Reviews & Analysis

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  • Non-perennial segments of rivers undergo cycles of flowing, non-flowing and dry phases, influencing ecosystem dynamics and services across the river network. This Review describes the occurrence, ecology and future of these intermittent and ephemeral flows and highlights the importance of protecting these segments.

    • Thibault Datry
    • Andrew J. Boulton
    • Klement Tockner
    Review Article
  • Various methods of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) are being pursued in response to the climate crisis, but they are mostly not proven at scale. Climate experts are divided over whether CDR is a necessary requirement or a dangerous distraction from limiting emissions. In this Viewpoint, six experts offer their views on the CDR debate.

    • Kevin Anderson
    • Holly Jean Buck
    • Eve Tamme
  • Warmer temperatures, increased CO2 concentrations and changing water availability affect cereal crop production. This Review examines changes in crop yield in response to these variables and discusses adaptation strategies.

    • Ehsan Eyshi Rezaei
    • Heidi Webber
    • Dilys Sefakor MacCarthy
    Review Article
  • Widespread use of salts in food, construction, road deicing and industry is driving salinization of water, soil and air. This Review describes the anthropogenic salt cycle, compares it with natural processes and examines its environmental consequences.

    • Sujay S. Kaushal
    • Gene E. Likens
    • Megan A. Rippy
    Review Article
  • Wastewater dyes from textile, food and pharmaceutical industries are a major environmental concern. This Review discusses the environmental impacts of dye-containing wastewater and explores both conventional and emerging remediation strategies.

    • Jiuyang Lin
    • Wenyuan Ye
    • Bart Van der Bruggen
    Review Article
  • Several mechanisms have been put forward to explain tropical Pacific decadal variability, the contributions of which are debated. This Review outlines the different drivers of tropical Pacific decadal variability, summarizing that tropical pycnocline adjustment to wind forcing and Rossby wave activity is likely the dominant mechanism, albeit with uncertainty.

    • Antonietta Capotondi
    • Shayne McGregor
    • Tongtong Xu
    Review Article
  • Kimberlites are rare volcanic rocks with unusually deep origins. This Review explores the origin and evolution of kimberlite melts and their insights into mantle composition and dynamics.

    • Andrea Giuliani
    • Max W. Schmidt
    • Yana Fedortchouk
    Review Article
  • Rice paddies account for a large proportion of total agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions. This Review outlines the characteristics, changes and mitigation options for these emissions, highlighting the benefits of water and organic matter management.

    • Haoyu Qian
    • Xiangchen Zhu
    • Yu Jiang
    Review Article
  • Maintaining good water quality is vital for healthy ecosystems and human water use, yet water quality responses to hydroclimatic extremes and changing climate are poorly understood. This Review explores river water quality under climate change and extremes.

    • Michelle T. H. van Vliet
    • Josefin Thorslund
    • Luke M. Mosley
    Review Article
  • Cotton is a water-intensive crop with many environmental impacts before and after it is processed into consumer goods. This Review summarizes the environmental impacts across the life cycle of cotton, compares the impacts to alternative fibres and discusses options for mitigation.

    • Zhenggui Zhang
    • Jing Huang
    • Laura Scherer
    Review Article
  • Reports of stark declines in invertebrate biomass prompted attention-grabbing news headlines about an ‘insect apocalypse’, fuelling public and scientific interest in the insect biodiversity crisis. However, substantial discussion has ensued regarding the magnitude and generality of these losses. In this Viewpoint, five researchers offer their views on the insect decline debate.

    • Nico Blüthgen
    • Lynn V. Dicks
    • Eleanor M. Slade
  • The mantle of the Earth influences many dynamic processes such as crust formation, recycling and mantle convection. This Review describes modern isotopic methods used to characterize plume-derived basalts and gain insight into the composition of the mantle.

    • Dominique Weis
    • Karen S. Harpp
    • Nicole M. B. Williamson
    Review Article
  • Coupled Fe–C cycles are important considerations for carbon sequestration, soil fertility and ecosystem functions. This Review explores the role of Fe minerals in stabilizing and degrading organic matter and the role of organic matter in enhancing reactivity of Fe minerals under different conditions.

    • Hailiang Dong
    • Qiang Zeng
    • Andreas Kappler
    Review Article
  • Evapotranspiration (ET) is a key process connecting the land to the atmosphere. This Review details the characteristics and drivers of ET changes since the 1980s, noting a positive and accelerating ET trend arising from global greening.

    • Yuting Yang
    • Michael L. Roderick
    • Dawen Yang
    Review Article
  • Seafloor turbidity currents form Earth’s largest sediment accumulations, deepest canyons and longest channels, but their destructive nature makes them notoriously difficult to measure in action. This Review explores how insights from detailed direct measurements have advanced understanding of turbidity currents.

    • Peter J. Talling
    • Matthieu J. B. Cartigny
    • Katherine L. Maier
    Review Article
  • Integrating impacts and cascading hazards to drought monitoring could improve prediction and mitigation of drought events. This Perspective discusses the limitations of existing indicators, the cascading hazards associated with drought and the importance of assessing drought impacts.

    • Amir AghaKouchak
    • Laurie S. Huning
    • Heidi Kreibich
  • The terrestrial biosphere stores carbon in a land carbon sink, offsetting emissions of carbon into the atmosphere. This Review demonstrates that the magnitude of the land carbon sink has increased over time, but that its stability in the future is less clear and depends on climate impacts and effective implementation of nature-based solutions.

    • Sophie Ruehr
    • Trevor F. Keenan
    • César Terrer
    Review Article
  • Increasing temperatures in the seas around China have a range of physical, biogeochemical and biological impacts. This Review outlines historical and projected changes in these seas and the implications of these changes for marine ecosystems.

    • Fan Wang
    • Xuegang Li
    • Zhongli Sha
    Review Article
  • Differentiable modelling is an approach that flexibly integrates the learning capability of machine learning with the interpretability of process-based models. This Perspective highlights the potential of differentiable modelling to improve the representation of processes, parameter estimation, and predictive accuracy in the geosciences.

    • Chaopeng Shen
    • Alison P. Appling
    • Kathryn Lawson
  • Methods to integrate Earth system modelling (ESM) with deep learning offer promise for advancing understanding of Earth processes. This Perspective explores the development and applications of hybrid Earth system modelling, a framework that integrates neural networks into ESM throughout the modelling lifecycle.

    • Min Chen
    • Zhen Qian
    • Guonian Lü