Credit: Tim Savas

Changing ecology

Climate warming is altering Northern Hemisphere ecosystem behaviour across seasons. Read about impacts on Arctic tundra vegetation, seasonal phenology in Europe, and snowshoe hare predation risk.

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Open Access options available from January 2021, read more

Latest Research

  • Article |

    The strength of a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (pIOD) is set by sea surface temperature gradient across the equatorial Indian Ocean. Modelling shows warming will increase strong pIODs but decrease moderate pIODs, as faster surface warming in the west sets up conducive conditions for the strong events.

    • Wenju Cai
    • , Kai Yang
    • , Lixin Wu
    • , Gang Huang
    • , Agus Santoso
    • , Benjamin Ng
    • , Guojian Wang
    •  & Toshio Yamagata
  • Perspective |

    The SSP–RCP scenario framework has been an important component of physical, social and integrated climate change research for the past decade. This Perspective reviews the successes of the framework and the challenges it faces, and provides suggestions for improvement moving forward.

    • Brian C. O’Neill
    • , Timothy R. Carter
    • , Kristie Ebi
    • , Paula A. Harrison
    • , Eric Kemp-Benedict
    • , Kasper Kok
    • , Elmar Kriegler
    • , Benjamin L. Preston
    • , Keywan Riahi
    • , Jana Sillmann
    • , Bas J. van Ruijven
    • , Detlef van Vuuren
    • , David Carlisle
    • , Cecilia Conde
    • , Jan Fuglestvedt
    • , Carole Green
    • , Tomoko Hasegawa
    • , Julia Leininger
    • , Seth Monteith
    •  & Ramon Pichs-Madruga
  • Article |

    An increase in ocean transport from the North Atlantic into the Nordic Seas and Arctic Ocean is warming the region. Observations from 1993 to 2016 show a significant increase in heat transport after 2001, with the heat being transported over the Greenland–Scotland Ridge.

    • Takamasa Tsubouchi
    • , Kjetil Våge
    • , Bogi Hansen
    • , Karin Margretha H. Larsen
    • , Svein Østerhus
    • , Clare Johnson
    • , Steingrímur Jónsson
    •  & Héðinn Valdimarsson
  • Review Article |

    The shift to data-driven urban climate governance alters accountability. This Review examines critically the drivers of the shift—standardization, transparency and capacity building—and how best to achieve equitable climate mitigation outcomes within this context.

    • Sara Hughes
    • , Sarah Giest
    •  & Laura Tozer
  • Article |

    Analysis of ectotherm thermal death curves in the context of both challenge intensity and duration shows that smaller animals exhibit higher tolerance to acute stress, but lower tolerance to chronic stress. The size-dependent impact provides one explanation for warming-related reductions in animal size.

    • Ignacio Peralta-Maraver
    •  & Enrico L. Rezende
  • Article |

    Global trade and transport depend on the resilience of the ports sector. Multi-hazard operational risks are estimated for 2,013 ports under historical climate and future warming; of the marine and atmospheric hazards considered, coastal flooding, wave overtopping and heat stress increase risk most.

    • C. Izaguirre
    • , I. J. Losada
    • , P. Camus
    • , J. L. Vigh
    •  & V. Stenek

News & Comment

  • Editorial |

    The past year has seen climate change manifest in wildfires, storms and flooding, in some cases simultaneous with outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic that restricted human activity and impacted global emissions. Despite these trials, other developments hint at the potential for positive steps in climate mitigation.

  • News & Views |

    Body sizes have been declining in response to climate change, but an expected relationship between size and the hot temperatures organisms can tolerate has eluded detection. Now, research shows how body size and the duration of exposure to hot temperatures interact to determine the onset and consequences of thermal stress.

    • Lauren B. Buckley
  • Comment |

    Despite a strong media presence and pledges from high-profile investors, the divestment movement has largely failed to mobilize financial markets in the war on carbon. Divestment 2.0 will require major tweaking to more effectively redirect the flow of capital and catalyse greater corporate climate action.

    • Felix Mormann
  • Editorial |

    The climate crisis highlights just how connected the world is. But understanding the changes cascading throughout the natural world calls for even greater connectivity: between countries, scientists and scientific disciplines.

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