Browse Articles

  • Article |

    Genomics and environmental modelling are integrated to assess past and future changes in Arctic charr populations in response to changing climate. Southern population vulnerability suggests climate change may lead to northward shifts and the loss of important life-history variation.

    • K. K. S. Layton
    • , P. V. R. Snelgrove
    • , J. B. Dempson
    • , T. Kess
    • , S. J. Lehnert
    • , P. Bentzen
    • , S. J. Duffy
    • , A. M. Messmer
    • , R. R. E. Stanley
    • , C. DiBacco
    • , S. J. Salisbury
    • , D. E. Ruzzante
    • , C. M. Nugent
    • , M. M. Ferguson
    • , J. S. Leong
    • , B. F. Koop
    •  & I. R. Bradbury
  • Article |

    The Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation are modes of Northern Hemisphere climate variability with high temporal and spatial correlation. With strong warming, climate models suggest their link breaks down due to a divergent response to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and stratosphere.

    • Mostafa E. Hamouda
    • , Claudia Pasquero
    •  & Eli Tziperman
  • Article |

    Tibetan Plateau runoff projections are uncertain due to precipitation change uncertainty in climate models. Historical precipitation–circulation relationships constrain future wet-season precipitation and runoff change, suggesting worsening water scarcity for the Indus and Ganges river basins.

    • Tao Wang
    • , Yutong Zhao
    • , Chaoyi Xu
    • , Philippe Ciais
    • , Dan Liu
    • , Hui Yang
    • , Shilong Piao
    •  & Tandong Yao
  • Article |

    Projections of terrestrial water storage (TWS)—the sum of all continental water—are key to water resource and drought estimates. A hydrological model ensemble predicts climate warming will more than double the land area and population exposed to extreme TWS drought by the late twenty-first century.

    • Yadu Pokhrel
    • , Farshid Felfelani
    • , Yusuke Satoh
    • , Julien Boulange
    • , Peter Burek
    • , Anne Gädeke
    • , Dieter Gerten
    • , Simon N. Gosling
    • , Manolis Grillakis
    • , Lukas Gudmundsson
    • , Naota Hanasaki
    • , Hyungjun Kim
    • , Aristeidis Koutroulis
    • , Junguo Liu
    • , Lamprini Papadimitriou
    • , Jacob Schewe
    • , Hannes Müller Schmied
    • , Tobias Stacke
    • , Camelia-Eliza Telteu
    • , Wim Thiery
    • , Ted Veldkamp
    • , Fang Zhao
    •  & Yoshihide Wada
  • Article |

    Renewable energy relies on climate fields that will be altered by warming, and the impacts on the energy system are estimated for eight renewable energy technologies. Bioenergy sees the largest global increases but high uncertainty; other types see small global change but robust local trends.

    • David E. H. J. Gernaat
    • , Harmen Sytze de Boer
    • , Vassilis Daioglou
    • , Seleshi G. Yalew
    • , Christoph Müller
    •  & Detlef P. van Vuuren
  • Comment |

    Reduced complexity climate models are useful tools with practical policy applications, yet evaluation of their performance and application is nascent. We call for stakeholder-driven development and assessment to address user needs, including provision of open-source code and guidance to inform model selection and application.

    • Marcus C. Sarofim
    • , Joel B. Smith
    • , Alexis St. Juliana
    •  & Corinne Hartin
  • Article |

    Earth’s energy budget depends on the global sea surface temperature pattern, which is currently counteracting warming more strongly than expected in the future. Including this pattern effect in projections causes committed warming with present-day forcing to exceed the Paris goals, implying less leeway than anticipated.

    • Chen Zhou
    • , Mark D. Zelinka
    • , Andrew E. Dessler
    •  & Minghuai Wang
  • Article |

    Surface water availability will change under climate change and is impacted by feedbacks between the land and atmosphere. Soil moisture exerts a negative feedback on water availability in drylands, offsetting some of the expected decline.

