Image by David Hansen, University of Minnesota

Read our May issue

Nature Sustainability publishes significant original research from a broad range of natural, social and engineering fields about sustainability, its policy dimensions and possible solutions.

Latest Research

  • Perspective |

    Addressing sustainability challenges requires attention to the material basis of society. This Perspective illustrates how a Systems Thinking in Chemistry Education framework could help to integrate knowledge about the molecular world with the sustainability of Earth and societal systems.

    • Peter G. Mahaffy
    • , Stephen A. Matlin
    • , Thomas A. Holme
    •  & Jennifer MacKellar
  • Article |

    Urgent action is needed to ensure food security and mitigate climate change. Through a multi-model comparison exercise, this study shows the potential negative trade-offs between food security and climate change mitigation if mitigation policies are carelessly designed.

    • Shinichiro Fujimori
    • , Tomoko Hasegawa
    • , Volker Krey
    • , Keywan Riahi
    • , Christoph Bertram
    • , Benjamin Leon Bodirsky
    • , Valentina Bosetti
    • , Jessica Callen
    • , Jacques Després
    • , Jonathan Doelman
    • , Laurent Drouet
    • , Johannes Emmerling
    • , Stefan Frank
    • , Oliver Fricko
    • , Petr Havlik
    • , Florian Humpenöder
    • , Jason F. L. Koopman
    • , Hans van Meijl
    • , Yuki Ochi
    • , Alexander Popp
    • , Andreas Schmitz
    • , Kiyoshi Takahashi
    •  & Detlef van Vuuren
  • Article |

    The challenges of meeting food, water and energy needs are interconnected, requiring integrated assessments of land use, socioeconomic policies and climate change. This study assesses the required increases in water, trade and agricultural land needed to double food production by 2050.

    • A. V. Pastor
    • , A. Palazzo
    • , P. Havlik
    • , H. Biemans
    • , Y. Wada
    • , M. Obersteiner
    • , P. Kabat
    •  & F. Ludwig
  • Analysis |

    Rural communities manage much of the world’s forests, but the effects on both landscapes and people are still unclear. This study estimates the impacts of such community-based forest management in Nepal from 2000–2012 and finds significant net reductions in both deforestation and poverty.

    • Johan A. Oldekop
    • , Katharine R. E. Sims
    • , Birendra K. Karna
    • , Mark J. Whittingham
    •  & Arun Agrawal
  • Article |

    Groundwater influences biophysical processes behind key ecosystem services. This study finds that many ecosystem service indicators respond nonlinearly when the water table is within a critical depth, with the potential for large effects in areas with shallow groundwater.

    • Jiangxiao Qiu
    • , Samuel C. Zipper
    • , Melissa Motew
    • , Eric G. Booth
    • , Christopher J. Kucharik
    •  & Steven P. Loheide

News & Comment

  • Comment |

    Zeolites and other technologies should be evaluated and pursued for reducing methane concentrations in the atmosphere from 1,860 ppb to preindustrial levels of ~750 ppb. Such a goal of atmospheric restoration provides a positive framework for change at a time when climate action is desperately needed.

    • R. B. Jackson
    • , E. I. Solomon
    • , J. G. Canadell
    • , M. Cargnello
    •  & C. B. Field
  • News & Views |

    The Millennium Development Goal target 7c, to halve the proportion of the global population without access to safe drinking water by 2015, is the first international drinking water target ever met. Understanding how this was achieved is critical to replicating success.

    • Mark Everard
  • Editorial |

    Protecting Madagascar’s unique biodiversity can improve the life of many in the country.