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Read our November issue!

In this issue we highlight green growth scepticisim, earlier collapse of Anthropocene ecosystems, infrastructure exposure to wildfires, tropical forest loss, human body cooling textile and more.


  • Nature Sustainability has turned five. In order to celebrate our anniversary we have put together four exciting Collections covering three topical research areas -water, emerging technologies and nature-based solutions- as well as a cross-cutting theme, inequality.

  • In this issue we highlight the challenges posed by plastics waste, some prominent views about how to tackle the problem through technologies and policies and the broader context in which the plastics crisis should be considered, including current lifestyles and consumption patterns.

  • Since it was launched in 2018, the editorial team at Nature Sustainability has seen the level and quality of submissions grow steadily. But high submissions also carry a price as the journal’s editorial capacity cannot grow at the same pace. As a result, editors have reconsidered some editorial practices.

Nature Sustainability is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.


  • This study examines productivity and workforce dynamics in the world’s fisheries over six decades, finding that the natural limits of fish stocks combined with technological advances have led to diminishing returns per fisher.

    • Kim J. N. Scherrer
    • Yannick Rousseau
    • Eric D. Galbraith
  • Facilities that store the waste and tailings of mining operations pose a salient threat to biodiversity. Despite international consensus to mitigate mining impacts on local ecosystems, globally, nearly 10% of facilities are located within protected areas and another 20% can be found within 5 km of their boundaries.

    • Bora Aska
    • Daniel M. Franks
    • Laura J. Sonter
  • Water consumption in line with natural water supply ensures sustainable and equitable access to freshwater resources worldwide. This study assesses whether renewable surface water is enough to meet people’s basic needs and, where it is not, estimates how much groundwater would be required.

    • Ben Stewart-Koster
    • Stuart E. Bunn
    • Caroline Zimm
    ArticleOpen Access
  • As political institutions debate environmental policies, this paper reveals how some members of the European Parliament think about underlying principles of degrowth versus more traditional ‘green’ and economic growth platforms.

    • Giorgos Kallis
    • Riccardo Mastini
    • Christos Zografos
  • Theories of change have been a staple of sustainability research, but how to connect such overarching concepts to actionable items can be a struggle. This study uses coastal wetlands to demonstrate a potential framework for integrating indicators of conservation enabling conditions into theories of change.

    • Christina A. Buelow
    • Rod M. Connolly
    • Christopher J. Brown
  • The agricultural production of food comes with substantial greenhouse gas emissions and impacts on the environment. Dietary fats, a staple of human diet, might be produced chemosynthetically with a fraction of the detrimental effects on the environment.

    • Steven J. Davis
    • Kathleen Alexander
    • Ian McKay
    AnalysisOpen Access
    • Adopting technological solutions for water management without considering the complexity underlying human–water interactions can result in unintended consequences. Now a systems meta-model offers a tool to reveal critical human–water links and guide coordinated solutions for sustainable water management.

      • A. Mijic
      • L. Liu
      • K. P. Chun
    • Human changes to freshwater flows affect marine ecosystems, but such impacts are rarely considered in development plans involving dam building and water abstraction from rivers. Now research shows how approaches that integrate flow management and marine fisheries can improve both freshwater and coastal ecosystem sustainability.

      • Thiago B. A. Couto
      • Suresh A. Sethi
      News & Views
    • Quantifications of the impacts of sea-level rise in small island states are urgently needed. Focusing on flooding from sea-level rise, a study now estimates the impacts in terms of cost, land loss and population exposure across all small islands worldwide.

      • Rosanne Martyr-Koller
      • Carl-Friedrich Schleussner
      News & Views
    • Humans and mangroves adapt to conditions arising from subsidence and relative sea-level rise. Quantifying adaptation responses provides an innovative and cost-effective means of characterizing spatial variation in subsidence and relative sea-level rise and delivers critical information for coastal planning.

      • Kerrylee Rogers
      News & Views
    • Heatwaves are more frequent and lead to considerable suffering, especially among the poorest and most disadvantaged people. This Perspective discusses the concept of systemic cooling poverty with the aim of informing policy and practice to support vulnerable groups.

      • Antonella Mazzone
      • Enrica De Cian
      • Radhika Khosla
  • In the context of climate change, the discourse of capacity building may reproduce colonial power dynamics by framing adaptation failures as the responsibility of marginalized communities. “Capacity sharing” offers an alternative paradigm for a more environmentally just and decolonial approach to managing local climate risks.

    • Stephen Lezak
  • Veera Mitzner, Director of the Sustainability Research & Innovation (SRI) Congress and Associate Director of Future Earth US Global Hub, and Omar R. López Alfano, Director of the National Research System, SENACYT, Panama, and President of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research, talk to Nature Sustainability about the success and prospects of the SRI Congress.

    • Monica Contestabile
  • Plastics are ubiquitous, but problematic from a whole life cycle perspective. Nature Sustainability asked four experts to present their views about the ongoing plastics crisis.

  • Policy making is entering a phase of more transformative strategies targeting the full life cycle of plastics, argues Patrick Schröder.

    • Patrick Schröder
    World View

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