Think big and model small

In this month's editorial, and in two Comments featured in our June issue, we focus on new possibilities to model the climate system at smaller scales, as well as the work and resources still needed. 

Nature Climate Change 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.


  • Climate change is expected to impact moisture supply, which is critical for production of food and carbon uptake by terrestrial ecosystems. A shift from ecosystem energy to water limitation is predicted between 1980 and 2100, with implications for ecosystem function under climate change.

    • Jasper M. C. Denissen
    • Adriaan J. Teuling
    • Rene Orth
    Article Open Access
  • The authors project the impacts of future changes in sea surface temperature, salinity and therefore density on the dispersal of buoyant mangrove propagules. They show that warmer and fresher oceans may increase propagule sinking rates, potentially reducing future mangrove resilience.

    • Tom Van der Stocken
    • Bram Vanschoenwinkel
    • Nico Koedam
    Article Open Access
  • Detecting change in tropical cyclones is difficult from observational records. Here a reconstruction using reanalysis data of annual cyclone numbers shows they have declined globally and regionally over the twentieth century.

    • Savin S. Chand
    • Kevin J. E. Walsh
    • Hiroyuki Murakami
    Article Open Access
  • The ocean absorbs atmospheric heat; understanding this process is needed to predict climate change impacts. Model analysis shows the influence of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on Southern Ocean heat uptake—projections with larger (smaller) ENSO amplitude show less (more) ocean warming.

    • Guojian Wang
    • Wenju Cai
    • Michael J. McPhaden
    Article Open Access
  • Ice that melts at high elevation often refreezes and, therefore, does not contribute to the shrinking of ice sheets. Here, the authors show that the elevation at which melting ice starts to contribute to runoff has increased over recent years in Greenland, expanding the runoff area by 29%.

    • Andrew J. Tedstone
    • Horst Machguth
  • Climate model projections of the terrestrial water cycle are often described using simple empirical models (‘indices’) that can mislead. Instead, we should seek to understand climate model projections using simple physical models.

    • Kaighin A. McColl
    • Michael L. Roderick
    • Jacob Scheff
  • Ecosystem services are often omitted from climate policy owing to difficulties in estimating the economic value of climate-driven ecosystem changes. However, recent advances in data and methods can help us overcome these challenges and move towards a more comprehensive accounting of climate impacts.

    • Hannah Druckenmiller
  • The expansion of urban environments contributes to climate change and biodiversity loss. Implementing nature-based strategies to create ‘regenerative living cities’ will be critical for climate change mitigation and adaptation and will produce measurable biodiversity and wellbeing co-benefits.

    • M. Pedersen Zari
    • M. MacKinnon
    • N. Bakshi
  • Ecosystems, and the services they provide, can support climate mitigation and adaptation, yet also suffer from climate change impacts. Now, discussions surround how to best support the eco–climate nexus, overcoming the challenges ahead and creating multiple benefits.

  • Incorporating the carbon services of wild animals into financial markets has the potential to benefit both climate and conservation through the development of carbon offsets that are equitable and nature positive. However, for this paradigm to be successful, many challenges regarding science, finance and law still need to be overcome.

    • Fabio Berzaghi
    • Thomas Cosimano
    • Ralph Chami
  • It is now possible to model the climate system at the kilometre scale, but more work and resources are needed to harvest the full potential of these models to resolve long-standing model biases and enable new applications of climate models.


Tenth Anniversary

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Nature Climate Change, we invited experts to highlight exciting developments of the past decade, and talk to our past and present editors about some of the remarkable papers published in the journal.


Nature Careers