Climate sciences

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Past Indian summer monsoon (ISM) changes are not well understood. The application of an energetic framework to a transient model simulation shows that ISM influences have changed in the past, with rising water vapor more important during deglaciation, whereas cloud feedbacks dominated during the Holocene.

    • Chetankumar Jalihal
    • , Jayaraman Srinivasan
    •  & Arindam Chakraborty
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Earth’s carbon cycle and oceanic magnesium cycle are controlled by processes such as weathering, volcanism and precipitation of carbonates, such as dolomite. Here, the authors contradict the view that modern dolomite formation is rare and suggest instead that dolomite accounts for ~40–60% of the global oceanic Mg output in the last 20 Ma.

    • Netta Shalev
    • , Tomaso R. R. Bontognali
    • , C. Geoffrey Wheat
    •  & Derek Vance
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The contribution of symbiotic dinitrogen fixation to the forest carbon sink could change throughout forest succession. Here the authors model nitrogen cycling and light competition between trees based on data from Panamanian forest plots, showing that fixation contributes substantially to the carbon sink in early successional stages.

    • Jennifer H. Levy-Varon
    • , Sarah A. Batterman
    • , David Medvigy
    • , Xiangtao Xu
    • , Jefferson S. Hall
    • , Michiel van Breugel
    •  & Lars O. Hedin
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    The recent collapses of ice shelves in Antarctica due to warming make it essential to understand past ice shelf conditions and mechanisms. Here Smith and colleagues review the latest progress in deciphering the geological imprint of Antarctic ice shelves via sediments, landforms and proxy indicators.

    • James A. Smith
    • , Alastair G. C. Graham
    • , Alix L. Post
    • , Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand
    • , Philip J. Bart
    •  & Ross D. Powell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Carbon dioxide removal technologies are often touted as a potential strategy to combat ocean acidification. However, the authors show here that these strategies are only effective when included as part of aggressive and rapid climate-action, undermining the idea of geoengineering as a panacea.

    • M. Hofmann
    • , S. Mathesius
    • , E. Kriegler
    • , D. P. van Vuuren
    •  & H. J. Schellnhuber
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum constitutes one of the largest climate perturbations in Earth’s history, but its exact causes are not well known. New estimates of greenhouse gas fluxes from the North Atlantic Igneous Province at high temporal resolution show that they could have initiated this event.

    • Stephen M. Jones
    • , Murray Hoggett
    • , Sarah E. Greene
    •  & Tom Dunkley Jones
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Robust estimates of either urban expansion worldwide or the effects of such phenomenon on terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP) are lacking. Here the authors used the new dataset of global land use to show that the global urban areas expanded largely between 2000 and 2010, which in turn reduced terrestrial NPP globally.

    • Xiaoping Liu
    • , Fengsong Pei
    • , Youyue Wen
    • , Xia Li
    • , Shaojian Wang
    • , Changjiang Wu
    • , Yiling Cai
    • , Jianguo Wu
    • , Jun Chen
    • , Kuishuang Feng
    • , Junguo Liu
    • , Klaus Hubacek
    • , Steven J. Davis
    • , Wenping Yuan
    • , Le Yu
    •  & Zhu Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate affects dynamics of infectious diseases, but the impact on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) epidemiology isn’t well understood. Here, Baker et al. model the influence of temperature, humidity and rainfall on RSV epidemiology in the USA and Mexico and predict impact of climate change on RSV dynamics.

    • Rachel E. Baker
    • , Ayesha S. Mahmud
    • , Caroline E. Wagner
    • , Wenchang Yang
    • , Virginia E. Pitzer
    • , Cecile Viboud
    • , Gabriel A. Vecchi
    • , C. Jessica E. Metcalf
    •  & Bryan T. Grenfell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Suture zones are abundant on Antarctic ice shelves and widely observed to impede fracture propagation. Here we show that fracture detainment is principally controlled by the zones’ enhanced seawater contents, reducing fracture-driving stresses by orders of magnitude and therefore greatly enhancing stability.

