Volume 2

  • No. 12 December 2019

    Cumulative impacts of shale gas

    Shale gas as fuel for electricity generation boomed in the Appalachian basin, United States. Mayfield and colleagues estimated the different temporal and geographical patterns of shale gas impacts on jobs, air quality and climate change in the basin.

    See Mayfield et al.

  • No. 11 November 2019

    Air pollution and miscarriage risk

    Maternal exposure to air pollution is linked to an increased risk of miscarriage. Analysing clinical records in Beijing, China, Zhang and colleagues associate the risk of silent miscarriage, a kind more likely to happen early on in the pregnancy, with levels of PM2.5, sulfur dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide.

    See Zhang et al.

  • No. 10 October 2019

    Food and energy co-production

    Scaling up use of renewable energy technologies can be limited by alternative land uses. Agrawal and colleagues propose the idea of ‘aglectric’ farming, pictured, and show with modelling how agricultural land can be shared sustainably for food and energy co-production.

    See Miskin et al.

  • No. 9 September 2019

    Floating wetlands for wastewater treatment

    Floating treatment wetlands, pictured, can cost-effectively improve wastewater treatment in stabilization ponds. In a three-year study, Afzal et al. evaluated the performance of full-scale floating treatment wetlands in stabilization ponds receiving mixed sewage and industrial wastewater, and they demonstrated substantial improvement in all water quality parameters recorded.

    See Afzal et al.

  • No. 8 August 2019

    Urban form and peak carbon

    China's commitment to achieve peak carbon emissions by 2030 is heavily dependent on its cities. This study looks at 50 of China's cities to analyse per capita emissions and GDP growth, finding that the country may reach peak emissions by 2025.

    See Wang et al.

  • No. 7 July 2019

    Old channels to water security

    Mountain water resources are increasingly threatened. This study finds that a 1,400-year-old system for diverting headwater streams onto Andean slopes later enhances downslope spring flows. Upscaling this for Lima, Peru, could increase dry-season flows by 7.5%.

    See Ochoa-Tocachi et al.

  • No. 6 June 2019

    Greening production of opiate-addiction treatments

    Along with codeine and morphine, the opium poppy, pictured, produces thebaine, which can be used to create opiate-addiction treatments. However, it must first be processed using toxic reactants that produce harmful waste. Kutchan et al. probed an opium-processing waste stream and identified a versatile enzyme that can be used instead.

    See Kutchan et al.

  • No. 5 May 2019

    Air pollution from maize production

    Agriculture sustains humanity but impacts the environment. This study finds that air pollution from maize production leads to 4,300 premature deaths annually in the United States, akin to US$39 billion in damages, and causes climate-change damages of US$4.9 billion.

    See Hill et al.

  • No. 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.

  • No. 3 March 2019

    Antarctic land rush

    Despite its size and reputation for being pristine, Antarctica has relatively little ice-free land. This study analyses satellite images of Antarctic research stations and activities, and finds that they impact more than half of all large coastal ice-free areas.

    See Brooks et al.

  • No. 2 February 2019

    Land freight multiple impacts

    Per-capita land freight in the United States, as pictured, has been increasing in recent decades. Bond and colleagues analyse projections to 2050 to examine the emissions, health and climate impacts of US freight truck and rail transportation under various policy scenarios.

    See Bond et al.

  • No. 1 January 2019

    Policies for the Anthropocene

    Transgressing planetary boundaries generates complex and long-run threats. Sterner et al. discuss the importance of analysing the underlying mechanisms across scientific domains, taking politics into account, in order to design policies that allow human life to thrive over time within the biophysical limits of planet Earth.

    See Sterner et al.