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  • A mechanistic and predictive hierarchical model explains observed organic carbon burial efficiencies and degradation kinetics, and reveals that upper and lower limits of organic matter activation energies are key to predicting organic matter preservation and degradation rates.

    • Jack J. Middelburg
    Comment Open Access
  • The South Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation initiative began as a grassroots effort to study the South Atlantic Ocean and its impact on climate. This Comment discusses how, in striving towards this goal, it has also become a platform for the empowerment of women and international scientists.

    • Renellys Perez
    • Silvia Garzoli
    • Isabelle Ansorge
    Comment Open Access
  • To prevent floods from becoming disasters, social vulnerability must be integrated into flood risk management. This Comment advocates that the welfare of different societal groups should be included by adding recovery capacity, impacts of beyond-design events, and distributional impacts.

    • Karin M. de Bruijn
    • Bramka A. Jafino
    • Tina Comes
    Comment Open Access
  • Methane is a potent greenhouse gas emitted by both human activity and the natural environment. Due to its relatively short atmospheric lifetime, controlling methane emissions is increasingly recognised as a powerful climate mitigation strategy.

    • Joshua F. Dean
    Comment Open Access
  • Indigenous food systems ensure ecological and socio-economic sustainability but remain marginalized in science and policy. We argue that better documentation, deeper understanding, and political recognition of indigenous knowledge can help transform food systems.

    • Dhanya Vijayan
    • David Ludwig
    • Katharina Löhr
    Comment Open Access
  • Rapid warming of coastal waters in the Northwest Atlantic is affecting local fisheries and ecosystems. Our article revealed the role of the Gulf Stream in this warming, thereby helping to define environmental management in New England and inspiring students in Brazil.

    • Afonso Gonçalves Neto
    Comment Open Access
  • The floating ice shelves around Antarctica are key to buttressing land-based ice. Observations, simulations and analyses from around Antarctica now identify mechanisms that lead to basal melting of these vulnerable shelves.

    • Ariaan Purich
    Comment Open Access
  • A recent study dating Viking presence in America to a precise year was only possible thanks to long-term conservation of archaeological finds. It also arose from curiosity, interdisciplinarity and recognition of emerging techniques. These factors highlight the importance of archiving materials and asking the right questions in research on the entanglements of climate and history.

    • Ulf Büntgen
    • Jan Esper
    • Clive Oppenheimer
    Comment Open Access
  • When an earthquake in southern France caused the ground to rupture—a phenomenon not known during the last 25 years in the region—the earthquake science community worked together to determine the implications for hazard assessment. Now we must maintain that spirit of co-operation for the future.

    • Stéphane Baize
    • Jean-François Ritz
    Comment Open Access
  • Two founding fathers of climate science and climate modelling were honoured with the Nobel prize in physics this year. They led early climate research towards both fundamental and societally relevant research, which is now as vital as it was then.

    • Gabriele C. Hegerl
    Comment Open Access
  • Disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability. We must acknowledge the human-made components of both vulnerability and hazard and emphasize human agency in order to proactively reduce disaster impacts.

    • Emmanuel Raju
    • Emily Boyd
    • Friederike Otto
    Comment Open Access
  • Soils are essential to life on Earth but are rapidly degrading worldwide due to unsustainable human activities. We argue that soil degradation constitutes a key Earth system process that should be added to the planetary boundaries framework.

    • Clarisse T. Kraamwinkel
    • Anne Beaulieu
    • Ruth A. Howison
    Comment Open Access
  • The pandemic has badly affected the most diverse career stage in UK Earth sciences: early career researchers. Disrupted careers must be rescued with contingency plans, remote networks, a focus on mental health and mentor support if we are to retain diversity and talent.

    • Ben J. Fisher
    • Connor J. Shiggins
    • Jack Buckingham
    Comment Open Access
  • Adaptation to climate change must be ramped up urgently. This Comment proposes three avenues to transform ambition to action: improve tracking of actions and progress, upscale investment especially in critical areas, and accelerate learning through practice.

    • Bruce Currie-Alder
    • Cynthia Rosenzweig
    • Ying Wang
    Comment Open Access
  • About 74,000 years ago Earth’s climate abruptly transitioned to particularly severe cold and dry conditions, which lasted for several millennia. An incomplete eruption record may be why volcanic eruptions were dismissed as the trigger.

    • Alice R. Paine
    • Fabian B. Wadsworth
    • James U. L. Baldini
    Comment Open Access
  • Devastating disasters that are predicted but ignored are known as Black Elephants—a cross between a Black Swan event and the proverbial elephant in the room. It’s time we acknowledged the looming natural hazard risks that no one wants to talk about.

    • Yolanda C. Lin
    • Gizem Mestav Sarica
    • David Lallemant
    Comment Open Access
  • Media attention to an article on Greenland’s dynamic ice loss provided a Comms Earth author with a way out of pandemic isolation, a broader perspective of her work, and a heavy responsibility to communicate accurately. She found the experience time-consuming, but rewarding.

    • Michalea King
    Comment Open Access
  • Greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution have changed the composition of the atmosphere, and thereby initiated global warming and reduced air quality. Our editorial board members note the need for a deeper understanding of atmospheric fluxes and processes to tackle climate and human health issues.

    • Joshua Dean
    • Astrid Kiendler-Scharr
    • Ralf Zimmermann
    Comment Open Access