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  • 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
    Comment
  • 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
  • Climate change affects sea surface density via changes in the sea surface temperature and salinity. These projected sea surface density changes are likely to affect the dispersal patterns of widely distributed mangrove species and are expected to be largest in the Indo West Pacific, the primary hotspot of mangrove diversity.

    Research Briefing
  • 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
  • A projected change in the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is found to induce a change in high-latitude winds, thereby affecting future Southern Ocean warming. A greater projected increase in ENSO amplitude in response to transient greenhouse forcing weakens high-latitude westerly poleward intensification and slows future Southern Ocean warming.

    Research Briefing
  • Years of research on adaptation to climate change shows that many efforts are counterproductively increasing vulnerability, rather than reducing it — known as ‘maladaptation’. Now a study suggests ways forward by identifying four structural challenges that need to be overcome in adaptation implementation.

    • E. Lisa F. Schipper
    News & Views
  • 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
    Comment
  • 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
    Comment
  • Quantifying historical trends in tropical cyclone activity has proved difficult, but a new reconstruction reveals a clear global decline over the past century, driven by an increasingly cyclone-hostile environment in the troposphere.

    • Alexander J. Baker
    News & Views
  • The world’s poorest households, who often depend on agricultural incomes, are increasingly vulnerable to weather-induced shocks. A recent study shows how anti-poverty programmes can help to protect both consumption and income when exposed to shocks.

    • Sarah Janzen
    News & Views
  • 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.

    Editorial
  • 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
    Comment
  • 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
  • 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.

    Editorial
  • Sharp fronts and eddies that are ubiquitous in the world ocean, as well as features such as shelf seas and under-ice-shelf cavities, are not captured in climate projections. Such small-scale processes can play a key role in how the large-scale ocean and cryosphere evolve under climate change, posing a challenge to climate models.

    • Helene Hewitt
    • Baylor Fox-Kemper
    • Daniel Klocke
    Comment
  • Current global climate models struggle to represent precipitation and related extreme events, with serious implications for the physical evidence base to support climate actions. A leap to kilometre-scale models could overcome this shortcoming but requires collaboration on an unprecedented scale.

    • Julia Slingo
    • Paul Bates
    • Georg Teutsch
    Comment
  • 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
    Article