    • Bernd Kulessa
    • , Adam D. Booth
    • , Martin O’Leary
    • , Daniel McGrath
    • , Edward C. King
    • , Adrian J. Luckman
    • , Paul R. Holland
    • , Daniela Jansen
    • , Suzanne L. Bevan
    • , Sarah S. Thompson
    •  & Bryn Hubbard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Anoxic lake sediments are thought to be the major source of the high amount of methane emitted from freshwaters. Here Günthel and colleagues find unexpected quantities of this greenhouse gas are produced in lake surfaces, indicating an overlooked global importance from oxygenated sources.

    • Marco Günthel
    • , Daphne Donis
    • , Georgiy Kirillin
    • , Danny Ionescu
    • , Mina Bizic
    • , Daniel F. McGinnis
    • , Hans-Peter Grossart
    •  & Kam W. Tang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Healthy coral reefs have an acoustic signature known to be attractive to coral and fish larvae during settlement. Here the authors use playback experiments in the field to show that healthy reef sounds can increase recruitment of juvenile fishes to degraded coral reef habitat, suggesting that acoustic playback could be used as a reef management strategy.

    • Timothy A. C. Gordon
    • , Andrew N. Radford
    • , Isla K. Davidson
    • , Kasey Barnes
    • , Kieran McCloskey
    • , Sophie L. Nedelec
    • , Mark G. Meekan
    • , Mark I. McCormick
    •  & Stephen D. Simpson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ross Sea Bottom Water, a major source of Antarctic Bottom Water, has experienced significant freshening in recent decades. Here the authors use 23 years of summer measurements to document temporal variability in the salinity of the Ross Sea High Salinity Shelf Water (HSSW) and found that HSSW salinity decreased between 1995 and 2014 and rebounded sharply after 2014.

    • Pasquale Castagno
    • , Vincenzo Capozzi
    • , Giacomo R. DiTullio
    • , Pierpaolo Falco
    • , Giannetta Fusco
    • , Stephen R. Rintoul
    • , Giancarlo Spezie
    •  & Giorgio Budillon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It remains challenging to estimate carbon accumulation rates in tidal wetlands on a scale as large as the conterminous US. Here, the authors find that mean C accumulation rates vary greatly among watershed regions but not among vegetation types, and that tidal wetlands’ C sequestration capability will remain or increase by 2100, suggesting a resilience to sea level rise.

    • Faming Wang
    • , Xiaoliang Lu
    • , Christian J. Sanders
    •  & Jianwu Tang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate-induced poleward shifts in plant distributions could flatten latitudinal diversity gradients. However, here the authors show that the spread of forests after the last ice age reduced diversity in central and northern Europe, and that human land-use over the past 5000 years strengthened the latitudinal gradient in plant diversity.

    • Thomas Giesecke
    • , Steffen Wolters
    • , Jacqueline F. N. van Leeuwen
    • , Pim W. O. van der Knaap
    • , Michelle Leydet
    •  & Simon Brewer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Resource impacts from the electrification of transport sector in terms of heavy-duty vehicles are understudied. Here the authors find that a mass deployment of plug-in electric vehicles in the heavy-duty segment at the global level can substantially increase the lithium demand.

    • Han Hao
    • , Yong Geng
    • , James E. Tate
    • , Feiqi Liu
    • , Kangda Chen
    • , Xin Sun
    • , Zongwei Liu
    •  & Fuquan Zhao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The radiative forcing due to aerosol-cloud interactions constitutes one of the largest uncertainties of anthropogenic radiative forcing. Direct satellite measurements of the relevant aerosol properties reveal that the resulting cooling from anthropogenic aerosols is much stronger than previously thought.

    • Otto P. Hasekamp
    • , Edward Gryspeerdt
    •  & Johannes Quaas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Snow cover can affect the Arctic sea-ice system in different ways. Here authors study the relationship between cyclone activity and the seasonal build-up of snow on Arctic sea ice at a multi-decadal and basin-wide scale and find that 44% of the variability in monthly snow accumulation was controlled by cyclone snowfall and 29% by sea-ice freeze-up with strong spatio-temporal differences.

