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Volume 2 Issue 4, April 2019

Shipping and biological invasions

In this issue, Sardain et al. project growth of global shipping traffic to mid-century, and show that such changes may result in drastic increases in biological invasions worldwide — far greater than those that might be caused by climate-driven environmental change.

See Sardain et al.

Image: Joshua Rawson-Harris. Cover Design: David Shand.


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Comment & Opinion

  • Advances in synthetic biology have the potential to develop new products, materials and services that could contribute to the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Support for synthetic biology initiatives in developing countries is needed to ensure that these benefits are open to all.

    • K. E. French
  • Agricultural practices need to change to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. How to achieve the SDGs is heavily contested. Here we propose a policy framework that triggers the required transition. Organic agriculture, although not a silver bullet, is a useful component in such strategy.

    • Frank Eyhorn
    • Adrian Muller
    • Pete Smith
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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • The world’s food system is complex, highly interconnected and rapidly evolving. Attendant risks are poorly understood. A new study reveals important insight into how interconnectedness, structure and modularity of the global food network impact system resilience.

    • Michael J. Puma
    News & Views
  • In many countries, it is difficult for government agencies to know where animal farms are located. Using satellite imaging and deep learning provides a new, effective, accurate and low-cost approach for detecting these facilities.

    • Francesc X. Prenafeta-Boldú
    • Andreas Kamilaris
    News & Views
  • How people respond to sustainability challenges is crucial. New findings suggest that when individuals adopt one pro-environmental behaviour, this might affect whether or not they engage in other, related behaviours.

    • Wokje Abrahamse
    News & Views
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  • Urban systems must adapt to climatic and other global change. This Perspective uses urban systems to argue that sustainability and resilience are complementary but not interchangeable and that, in some cases, resilience can even render cities unsustainable.

    • Thomas Elmqvist
    • Erik Andersson
    • Carl Folke
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  • Shipments of natural resources and goods connect distant regions but sometimes move more than their intended cargo. This study models the growth of the global shipping network and the implications for spreading invasive species in a changing climate, forecasting substantial increases in ship movements and a 3- to 20-fold increase in invasion risk in coming decades.

    • Anthony Sardain
    • Erik Sardain
    • Brian Leung
  • The movement of goods links consumers and producers of natural resources in a web of interactions. This study finds that the resilience of a food trade network depends on interconnectedness and that the increasing connectivity of global food trade is making it less resilient, including to supply shocks.

    • Chengyi Tu
    • Samir Suweis
    • Paolo D’Odorico
  • Biodiversity enhances the resilience of ecosystems to environmental change. This study uses an agent-based model seeded with data from Swiss mountain-farming communities to show that the diversity of actors, such as farmers, enhances the resilience of social-environmental systems to economic and climate change.

    • Adrienne Grêt-Regamey
    • Sibyl H. Huber
    • Robert Huber
  • Machine learning and satellite images are used to identify intensive animal agricultural facilities in the United States, which are otherwise difficult to track. This can facilitate monitoring their compliance with environmental law.

    • Cassandra Handan-Nader
    • Daniel E. Ho
  • An environmentally friendly behaviour is more likely to motivate a second such behaviour when both actions are similar and when the first behaviour is intrinsically motivated, according to a review of the literature.

    • Alexander Maki
    • Amanda R. Carrico
    • Kam Leung Yeung
  • Investing in infrastructure systems will lock-in patterns of development for future generations. This study finds that infrastructure either directly or indirectly influences the attainment of all of the Sustainable Development Goals, including 72% of the targets.

    • Scott Thacker
    • Daniel Adshead
    • Jim W. Hall
  • Large-scale offshore wind turbines require rare-earth metals with a limited natural supply. This study addresses the neodymium material requirements needed to meet substantial electric generating capacity in the United States and estimates how much could be reused from decommissioned turbines.

    • Tomer Fishman
    • T. E. Graedel
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Amendments & Corrections

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