Review Articles

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  • Increasing light emissions threaten human and ecological health. This Review outlines existing measurements and projections of light pollution trends and impacts, as well as developments in ground-based and remote sensing techniques that are needed to improve them.

    • Hector Linares Arroyo
    • Angela Abascal
    • Christopher C. M. Kyba
    Review Article
  • Warmer temperatures enhance formation of glacial lakes that can suddenly and catastrophically release as a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF), threatening downstream lives and infrastructure. This Review outlines observed and projected changes in glacial lakes and GLOFs, reporting that both will increase with ongoing deglaciation.

    • Guoqing Zhang
    • Jonathan L. Carrivick
    • Natalie Lützow
    Review Article
  • Wildfires are important ecosystem regulators and can benefit many fire-prone ecosystems, but extreme fires can leave soils vulnerable to nutrient loss and contaminant transformations. This Review discusses fire-induced impacts on soil chemistry and post-fire soil, air and water recovery.

    • Alandra Marie Lopez
    • Claudia Christine E. Avila
    • Thomas Borch
    Review Article
  • Avalanche conditions and related risks are influenced by ongoing changes in temperature and precipitation. This Review synthesizes existing data, approaches and results to highlight dominant patterns of change and how they are linked to climate change and other socio-environmental factors.

    • Nicolas Eckert
    • Christophe Corona
    • Markus Stoffel
    Review Article
  • Warming temperatures driven by climate change are causing species geographic ranges to shift, but factors such as habitat characteristics and species interactions impact these changes. This Review examines range shift documentation, how shifts differ from temperature-based expectations, and the effects of range shifts on natural and human systems.

    • Jake A. Lawlor
    • Lise Comte
    • Jennifer Sunday
    Review Article
  • Tectonic processes can lead to the formation of semi-enclosed seas and the deposition of extensive salt deposits. This Review explores the drivers and impacts of the Mediterranean Messinian salinity crisis, including previously underconsidered impacts on the global carbon cycle.

    • Wout Krijgsman
    • Eelco J. Rohling
    • Giovanni Aloisi
    Review Article
  • The Southern Ocean represents a substantial carbon sink and heavily influences global carbon fluxes. This Review describes how an expanding suite of observations are providing increasing insight into the contribution of biota and plankton to the carbon cycle in the Southern Ocean.

    • Philip W. Boyd
    • Kevin R. Arrigo
    • Sandy J. Thomalla
    Review Article
  • Rainfall events are becoming less frequent but more intense with anthropogenic warming. This Review explores the consequences of these changes on plants and investigates how and why plant responses appear to broadly differ between dry and wet ecosystems.

    • Andrew F. Feldman
    • Xue Feng
    • Benjamin Poulter
    Review Article
  • Grapes produced for winemaking are highly susceptible to changes in climate, particularly extreme heat and drought. This Review examines the changing geography of existing and emerging winegrowing regions, and recommends adaptation measures to increasing heat and modified drought, pest and disease pressure.

    • Cornelis van Leeuwen
    • Giovanni Sgubin
    • Gregory A. Gambetta
    Review Article
  • The use of groundwater with high levels of geogenic contaminants, such as arsenic, has caused severe health impacts and mortality in communities globally. This Review examines the drivers and occurrence of groundwater contamination by naturally occurring arsenic, fluoride, selenium and uranium.

    • Abhijit Mukherjee
    • Poulomee Coomar
    • Avner Vengosh
    Review Article
  • With continued anthropogenic warming, an ice-free Arctic (sea ice area <1 million km2) is inevitable. This Review outlines the various characteristics of an ice-free Arctic, highlighting that future emission trajectories will determine where, how frequently and how long the Arctic will be ice free each year.

    • Alexandra Jahn
    • Marika M. Holland
    • Jennifer E. Kay
    Review Article
  • Accurate and timely food production data are needed to promote food security and sustainability, but data scarcity exists across national and international levels. This Review examines data availability and reliability for crops, livestock and aquatic food production and recommends solutions to address data scarcity.

    • Endalkachew Abebe Kebede
    • Hanan Abou Ali
    • Kyle Frankel Davis
    Review Article
  • The different contributions of long-term and short-term variability to the evolution of ice sheets lead to substantial uncertainties in ice sheet models. This Review describes the response of ice sheets to oceanic, atmospheric and hydrological processes across a range of timescales.

    • Edward Hanna
    • Dániel Topál
    • Lizz Ultee
    Review Article
  • Moderate drought occurs widely, impacting crop yield. This Review discusses crop traits that can confer drought tolerance, the role of the environment and management, and how crop models predict their potential impact on yield.

    • Vincent Vadez
    • Alexandre Grondin
    • Andrea Carminati
    Review Article
  • Drainage divides — the topographic boundary separating surface water flow — are dynamic features of the Earth’s surface that shape hydrological processes, sediment transport, carbon cycles and geographic connectivity of ecosystems. This Review explores the dynamics of divide migration and its implications.

    • Chuanqi He
    • Jean Braun
    • Gaia Stucky de Quay
    Review Article
  • Three satellite laser altimeter missions (ICESat, ICESat-2 and GEDI) have been instrumental in tracking environmental change on Earth since 2003. This Review discusses the principles of these missions and their major contributions to Earth system science.

    • Lori A. Magruder
    • Sinead L. Farrell
    • Helen A. Fricker
    Review Article
  • A firn layer covers the Earth’s ice sheets. This Review outlines techniques to observe and model changes in firn properties and meltwater retention to understand how this firn layer will respond to climate change.

    • Charles Amory
    • Christo Buizert
    • Bert Wouters
    Review Article
  • Coastal groundwater systems provide water resources and support ecosystems but are vulnerable to climate change and anthropogenic impacts. This Review describes the expected response of coastal groundwater systems to climatic impact-drivers, interactions with anthropogenic stressors and potential ecosystem responses.

    • C. M. Richardson
    • K. L. Davis
    • A. Paytan
    Review Article
  • Wind-waves have important Earth system impacts. This Review outlines observed and projected changes in wind-waves for global oceans, revealing historic and future increases in wave height across the Southern and Arctic Oceans, but decreases in the North Atlantic and North Pacific.

    • Mercè Casas-Prat
    • Mark A. Hemer
    • Yang Feng
    Review Article
  • Earth’s climate responds to astronomical forcing cycles that occur over tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years. This Review explores the distinct Earth-system responses to astronomical forcing over the pre-Cenozoic era and explains how astronomical cycles are used to calibrate geologic time.

    • David De Vleeschouwer
    • Lawrence M. E. Percival
    • Sietske J. Batenburg
    Review Article