Analyses

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  • Sustainability has been added as a ‘pillar’ of the Olympic movement, but this analysis examines each Summer and Winter Games since 1992 to find that the performance of host cities across a range of indicators has been declining over time.

    • Martin Müller
    • Sven Daniel Wolfe
    • Annick Leick
    Analysis
  • Most of the world’s farms are small. This study finds that smaller farms have higher yields and biodiversity than larger ones but little difference in greenhouse gas emissions and profits.

    • Vincent Ricciardi
    • Zia Mehrabi
    • Navin Ramankutty
    Analysis
  • Fossil fuel infrastructure impacts land use. This study estimates the present value from restoring lands with non-producing gas wells at US$21 billion at a restoration cost of US$7 billion. Deciduous forests, grasslands and chaparral had especially high net benefits.

    • William Haden Chomphosy
    • Sofia Varriano
    • Matthew D. Moran
    Analysis
  • As cannabis production becomes legalized and legitimized, its production will likely change and expand with attendant environmental impacts. This life cycle analysis of energy and material costs across the United States focuses on indoor cannabis growing operations.

    • Hailey M. Summers
    • Evan Sproul
    • Jason C. Quinn
    Analysis
  • Wise management is critical to sustaining fisheries. This study finds that rebuilding plans, ratification of international agreements and harvest control rules yield strong benefits and that these are cumulative.

    • Michael C. Melnychuk
    • Hiroyuki Kurota
    • Ray Hilborn
    Analysis
  • A study of 177 forest user groups shows that these are more likely to self-organize to monitor rule compliance for forest management when the groups are larger, they design the rules and they are located either close to or far from markets.

    • Graham Epstein
    • Georgina Gurney
    • Graeme S. Cumming
    Analysis
  • Banning the sale of rinse-off cosmetics containing plastic microbeads to protect the environment requires understanding the lifetime environmental impacts of potential substitutes. By comparing the environmental performance of alternatives, this study finds viable substitutes and those with adverse effects.

    • Claire F. Hunt
    • Wilson H. Lin
    • Nikolaos Voulvoulis
    Analysis
  • The impacts of wildfires in the western United States have been increasing for decades. Combining physical, epidemiological and economic models, this study finds that the economic damage of California wildfires in 2018 was roughly 1.5% of California’s annual gross domestic product.

    • Daoping Wang
    • Dabo Guan
    • Steven J. Davis
    Analysis
  • Perovskite solar cells could be a game-changing energy technology. However, the solvents involved during fabrication pose sustainability concerns. Here, the authors provide an analysis of human health toxicity and environmental implications of handling solvents, recommending dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as the green choice for large-scale production.

    • Rosario Vidal
    • Jaume-Adrià Alberola-Borràs
    • Joseph M. Luther
    Analysis
  • Oysters clean nutrient-polluted waters, but their populations have crashed. This study synthesizes research on oyster impacts and finds that they help remove excess nitrogen and promote nutrient recycling without contributing greatly to greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Nicholas E. Ray
    • Robinson W. Fulweiler
    Analysis
  • Continued carbon-intensive development is unsustainable. This study assesses how cloudiness and weather variability, enhanced by climate change, will affect photovoltaic output, finding that conditions are likely to worsen by mid-century over the Arabian Peninsula while improving over southern Europe.

    • Sarah Feron
    • Raúl R. Cordero
    • Robert B. Jackson
    Analysis
  • Big data and mobile technology are considered a growing boon for small-scale farmers. This study finds that only 24–37% of farms of <1 ha are currently served by third generation (3G) or 4G services, compared to 74–80% of farms of >200 ha, and that regions with poor yields and low food security have poor service coverage.

    • Zia Mehrabi
    • Mollie J. McDowell
    • Andy Jarvis
    Analysis