    • M. A. Webster
    • , C. Parker
    • , L. Boisvert
    •  & R. Kwok
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Asian summer monsoons and their links to global temperature changes have been the subject of intense debate. Here the authors reconstruct the Asian monsoon climate since the late Miocene, using plant silica records of C4 and C3 grasses in central China, and find that global cooling caused Asian monsoon rainfall to decrease markedly in the late Pliocene.

    • Hanlin Wang
    • , Huayu Lu
    • , Lin Zhao
    • , Hongyan Zhang
    • , Fang Lei
    •  & Yichao Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Iron is critical for fueling marine primary productivity, but its concentration is often vanishingly low in the ocean. Here, the authors show that though icebergs serve as vehicles delivering the largest supply of iron to polar oceans, the amount of iron they carry varies widely.

    • Mark J. Hopwood
    • , Dustin Carroll
    • , Juan Höfer
    • , Eric P. Achterberg
    • , Lorenz Meire
    • , Frédéric A. C. Le Moigne
    • , Lennart T. Bach
    • , Charlotte Eich
    • , David A. Sutherland
    •  & Humberto E. González
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Greenhouse gas mitigation can involve land-use changes that alter the habitat available for wildlife. Here, Ohashi et al. perform an integrated assessment showing that climate mitigation can be beneficial for global biodiversity but may entail local biodiversity losses where land-based mitigation is implemented.

    • Haruka Ohashi
    • , Tomoko Hasegawa
    • , Akiko Hirata
    • , Shinichiro Fujimori
    • , Kiyoshi Takahashi
    • , Ikutaro Tsuyama
    • , Katsuhiro Nakao
    • , Yuji Kominami
    • , Nobuyuki Tanaka
    • , Yasuaki Hijioka
    •  & Tetsuya Matsui
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There lacks a consistent and holistic evaluation of co-benefits of different mitigation pathways in studies on Integrated Assessment Models. Here the authors quantify environmental co-benefits and adverse side-effects of a portfolio of alternative power sector decarbonisation pathways and show that the scale of co-benefits as well as profiles of adverse side-effects depend strongly on technology choice.

    • Gunnar Luderer
    • , Michaja Pehl
    • , Anders Arvesen
    • , Thomas Gibon
    • , Benjamin L. Bodirsky
    • , Harmen Sytze de Boer
    • , Oliver Fricko
    • , Mohamad Hejazi
    • , Florian Humpenöder
    • , Gokul Iyer
    • , Silvana Mima
    • , Ioanna Mouratiadou
    • , Robert C. Pietzcker
    • , Alexander Popp
    • , Maarten van den Berg
    • , Detlef van Vuuren
    •  & Edgar G. Hertwich
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aerosol-cloud interactions are a large source of uncertainty in radiative forcing estimates. Here, the authors show that the radiative effects of clouds are influenced by a combination of aerosol particle distribution, environmental conditions and atmosphere dynamics.

    • S. J. Lowe
    • , D. G. Partridge
    • , J. F. Davies
    • , K. R. Wilson
    • , D. Topping
    •  & I. Riipinen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Deciphering the origin, age, and composition of deep marine organic carbon remains a challenge for understanding the dynamics of the marine carbon cycle. Here, the authors identify (sub)micron-sized graphite emanating from both high and low temperature hydrothermal vents along the East Pacific Rise, and suggest graphite is a source of old carbon in the deep ocean.

    • Emily R. Estes
    • , Debora Berti
    • , Nicole R. Coffey
    • , Michael F. Hochella Jr.
    • , Andrew S. Wozniak
    •  & George W. Luther III
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The variations in overbank flow from rivers onto floodplains from regional to continental scales are understudied. Here, the authors investigate this variation as a function of hydroclimatic parameters and channel size in the conterminous U.S. and find that the timing of floodplain inundation is largely controlled by regional factors, while the frequency, duration and magnitude of these inundations vary consistently with channel size.

