Review Articles

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  • Rainfall variability in Eastern Africa is associated with considerable social and environmental impacts, including threats to water, energy and food security. This Review outlines the drivers of this rainfall variability, their corresponding impacts, and potential future changes with anthropogenic warming.

    • Paul I. Palmer
    • Caroline M. Wainwright
    • Andrew G. Turner
    Review Article
  • Constructed wetlands are used to remove organics and nutrients from wastewater while providing ecosystem services. This Review discusses the application, principles and operational strategies of CWs, and provides guidance on their design and maintenance.

    • Haiming Wu
    • Ruigang Wang
    • Jian Zhang
    Review Article
  • Continental rift zones are regions of crustal extension that manifest through seismic and magmatic activity. This Review explores the variety and development of rifts by assessing their geodynamic drivers, resisting factors and weakening processes.

    • Sascha Brune
    • Folarin Kolawole
    • Donna J. Shillington
    Review Article
  • Lithium is an essential resource for the energy transition, owing to its widespread use in rechargeable batteries. This Review describes the fresh water and chemical inputs, wastes and environmental impacts of direct lithium extraction technologies and how to manage them.

    • María L. Vera
    • Walter R. Torres
    • Victoria Flexer
    Review Article
  • Continental margins record the last stages of rifting before a new ocean basin is formed, with their variety reflecting interactions between tectonic, magmatic, sedimentary and hydrothermal processes. This Review provides a process-based understanding of rifted margin formation, gaining insights into their resource potential for the energy transition.

    • Marta Pérez-Gussinyé
    • Jenny S. Collier
    • C. R. Ranero
    Review Article
  • Carbon uptake by the ocean has increased alongside rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but with substantial variability. This Review examines trends in ocean CO2 uptake and the internal and external factors driving its variability, finding an ocean uptake of –2.7 ± 0.3 Pg C year–1 for the period 1990 through 2019.

    • Nicolas Gruber
    • Dorothee C. E. Bakker
    • Jens Daniel Müller
    Review Article
  • Subsurface carbon dioxide and green energy storage are enablers to limiting anthropogenic warming to 1.5 °C. This Review assesses the feasibility of expanding carbon dioxide storage to gigatonne scales and explores how this experience could accelerate the development of underground hydrogen storage.

    • Samuel Krevor
    • Heleen de Coninck
    • Floris Swennenhuis
    Review Article
  • Dust influences the global energy budget through various Earth system interactions. This Review outlines these interactions, revealing a total radiative effect of −0.2 ± 0.5 W m2, which, alongside 55 ± 30% historical increases in dust, have contributed a radiative forcing of −0.07 ± 0.18 W m2.

    • Jasper F. Kok
    • Trude Storelvmo
    • Danny M. Leung
    Review Article
  • Heatwaves are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity, necessitating prediction so as to minimize loss of life and other impacts. This Review outlines heatwave predictive capabilities at daily to decadal timescales, and discusses heatwave projections with anthropogenic warming.

    • Daniela I. V. Domeisen
    • Elfatih A. B. Eltahir
    • Heini Wernli
    Review Article
  • Compound heat and moisture extremes influence crop yield, threatening food security. This Review outlines the mechanisms, projections and adaptation options for compound extreme–crop yield relationships, highlighting an urgency to better understand the impact of joint stresses.

    • Corey Lesk
    • Weston Anderson
    • Megan Konar
    Review Article
  • The history of Earth’s formation can be unravelled from the compositions of meteorites, terrestrial and lunar rocks, and observations from space-based telescopes. This Review discusses advances in theories and evidence concerning the dynamical mechanisms and timescales for Earth’s accretion in the Solar System.

    • Alex N. Halliday
    • Robin M. Canup
    Review Article
  • Soil structure, the soil microbiome and ecosystem functioning are intimately linked. This Review describes these connections in agroecosystems and the impact of management strategies on them.

    • Martin Hartmann
    • Johan Six
    Review Article
  • Oceanic spreading centres are sites of extensive tectonic, magmatic and hydrothermal activity that provide nutrients to the ocean and multifaceted habitats for life. This Review explores processes governing variations in hydrothermal vents, microbial ecosystems and global fluxes from ocean ridges.

    • Gretchen L. Früh-Green
    • Deborah S. Kelley
    • John A. Baross
    Review Article
  • Anthropogenic warming is causing cryosphere degradation, which is increasing erosion and sediment transport. This Review describes changes in sediment fluxes and explains how peak sediment will be reached as a result of deglaciation and permafrost thaw.

    • Ting Zhang
    • Dongfeng Li
    • Xixi Lu
    Review Article
  • Geothermal heat flow, a driver of tectonic processes, must be inferred by indirect means in Antarctica. This Review probes variations in Antarctic heat flow maps, discusses the corresponding tectonic insights and provides recommendations for the use of such maps in ice sheet modelling.

    • Anya M. Reading
    • Tobias Stål
    • Derrick Hasterok
    Review Article
  • Greenhouse gas forcing has increased ocean heat content, with large impacts on the Earth system. This Review outlines observed and projected global and regional changes, revealing an observed 0–2,000 m global increase of 351.4 ± 59.8 ZJ from 1958 to 2019, and a projected increase of 1,874 [1,637–2,109] ZJ by 2100 under SSP5-8.5.

    • Lijing Cheng
    • Karina von Schuckmann
    • Xiaopei Lin
    Review Article
  • Megadroughts can be defined as persistent, multi-year droughts that are exceptional compared with other regional events during the Common Era. This Review discusses palaeo reconstructions of megadroughts over the past 2,000 years, and outlines the impact of anthropogenic forcing on the severity and frequency of observed and projected events.

    • Benjamin I. Cook
    • Jason E. Smerdon
    • Erika K. Wise
    Review Article
  • Warming and human activities are affecting biogeochemical cycling on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. This Review examines the impacts on carbon and nitrogen cycling, detailing current stocks and changing fluxes.

    • Huai Chen
    • Peijun Ju
    • Yanfen Wang
    Review Article
  • Asian Monsoon initiation is thought to be related to Tibetan Plateau uplift, but the timings and mechanisms are debated. This Review discusses a two-stage development of the Asian Monsoon: northward expansion ~41 million years ago (Ma), and attainment of a modern-like pattern at ~26 Ma.

    • Fuli Wu
    • Xiaomin Fang
    • Wenxia Han
    Review Article