Reviews & Analysis

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  • How glaciers affect mountain height, and the links between climate and glacial erosion in mountains, are debated. This Review describes the erosion of mountains by glaciers and the broader impacts of these processes.

    • Frédéric Herman
    • Fien De Doncker
    • Michèle Koppes
    Review Article
  • Nature-based climate solutions can help meet climate mitigation goals, but estimates of their carbon storage potential vary. This Review discusses the constraints and potential contributions of increasing carbon storage in the terrestrial biosphere, suggesting a conservative estimate of 100–200 GtCO2 in negative emissions to 2100.

    • Connor J. Nolan
    • Christopher B. Field
    • Katharine J. Mach
    Review Article
  • Minerals and organic matter interact in soils and sediments, impacting biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem functioning. This Review describes the major and emerging environmental mineral–organic interactions observed, and their implications for organic matter persistence.

    • Markus Kleber
    • Ian C. Bourg
    • Naoise Nunan
    Review Article
  • Repeated amalgamation and dispersal of continents over Earth history is known as the supercontinent cycle; however, the geodynamic processes driving this cyclicity remain debated. This Review synthesizes observations, plate reconstructions and geodynamic models of supercontinent, and older Archaean supercraton, cycles.

    • Ross N. Mitchell
    • Nan Zhang
    • Zheng-Xiang Li
    Review Article
  • Initialized climate predictions offer distinct benefits for multiple stakeholders. This Review discusses initialized prediction on subseasonal to seasonal (S2S), seasonal to interannual (S2I) and seasonal to decadal (S2D) timescales, highlighting potential for skilful predictions in the years to come.

    • Gerald A. Meehl
    • Jadwiga H. Richter
    • Shang-Ping Xie
    Review Article
  • Successful discovery and operation of geothermal resources requires a thorough understanding of the heterogeneous geological subsurface. This Review discusses the key geological factors that contribute to the effective exploration of intermediate-temperature to high-temperature geothermal resources used for power generation and direct use applications.

    • Egbert Jolie
    • Samuel Scott
    • Meseret Teklemariam Zemedkun
    Review Article
  • Submarine groundwater discharge transports nutrients from terrestrial to marine systems, but is often ignored in coastal biogeochemistry. In this Review, the fluxes, impacts and management implications of this discharge are examined and compared with riverine fluxes globally.

    • Isaac R. Santos
    • Xiaogang Chen
    • Ling Li
    Review Article
  • The discovery of slow earthquakes transformed the understanding of how tectonic plate motions are accommodated; however, the mechanics of slow earthquakes remain enigmatic. This Review synthesizes geological observations of ancient deformation structures that likely hosted slow earthquakes and discusses the insights into the mechanics of fault slip.

    • James D. Kirkpatrick
    • Åke Fagereng
    • David R. Shelly
    Review Article
  • Mercury, a semi-volatile and globally abundant pollutant, is transported through the atmosphere and taken up by vegetation. This Review discusses the mechanisms of vegetation mercury uptake and the role of vegetation in the mercury cycle, highlighting its importance for redistribution in the terrestrial environment and influence on atmospheric mercury concentrations and deposition to oceans.

    • Jun Zhou
    • Daniel Obrist
    • Andrei Ryjkov
    Review Article
  • The 2011 Mw 9.1 earthquake and tsunami caused incomprehensible damage along the northeast coast of Japan. This Snapshot discusses the measures that have been put in place over the past 10 years to mitigate hazards of a future tsunami disaster.

    • Erin Scott
  • Estimates of global dryland changes are often conflicting. This Review discusses and quantifies observed and projected aridity changes, revealing divergent responses between atmospheric and ecohydrological metrics that can be explained by plant physiological responses to elevated CO2.

    • Xu Lian
    • Shilong Piao
    • Michael L. Roderick
    Review Article
  • Mountain building involves complex and debated feedback cycles between both permanent tectonic and transient seismic processes. This Review discusses how the fault architecture and tectonic segmentation of the Himalaya influence the seismic cycle, which in turn impacts the long-term growth of the mountain range.

    • Luca Dal Zilio
    • György Hetényi
    • Laurent Bollinger
    Review Article
  • Persistent organic pollutants are transported globally, but there is evidence that forests act as a filter by sequestering these pollutants. This Review examines the role of forests in persistent organic pollutant cycling, including their storage in foliage and soil, and the impacts of global change.

    • Ping Gong
    • Hong Xu
    • Xiaoping Wang
    Review Article
  • Ophiolites, segments of oceanic lithosphere emplaced onto continental crust, are thought to form in the shallow mantle, but the discovery of ultra-high-pressure minerals in ophiolites has sparked debate over their formation mechanisms. This Review examines how these mantle components can record the tectonic history and deep mantle formation of ophiolites.

    • Jingsui Yang
    • Weiwei Wu
    • Huichao Rui
    Review Article
  • Hailstorms are dangerous phenomena that are expected to change in response to a warming climate. This Review summarizes current knowledge of climate change effects on hailstorms, details the uncertainties and highlights future research directions.

    • Timothy H. Raupach
    • Olivia Martius
    • Qinghong Zhang
    Review Article
  • Glaciers in the Himalaya and Karakoram mountain ranges provide freshwater and hydropower to millions of people but are also melting at unsustainably high rates. This Review discusses recent and projected changes in glacier melt and resulting implications for regional water-related hazards and water resources.

    • Yong Nie
    • Hamish D. Pritchard
    • Xiaoqing Chen
    Review Article
  • The urban heat island effect poses increasing morbidity and mortality challenges in a warming world. This Review discusses how urban vegetation — specifically, green parks, green roofs and green walls — can be used as a strategy to mitigate heat.

    • Nyuk Hien Wong
    • Chun Liang Tan
    • Hideki Takebayashi
    Review Article
  • Improvements in earth observation are enabling new approaches to assess agricultural losses, such as those resulting from adverse weather. This Review examines advances in the application of remotely sensed data and crop modelling in index-based insurance as well as opportunities to enhance the quality of index insurance programmes.

    • Elinor Benami
    • Zhenong Jin
    • David B. Lobell
    Review Article
  • Short-duration rainfall extremes are determined by complex processes that are affected by the warming climate. This Review assesses the evidence for the intensification of short-duration rainfall extremes, the associated drivers and the implications for flood risks.

    • Hayley J. Fowler
    • Geert Lenderink
    • Xuebin Zhang
    Review Article
  • To celebrate the first anniversary of Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, we asked five researchers investigating solid Earth processes to outline notable developments within their discipline and provide thoughts on important work yet to be done.

    • Shuichi Kodaira
    • Maria Seton
    • Helen M. Williams