sound fiscal policy.

  • Ottmar Edenhofer
  • Brigitte Knopf
  • Céline Bak
  • Amar Bhattacharya
30 Jun 2017

California from drought to deluge

The dramatic switch from extreme drought to severe flooding in California, and the accompanying flip from atmospheric ridge to trough in the northeastern Pacific, exemplifies the pathways to an intensified water cycle under a warming climate.

  • S.-Y. Simon Wang
  • Jin-Ho Yoon
  • Emily Becker
  • Robert Gillies
30 Jun 2017

In the observational record half a degree matters

Discriminating the climate impacts of half-degree warming increments is high on the post-Paris science agenda. Here we argue that evidence from the observational record provides useful guidance for such assessments.

  • Carl-Friedrich Schleussner
  • Peter Pfleiderer
  • Erich M. Fischer
30 Jun 2017

Culture versus cognition is a false dilemma

  • Sander van der Linden
  • Edward Maibach
  • John Cook
  • Anthony Leiserowitz
  • Michael Ranney
  • Stephan Lewandowsky
  • Joseph Árvai
  • Elke U. Weber
30 Jun 2017

Reply to 'Culture versus cognition is a false dilemma'

  • Dan M. Kahan
  • Katherine Carpenter
30 Jun 2017

Money for climate

A judicious use of financial instruments today could protect the well-being of future societies but investment and ambition needs to rapidly increase to achieve this outcome.

30 Jun 2017

Nationalist advance

European far-right parties have been making headway and could pose a risk to climate-friendly policy.

  • Elisabeth Jeffries
30 Jun 2017

Soil carbon: A leaky sink

Ambitious greenhouse–gas emissions cuts are needed to limit the global mean annual temperature increase to 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels. A study now finds that the land sink for CO2 appears much smaller than is currently factored into climate models, suggesting that emissions cuts may need to be even more ambitious than currently estimated.

  • Mark A. Bradford
News and Views
30 Jun 2017

Considering climate in studies of fertility and reproductive health in poor countries

Factors related to fertility such as population size, composition and growth rate may influence a community’s ability to adapt to climate change, particularly in poor countries. This Perspective describes theories and analytic strategies that can link climate to reproductive health outcomes.

  • Kathryn Grace
30 Jun 2017

Atmospheric science: Peruvian freezing height

  • Graham Simpkins
Research Highlights
30 Jun 2017

Biodiversity: Trait economics

  • Alastair Brown
Research Highlights
30 Jun 2017

Climate governance: Mobile payments for REDD+

  • Michele Graffeo
Research Highlights
30 Jun 2017

Psychology: Papal credibility and beliefs

  • Jenn Richler
Research Highlights
26 Jun 2017

Global patterns in mangrove soil carbon stocks and losses

This research presents global baseline estimates of mangrove soil C stocks enabling countries to begin to assess their mangrove soil C stocks and the emissions that might arise from mangrove deforestation.

  • Trisha B. Atwood
  • Rod M. Connolly
  • Hanan Almahasheer
  • Paul E. Carnell
  • Carlos M. Duarte
  • Carolyn J. Ewers Lewis
  • Xabier Irigoien
  • Jeffrey J. Kelleway
  • Paul S. Lavery
  • Peter I. Macreadie
  • Oscar Serrano
  • Christian J. Sanders
  • Isaac Santos
  • Andrew D. L. Steven
  • Catherine E. Lovelock
26 Jun 2017

Lightning as a major driver of recent large fire years in North American boreal forests

The boreal forest is being transformed by changes in its climate–fire regime. Analysis now shows that lightning drives year-to-year and long-term ignition and burned area trends in boreal North America.

  • Sander Veraverbeke
  • Brendan M. Rogers
  • Mike L. Goulden
  • Randi R. Jandt
  • Charles E. Miller
  • Elizabeth B. Wiggins
  • James T. Randerson
26 Jun 2017

The changing hail threat over North America in response to anthropogenic climate change

Greater convective activity is anticipated with anthropogenic climate change. Model results now indicate that the size and frequency of large hail events will likely increase over the US, particularly in southern and central regions, increasing the risk of hail damage.

  • Julian C. Brimelow
  • William R. Burrows
  • John M. Hanesiak
26 Jun 2017

Limited contribution of permafrost carbon to methane release from thawing peatlands

Methane fluxes from thawing peatlands in northern Canada were derived predominantly from anaerobic decomposition of recent vegetation rather than from previously frozen material — as is typically assumed.

  • Mark D. A. Cooper
  • Cristian Estop-Aragonés
  • James P. Fisher
  • Aaron Thierry
  • Mark H. Garnett
  • Dan J. Charman
  • Julian B. Murton
  • Gareth K. Phoenix
  • Rachael Treharne
  • Steve V. Kokelj
  • Stephen A. Wolfe
  • Antoni G. Lewkowicz
  • Mathew Williams
  • Iain P. Hartley
26 Jun 2017

The increasing rate of global mean sea-level rise during 1993–2014

The acceleration of sea-level rise continues, but this has not been clear in the short altimeter record. This study closes the sea-level rise budget for 1993–2014 and illustrates the increased contribution from the Greenland ice sheet.

  • Xianyao Chen
  • Xuebin Zhang
  • John A. Church
  • Christopher S. Watson
  • Matt A. King
  • Didier Monselesan
  • Benoit Legresy
  • Christopher Harig
26 Jun 2017

Atmospheric hazards: Hail potential heating up

There is widespread speculation as to whether hailstorms are getting more intense or frequent as the global climate warms. Now research suggests a potential increase in both the mean hail size and frequency of larger hail events over North America.

  • John T. Allen
News and Views
26 Jun 2017

Permafrost thaw: Methane origins

Permafrost soils represent a massive pool of organic carbon that could be released to the atmosphere due to future climate change. A study now shows that previously frozen soil carbon contained in peatlands may make a relatively modest contribution to future methane emissions following permafrost thaw.

  • Scott D. Bridgham
News and Views
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