    • Sha Zhou
    • , A. Park Williams
    • , Benjamin R. Lintner
    • , Alexis M. Berg
    • , Yao Zhang
    • , Trevor F. Keenan
    • , Benjamin I. Cook
    • , Stefan Hagemann
    • , Sonia I. Seneviratne
    •  & Pierre Gentine
  • Article |

    Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) will be required to meet climate targets. An economically feasible global CCUS layout can be achieved by capturing the carbon sources in 85 regions and mitigating with 59 GtCO2 sequestration and aquifer storage and 33 GtCO2-enhanced oil recovery.

    • Yi-Ming Wei
    • , Jia-Ning Kang
    • , Lan-Cui Liu
    • , Qi Li
    • , Peng-Tao Wang
    • , Juan-Juan Hou
    • , Qiao-Mei Liang
    • , Hua Liao
    • , Shi-Feng Huang
    •  & Biying Yu
  • Article |

    An urban climate model emulator has been used with a multi-model archive to estimate that in a high-emissions scenario, many cities will warm by over 4 K during local summers. Near-global relative humidity decreases highlight the potential for green infrastructure and more efficient urban cooling mechanisms.

    • Lei Zhao
    • , Keith Oleson
    • , Elie Bou-Zeid
    • , E. Scott Krayenhoff
    • , Andrew Bray
    • , Qing Zhu
    • , Zhonghua Zheng
    • , Chen Chen
    •  & Michael Oppenheimer
  • Analysis |

    Avoided deforestation is an important part of many climate mitigation strategies, yet monitoring is needed for enforcement. Subscriptions to deforestation alerts lowered the probability of deforestation in Africa by 18%, generating a value of US$149–696 million based on the social cost of carbon.

    • Fanny Moffette
    • , Jennifer Alix-Garcia
    • , Katherine Shea
    •  & Amy H. Pickens
  • Article |

    Global emissions could decrease 3.9–5.6% over 5 years due to COVID-19, and the interconnected economy means lockdown-related declines reach beyond borders. As countries look to stimulate their economies, how fiscal incentives are allocated and invested will determine longer-term emission changes.

    • Yuli Shan
    • , Jiamin Ou
    • , Daoping Wang
    • , Zhao Zeng
    • , Shaohui Zhang
    • , Dabo Guan
    •  & Klaus Hubacek
  • Article |

    GHG mitigation is not likely to be detectable in global mean temperature before mid-century. However, a simple climate emulator and an Earth system model ensemble suggest that strong mitigation greatly decreases the likelihood of high rates of 20-year warming over the next two decades.

    • Christine M. McKenna
    • , Amanda C. Maycock
    • , Piers M. Forster
    • , Christopher J. Smith
    •  & Katarzyna B. Tokarska
  • Analysis |

    Peatlands are impacted by climate and land-use changes, with feedback to warming by acting as either sources or sinks of carbon. Expert elicitation combined with literature review reveals key drivers of change that alter peatland carbon dynamics, with implications for improving models.

    • J. Loisel
    • , A. V. Gallego-Sala
    • , M. J. Amesbury
    • , G. Magnan
    • , G. Anshari
    • , D. W. Beilman
    • , J. C. Benavides
    • , J. Blewett
    • , P. Camill
    • , D. J. Charman
    • , S. Chawchai
    • , A. Hedgpeth
    • , T. Kleinen
    • , A. Korhola
    • , D. Large
    • , C. A. Mansilla
    • , J. Müller
    • , S. van Bellen
    • , J. B. West
    • , Z. Yu
    • , J. L. Bubier
    • , M. Garneau
    • , T. Moore
    • , A. B. K. Sannel
    • , S. Page
    • , M. Väliranta
    • , M. Bechtold
    • , V. Brovkin
    • , L. E. S. Cole
    • , J. P. Chanton
    • , T. R. Christensen
    • , M. A. Davies
    • , F. De Vleeschouwer
    • , S. A. Finkelstein
    • , S. Frolking
    • , M. Gałka
    • , L. Gandois
    • , N. Girkin
    • , L. I. Harris
    • , A. Heinemeyer
    • , A. M. Hoyt
    • , M. C. Jones
    • , F. Joos
    • , S. Juutinen
    • , K. Kaiser
    • , T. Lacourse
    • , M. Lamentowicz
    • , T. Larmola
    • , J. Leifeld
    • , A. Lohila
    • , A. M. Milner
    • , K. Minkkinen
    • , P. Moss
    • , B. D. A. Naafs
    • , J. Nichols
    • , J. O’Donnell
    • , R. Payne
    • , M. Philben
    • , S. Piilo
    • , A. Quillet
    • , A. S. Ratnayake
    • , T. P. Roland
    • , S. Sjögersten
    • , O. Sonnentag
    • , G. T. Swindles
    • , W. Swinnen
    • , J. Talbot
    • , C. Treat
    • , A. C. Valach
    •  & J. Wu
  • 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
  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 |