    • Durelle T. Scott
    • , Jesus D. Gomez-Velez
    • , C. Nathan Jones
    •  & Judson W. Harvey
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The connection between Arctic sea ice loss and mid-latitude cooling in Eurasia has been widely debated. Here, model experiments reveal that the persistence of sea ice loss-related snow and soil temperature anomalies in Eurasia may lead to further cooling in the following winters.

    • Tetsu Nakamura
    • , Koji Yamazaki
    • , Tomonori Sato
    •  & Jinro Ukita
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Global soil carbon dynamics are regulated by the modification of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition by plant carbon input (priming effect). Here, the authors collect soil data along a 2200 km grassland transect on the Tibetan Plateau and find that SOM stability is the major control on priming effect.

    • Leiyi Chen
    • , Li Liu
    • , Shuqi Qin
    • , Guibiao Yang
    • , Kai Fang
    • , Biao Zhu
    • , Yakov Kuzyakov
    • , Pengdong Chen
    • , Yunping Xu
    •  & Yuanhe Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mycorrhizas—mutualistic relationships formed between fungi and most plant species—are functionally linked to soil carbon stocks. Here the authors map the global distribution of mycorrhizal plants and quantify links between mycorrhizal vegetation patterns and terrestrial carbon stocks.

    • Nadejda A. Soudzilovskaia
    • , Peter M. van Bodegom
    • , César Terrer
    • , Maarten van’t Zelfde
    • , Ian McCallum
    • , M. Luke McCormack
    • , Joshua B. Fisher
    • , Mark C. Brundrett
    • , Nuno César de Sá
    •  & Leho Tedersoo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rivers are thought to be the largest source of the recalcitrant and abundant black carbon in the ocean. Here, Wagner and colleagues find distinct pools of black carbon between rivers and the open ocean, challenging the long-held assumption that marine black carbon is of terrestrial origin.

    • Sasha Wagner
    • , Jay Brandes
    • , Robert G. M. Spencer
    • , Kun Ma
    • , Sarah Z. Rosengard
    • , Jose Mauro S. Moura
    •  & Aron Stubbins
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The relative contributions of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets to Last Interglacial sea level rise remain debated, as do the timing and magnitude. Here, data show that the Antarctic Ice Sheet dominated particularly high levels of sea-level rise during the early Last Interglacial.

    • Eelco J. Rohling
    • , Fiona D. Hibbert
    • , Katharine M. Grant
    • , Eirik V. Galaasen
    • , Nil Irvalı
    • , Helga F. Kleiven
    • , Gianluca Marino
    • , Ulysses Ninnemann
    • , Andrew P. Roberts
    • , Yair Rosenthal
    • , Hartmut Schulz
    • , Felicity H. Williams
    •  & Jimin Yu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The role of solar and wind energy (SWE) in management of water-food-energy (WFE) nexus is largely neglected. Here the authors developed a trade-off frontier framework to quantify the water sustainability value of SWE and applied it in California, where they found that SWE penetration creates beneficial feedback for the WFE nexus by enhancing drought resilience and benefits groundwater sustainability over long run.

    • Xiaogang He
    • , Kairui Feng
    • , Xiaoyuan Li
    • , Amy B. Craft
    • , Yoshihide Wada
    • , Peter Burek
    • , Eric F. Wood
    •  & Justin Sheffield
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Banded iron formations could have formed in the early oceans due to microbial metabolism. Here Dodd and colleagues find little organic carbon in these formations, indicating microbial iron cycling was minimal and could have limited the recycling of important nutrients to overlying waters.

    • Matthew S. Dodd
    • , Dominic Papineau
    • , Franco Pirajno
    • , Yusheng Wan
    •  & Juha A. Karhu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Forest soil is known to be a source of the greenhouse gas N2O, but the impact of what is planted in that soil has long been overlooked. Here Machacova and colleagues quantify seasonal N2O fluxes from common boreal tree species in Finland, finding that all trees are net sources of this gas.

