Climate change is a major threat to food production, so researchers are working with farmers to make agriculture more resilient.
Pollution, climate change, depleted water reserves and a reduction in biodiversity are among the most alarming consequences of the harm inflicted on the environment by humans’ uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources. The extent of damage is huge and will affect the well-being of future generations. This selection of News, Comment, Review and Research articles from Nature and relevant Nature Research Journals explores the priorities for building a sustainable future.
A charcoal-rich product called biochar could boost agricultural yields and control pollution. Scientists are putting the trendy substance to the test.
Species are disappearing quickly — but researchers are struggling to assess how bad the problem is.
Researchers are exploring unconventional sources of fresh water to quench the globe's growing thirst.
Polluting biomass stoves, used by one-third of the global population, take a terrible toll. But efforts to clean them up are failing.
Biologists are directing the evolution of corals to prepare them to fight climate change.
More than a billion people lack electricity, but now microgrids are powering up rural areas.
The adoption of the Paris Agreement is a historic milestone for the global response to the threat of climate change. Scientists are now being challenged to investigate a 1.5 °C world — which will require an accelerated effort from the geoscience community.
The tremendous gains in crop yields seen over the twentieth century were underpinned by fertilizer use and manipulation of the aboveground parts of the plant. To meet the food demands of the twenty-first century, plant scientists must turn their attention belowground.
Drought management is inefficient because feedbacks between drought and people are not fully understood. In this human-influenced era, we need to rethink the concept of drought to include the human role in mitigating and enhancing drought.
If emerging technologies such as nanotechnology are to reach their full potential we need to radically change our approach to risk, argues Andrew D. Maynard.
The future of the bioeconomy requires global agreement on metrics and the creation of a dispute resolution centre, say Roeland Bosch, Mattheüs van de Pol and Jim Philp.
Ecologists and space agencies must forge a global monitoring strategy, say Andrew K. Skidmore, Nathalie Pettorelli and colleagues.
Gathering data that answer particular questions is the most effective way to support the Sustainable Development Goals, say Keith Shepherd and colleagues.
The use of silver nanoparticles to clean clothes and the use of magnetite nanoparticles to clean water provide contrasting illustrations of the potential environmental consequences of nanotechnology, as Chris Toumey explains.
Meeting global food needs requires strategies for storing rainwater and retaining soil moisture to bridge dry spells, urge Johan Rockström and Malin Falkenmark.
Gross domestic product is a misleading measure of national success. Countries should act now to embrace new metrics, urge Robert Costanza and colleagues.
Irrigation-intensive industries in former Soviet republics have sucked water bodies dry. Olli Varis calls for economic reform to ease environmental and social tensions.
Countries should follow China's lead and boost markets for water, wind and solar power technologies to drive down costs, say John A. Mathews and Hao Tan.
Tackling pollution and using different grades of water for different tasks is more efficient than making all water potable, say Tao Tao and Kunlun Xin.
Local implementation and public scrutiny will make or break the government's urbanization strategy, say Xuemei Bai, Peijun Shi and Yansui Liu.
Investment and policies must support cheap, clean energy technologies to cut both poverty and climate change, say Reid Detchon and Richenda Van Leeuwen.
Water is becoming more scarce as populations increase, potentially leading to conflict. The age of hydro-diplomacy is upon us, says Jan Eliasson.
The formation of the UN Scientific Advisory Board is an important step towards integrating global sustainability efforts, says Owen Gaffney.