    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
  • 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
  • Article |

    Hydrological modelling is combined with soil moisture estimates to quantify climate change impacts on inland Ramsar wetlands. Net global changes are estimated to be modest, but individual sites with area reductions over 10% are projected to increase 19–243% by 2100, depending on emissions scenario.

    • Yi Xi
    • , Shushi Peng
    • , Philippe Ciais
    •  & Youhua Chen
  • Matters Arising |

    • J. A. G. Cooper
    • , G. Masselink
    • , G. Coco
    • , A. D. Short
    • , B. Castelle
    • , K. Rogers
    • , E. Anthony
    • , A. N. Green
    • , J. T. Kelley
    • , O. H. Pilkey
    •  & D. W. T. Jackson
  • 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.

  • Perspective |

    The Arctic is warming and undergoing rapid ice loss. This Perspective considers how changes in sea ice will impact the biogeochemistry and associated ecosystems of the region while calling for more observations to improve our understanding of this complex system.

    • Delphine Lannuzel
    • , Letizia Tedesco
    • , Maria van Leeuwe
    • , Karley Campbell
    • , Hauke Flores
    • , Bruno Delille
    • , Lisa Miller
    • , Jacqueline Stefels
    • , Philipp Assmy
    • , Jeff Bowman
    • , Kristina Brown
    • , Giulia Castellani
    • , Melissa Chierici
    • , Odile Crabeck
    • , Ellen Damm
    • , Brent Else
    • , Agneta Fransson
    • , François Fripiat
    • , Nicolas-Xavier Geilfus
    • , Caroline Jacques
    • , Elizabeth Jones
    • , Hermanni Kaartokallio
    • , Marie Kotovitch
    • , Klaus Meiners
    • , Sébastien Moreau
    • , Daiki Nomura
    • , Ilka Peeken
    • , Janne-Markus Rintala
    • , Nadja Steiner
    • , Jean-Louis Tison
    • , Martin Vancoppenolle
    • , Fanny Van der Linden
    • , Marcello Vichi
    •  & Pat Wongpan
  • Comment |

    As the world’s economies seek to use new renewable energy developments to address climate change and reinvigorate economies post-COVID-19, avoiding a fixation on targets in decision-making will ensure positive social and environmental outcomes.

    • Scott Spillias
    • , Peter Kareiva
    • , Mary Ruckelshaus
    •  & Eve McDonald-Madden
  • Article |

    The east–west gradient in equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature has strengthened, but models suggest the opposite in past and future climates. Model ensembles show that the observed trend can arise from internal variability but their gradient weakens in the long term, causing more climate warming.

    • Masahiro Watanabe
    • , Jean-Louis Dufresne
    • , Yu Kosaka
    • , Thorsten Mauritsen
    •  & Hiroaki Tatebe
  • Article |

    Spring phenology is influenced by chilling, forcing and photoperiod cues; the phenological response to warming from anthropogenic climate change may be slowed by chilling or photoperiod. Plant species respond to all cues in experiments but under environmental conditions, forcing predominates.