    • Katerina Machacova
    • , Elisa Vainio
    • , Otmar Urban
    •  & Mari Pihlatie
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Current projections on rice production do not consider the coupled stresses of impending climate change and the toxin arsenic in paddy soils. Here, the authors examined potential compounding impacts of soil arsenic and a changing climate on rice production and show that climate-induced changes in soil arsenic behaviour and plant response will lead to currently unforeseen losses in paddy rice grain productivity and quality.

    • E. Marie Muehe
    • , Tianmei Wang
    • , Carolin F. Kerl
    • , Britta Planer-Friedrich
    •  & Scott Fendorf
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Iron is crucial for marine photosynthesis, but observational constraints on the magnitude of key iron cycle processes are lacking. Here the authors use a range of observational data sets to demonstrate that the balance between iron re-supply and removal in the subsurface controls upper ocean iron limitation.

    • Alessandro Tagliabue
    • , Andrew R. Bowie
    • , Timothy DeVries
    • , Michael J. Ellwood
    • , William M. Landing
    • , Angela Milne
    • , Daniel C. Ohnemus
    • , Benjamin S. Twining
    •  & Philip W. Boyd
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nitrogen mineralisation (Nmin), an important index of soil fertility, is often determined in the laboratory, with an uncertain relationship to Nmin under field conditions. Here the authors show that combining laboratory measurements with environmental data greatly improves predictions of field Nmin at a global scale.

    • A. C. Risch
    • , S. Zimmermann
    • , R. Ochoa-Hueso
    • , M. Schütz
    • , B. Frey
    • , J. L. Firn
    • , P. A. Fay
    • , F. Hagedorn
    • , E. T. Borer
    • , E. W. Seabloom
    • , W. S. Harpole
    • , J. M. H. Knops
    • , R. L. McCulley
    • , A. A. D. Broadbent
    • , C. J. Stevens
    • , M. L. Silveira
    • , P. B. Adler
    • , S. Báez
    • , L. A. Biederman
    • , J. M. Blair
    • , C. S. Brown
    • , M. C. Caldeira
    • , S. L. Collins
    • , P. Daleo
    • , A. di Virgilio
    • , A. Ebeling
    • , N. Eisenhauer
    • , E. Esch
    • , A. Eskelinen
    • , N. Hagenah
    • , Y. Hautier
    • , K. P. Kirkman
    • , A. S. MacDougall
    • , J. L. Moore
    • , S. A. Power
    • , S. M. Prober
    • , C. Roscher
    • , M. Sankaran
    • , J. Siebert
    • , K. L. Speziale
    • , P. M. Tognetti
    • , R. Virtanen
    • , L. Yahdjian
    •  & B. Moser
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution are often assessed on a national or regional level, but little is known about the role of trade structures. Here, a combination of models shows that trade restrictions can lead to massive reduction of gross domestic product in most countries, but also to a reduction of emissions and pollution.

    • Jintai Lin
    • , Mingxi Du
    • , Lulu Chen
    • , Kuishuang Feng
    • , Yu Liu
    • , Randall V. Martin
    • , Jingxu Wang
    • , Ruijing Ni
    • , Yu Zhao
    • , Hao Kong
    • , Hongjian Weng
    • , Mengyao Liu
    • , Aaron van Donkelaar
    • , Qiuyu Liu
    •  & Klaus Hubacek
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The California Current System is characterized by wind-driven upwelling and by rich mesoscale eddy activity, resulting in a highly productive ecosystem. Here the authors show that offshore cyclonic eddies which were generated near the coast contain higher carbon concentrations in their interior than eddies of the same amplitude generated locally offshore.

    • Caitlin M. Amos
    • , Renato M. Castelao
    •  & Patricia M. Medeiros
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There still lacks a forecast system that inform end-users regarding the drought impacts, which will be however important for drought management. Here the authors assess the feasibility of forecasting drought impacts using machine-learning and confirm that models, which were built with sufficient amount of reported drought impacts in a certain sector, are able to forecast drought impacts a few months ahead.

