• Blind faith

    Many believe that double-blind peer review reduces referee bias, real or perceived.

  • Positive intentions

    Countries met again at a new climate change meeting, but this time to work out solutions.




  • Call to protect all coral reefs

    The world's coral reefs are in decline, threatening the food security of millions of people. Adopting an ecosystem-scale approach that protects deep as well as shallow reefs would deliver several social and economic benefits.

    • Tom C. L. Bridge
    • Terry P. Hughes
    • John M. Guinotte
    • Pim Bongaerts
  • Framing biological responses to a changing ocean

    To understand how marine biota are likely to respond to climate change-mediated alterations in ocean properties, researchers need to harmonize experimental protocols and environmental manipulations, and make better use of reference organisms.

    • Philip W. Boyd

Market Watch

  • Holding out hope

    As Europe's carbon prices seem to be stuck at low levels, offsetting project managers have their fingers crossed that new markets will emerge in time, reports Anna Petherick.

News and Views

  • Political science: New climate alliances

    Improving the ability of cities to mitigate and adapt to climate change has become a pressing global priority. Research now sheds light on the ways in which urban leaders are positioning themselves for the coming climate challenge.

    • Craig A. Johnson
  • Atmospheric Science: Winds of change

    Computer models and some theories suggest that global warming causes tropical Pacific trade winds to weaken, even as western tropical Pacific rainfall increases. A new observational study indicates otherwise.

    • Matthew Newman
  • Arctic greening: Concerns over Arctic warming grow

    Changes in the pattern of the seasons are implicated in observed Arctic greening.

    • Peter K. Snyder


  • Contribution of anthropology to the study of climate change

    Anthropology can offer valuable insights into the science, impacts and policy of climate change thanks to its fieldwork methodology, holistic view of society and engagement in society–environment interactions. Yet the discipline's voice in climate change debates remains marginal. This Perspective sheds light on how anthropological research can contribute to the understanding of climate change.

    • Jessica Barnes
    • Michael Dove
    • Myanna Lahsen
    • Andrew Mathews
    • Pamela McElwee
    • Roderick McIntosh
    • Frances Moore
    • Jessica O'Reilly
    • Ben Orlove
    • Rajindra Puri
    • Harvey Weiss
    • Karina Yager
  • The UN's 'Sustainable Energy for All' initiative is compatible with a warming limit of 2 °C

    At Rio+20, the United Nations established global targets for energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency in the context of sustainable development and eradication of poverty, as well as climate risk mitigation. This Perspective discusses the consistency of these targets with the overarching goal of limiting global temperature increase to below 2 °C.

    • Joeri Rogelj
    • David L. McCollum
    • Keywan Riahi
  • Untangling the confusion around land carbon science and climate change mitigation policy

    Two important aims of mitigation policy are to maintain land carbon stocks and reduce terrestrial ecosystem-based emissions. This Perspective discusses the scientific issues involved, argues that current negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are not solidly grounded in science, and proposes some ways forward.

    • Brendan Mackey
    • I. Colin Prentice
    • Will Steffen
    • Joanna I. House
    • David Lindenmayer
    • Heather Keith
    • Sandra Berry


  • A coupled physical and economic model of the response of coastal real estate to climate risk

    A study that couples a barrier-island model with an agent-based model of real-estate markets shows that, relative to people with little belief in model predictions on climate change, informed property owners invest heavily in defensive measures in the short term. They then abandon coastal real estate when price volatility becomes significant.

    • Dylan E. McNamara
    • Andrew Keeler
  • Reductions in labour capacity from heat stress under climate warming

    Individual labour capacity has reduced to 90% in peak months owing to environmental heat stress over the past few decades. Under the highest climate change scenario considered, model projections indicate a reduction in labour capacity to less than 40% by 2200 in peak months, with most tropical and mid-latitude regions experiencing extreme heat stress.

    • John P. Dunne
    • Ronald J. Stouffer
    • Jasmin G. John
  • Attribution of historical ozone forcing to anthropogenic emissions

    Current thinking on the causes of anthropogenic radiative forcing in the lower atmosphere is misleading. This study finds tropospheric ozone-precursor emissions have contributed more to positive forcing, and halocarbons more to negative forcing, than previously thought.

    • Drew Shindell
    • Greg Faluvegi
    • Larissa Nazarenko
    • Kevin Bowman
    • Jean-Francois Lamarque
    • Apostolos Voulgarakis
    • Gavin A. Schmidt
    • Olga Pechony
    • Reto Ruedy
  • Recent multidecadal strengthening of the Walker circulation across the tropical Pacific

    The Walker circulation is a large overturning cell that spans the tropical Pacific Ocean. Fluctuations in this circulation reflect changes in tropical heating, and have global impacts on temperature and precipitation. Analysis of trends in sea-level pressure from ten data sets reveals strengthening of the Walker circulation in line with increasing global temperature, which is counter to current model predictions.

    • Michelle L. L’Heureux
    • Sukyoung Lee
    • Bradfield Lyon
  • Trends in hourly rainfall statistics in the United States under a warming climate

    Has the frequency of ‘extreme weather events’ changed with climate warming over the last century? Using hourly precipitation records from thirteen sites, this study finds no evidence for significant changes in mean ‘storminess’ across the United States.

    • T. Muschinski
    • J. I. Katz
  • Temperature and vegetation seasonality diminishment over northern lands

    Pronounced increases in winter temperature result in lower seasonal temperature differences, with implications for vegetation seasonality and productivity. Research now indicates that temperature and vegetation seasonality in northern ecosystems have diminished to an extent equivalent to a southerly shift of 4°– 7° in latitude, and may reach the equivalent of up to 20° over the twenty-first century.

    • L. Xu
    • R. B. Myneni
    • F. S. Chapin III
    • T. V. Callaghan
    • J. E. Pinzon
    • C. J. Tucker
    • Z. Zhu
    • J. Bi
    • P. Ciais
    • H. Tømmervik
    • E. S. Euskirchen
    • B. C. Forbes
    • S. L. Piao
    • B. T. Anderson
    • S. Ganguly
    • R. R. Nemani
    • S. J. Goetz
    • P. S. A. Beck
    • A. G. Bunn
    • C. Cao
    • J. C. Stroeve
  • Mussel byssus attachment weakened by ocean acidification

    Biomaterial function depends on biological, chemical and environmental factors during formation and subsequent use. Ocean acidification has been shown to affect secreted calcium carbonate, but effects on other biomaterials are less well known. Research now reveals that proteinaceous byssal threads—used to anchor mytilid mussels to hard substrates—exhibited reduced mechanical performance when secreted under elevated pCO2 conditions.

    • Michael J. O’Donnell
    • Matthew N. George
    • Emily Carrington


  • Mixed responses of tropical Pacific fisheries and aquaculture to climate change

    Climate change has the potential to disrupt marine habitats and food webs. Targeted multidisciplinary research reveals how this is likely to affect the contributions of fisheries and aquaculture to the food security and economies of Pacific islands.

    • Johann D. Bell
    • Alexandre Ganachaud
    • Peter C. Gehrke
    • Shane P. Griffiths
    • Alistair J. Hobday
    • Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
    • Johanna E. Johnson
    • Robert Le Borgne
    • Patrick Lehodey
    • Janice M. Lough
    • Richard J. Matear
    • Timothy D. Pickering
    • Morgan S. Pratchett
    • Alex Sen Gupta
    • Inna Senina
    • Michelle Waycott