    • Samuel J. Sutanto
    • , Melati van der Weert
    • , Niko Wanders
    • , Veit Blauhut
    •  & Henny A. J. Van Lanen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The loss of anomalous sulfur isotope compositions from sedimentary rocks has been considered a symptom of permanent atmospheric oxygenation. Here the authors show sulfur and oxygen isotope evidence from < 2.31 Ga sedimentary barium sulphates (barites) from the Turee Creek Basin, W. Australia, demonstrating the influence of local non-atmospheric processes on anomalous sulfur isotope signals.

    • B. A. Killingsworth
    • , P. Sansjofre
    • , P. Philippot
    • , P. Cartigny
    • , C. Thomazo
    •  & S. V. Lalonde
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Accurate estimates of global mean sea-level rise are important. Here the authors employ a new digital elevation model (DEM) utilizing neural networks and show that the new DEM more than triples the NASA SRTM-based estimates of current global population occupying land below projected sea levels in 2100, with more than 200 million people could be affected based on RCP4.5 and 2 degC of warming.

    • Scott A. Kulp
    •  & Benjamin H. Strauss
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Freshwater systems are important components of the carbon cycle, but the extent of their role in CO2 fluxes is poorly understood. Here Horgby and colleagues show that mountain streams are a surprisingly large source of CO2 to the atmosphere, with annual emissions that belie their spatial extent.

    • Åsa Horgby
    • , Pier Luigi Segatto
    • , Enrico Bertuzzo
    • , Ronny Lauerwald
    • , Bernhard Lehner
    • , Amber J. Ulseth
    • , Torsten W. Vennemann
    •  & Tom J. Battin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Diatoms drive biogeochemical cycling of aluminum by incorporating this element into their shells, but this process has not been quantified in freshwater systems. Here the authors quantify diatom-mediated aluminum fluxes in lakes and determine that they rival the aluminum sink in the global ocean.

    • Dong Liu
    • , Peng Yuan
    • , Qian Tian
    • , Hongchang Liu
    • , Liangliang Deng
    • , Yaran Song
    • , Junming Zhou
    • , Dusan Losic
    • , Jieyu Zhou
    • , Hongzhe Song
    • , Haozhe Guo
    •  & Wenxiao Fan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fractured rocks of impact craters have been suggested to be suitable hosts for deep microbial communities on Earth, and potentially other terrestrial planets, yet direct evidence remains elusive. Here, the authors show that the Siljan impact structure is host to long-term deep methane-cycling microbial activity.

    • Henrik Drake
    • , Nick M. W. Roberts
    • , Christine Heim
    • , Martin J. Whitehouse
    • , Sandra Siljeström
    • , Ellen Kooijman
    • , Curt Broman
    • , Magnus Ivarsson
    •  & Mats E. Åström
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Computable General Equilibrium models can hardly decouple economic growth and energy consumption while energy system models can hardly predict macroeconomic implications of energy system changes. Here the authors investigated the macroeconomic implications of consistently dealing with energy systems and the stability of further power generation and show that GDP losses were significantly lower than those in the conventional economic model by more than 50% in 2050, while industry and service sector energy consumption are the main factors causing these differences.

    • Shinichiro Fujimori
    • , Ken Oshiro
    • , Hiroto Shiraki
    •  & Tomoko Hasegawa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The plant-by-plant retirement needs are not well-understood yet to achieve the rapid transition away from coal use. Here the authors found that operational lifetimes of existing units must be reduced to approximately 35 years to keep warming well below 2 °C or 20 years for 1.5 °C, even if no new capacity comes online.

    • Ryna Yiyun Cui
    • , Nathan Hultman
    • , Morgan R. Edwards
    • , Linlang He
    • , Arijit Sen
    • , Kavita Surana
    • , Haewon McJeon
    • , Gokul Iyer
    • , Pralit Patel
    • , Sha Yu
    • , Ted Nace
    •  & Christine Shearer