    • A. K. Ettinger
    • , C. J. Chamberlain
    • , I. Morales-Castilla
    • , D. M. Buonaiuto
    • , D. F. B. Flynn
    • , T. Savas
    • , J. A. Samaha
    •  & E. M. Wolkovich
  • Article |

    The biological pump sequesters carbon to the deep ocean. Ocean acidification, through impacts on plankton and food-web structure, is shown to alter the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of organic material export, with heterotrophic processes playing a key role.

    • Jan Taucher
    • , Tim Boxhammer
    • , Lennart T. Bach
    • , Allanah J. Paul
    • , Markus Schartau
    • , Paul Stange
    •  & Ulf Riebesell
  • News & Views |

    Increasing fire frequency and severity may shift boreal forests from carbon sinks to carbon sources and amplify climate warming. Analysis indicates that fuel characteristics are important drivers of wildfire carbon emissions across a broad range of North America’s boreal forest.

    • Rachel A. Loehman
  • Article |

    Carbon emissions from fires are generally modelled and predicted from fire weather and climate. Fuel availability drives carbon emissions more strongly than fire weather in boreal forests, highlighting the importance of ecological dynamics for fire–climate feedbacks.

    • X. J. Walker
    • , B. M. Rogers
    • , S. Veraverbeke
    • , J. F. Johnstone
    • , J. L. Baltzer
    • , K. Barrett
    • , L. Bourgeau-Chavez
    • , N. J. Day
    • , W. J. de Groot
    • , C. M. Dieleman
    • , S. Goetz
    • , E. Hoy
    • , L. K. Jenkins
    • , E. S. Kane
    • , M.-A. Parisien
    • , S. Potter
    • , E. A. G. Schuur
    • , M. Turetsky
    • , E. Whitman
    •  & M. C. Mack
  • News & Views |

    Agricultural systems are vulnerable to climate change, and global reservoirs of plant genetic diversity are proving to be a valuable means of crop adaptation. A study now shows that production of sweet potato is at risk from extreme heat events, but a few tolerant cultivars can still thrive and potentially provide climate resilience.

    • Samuel Pironon
    •  & Marybel Soto Gomez
  • News & Views |

    Dust and black carbon deposition in high-mountain Asia darkens snow and ice, increases sunlight absorption and causes melt — a reinforcing feedback. Now research shows the increasing importance of dust over black carbon at higher altitude, and the sensitivity of aerosol transport and delivery to Arctic sea-ice melt.

    • Biagio Di Mauro
  • Article |

    Mass field testing of heat tolerance in 1,973 cultivars of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) from 50 countries identifies tolerant cultivars and reveals tolerance-predictive traits for breeding consideration. The work highlights the role of intraspecific diversity for future crop resilience.

    • Bettina Heider
    • , Quentin Struelens
    • , Émile Faye
    • , Carlos Flores
    • , José E. Palacios
    • , Raul Eyzaguirre
    • , Stef de Haan
    •  & Olivier Dangles
  • Article |

    Dust deposition in high-mountain Asia lowers snow albedo and hastens melt. Satellite data and models show that dust arrives via transport in elevated aerosol layers and outweighs black carbon impacts at high altitudes, suggesting a growing importance of dust on snowmelt as snowlines rise with warming.

    • Chandan Sarangi
    • , Yun Qian
    • , Karl Rittger
    • , L. Ruby Leung
    • , Duli Chand
    • , Kat J. Bormann
    •  & Thomas H. Painter
  • News & Views |

    Winter conditions have typically been downplayed or oversimplified in past estimations of terrestrial Arctic vegetation shifts in relation to climate change. A study now demonstrates the importance of fine-scale variation in winter temperature in explaining the composition and diversity of Arctic plant communities.

    • Anne D. Bjorkman
    •  & Elise C. Gallois
  • News & Views |

    While large-scale climate-associated changes are becoming increasingly visible, our understanding of changes in the microbial world remains limited. Now a study takes advantage of a tropical microecosystem to disentangle the direct and indirect impacts of increased temperatures on the microbiomes of animals.

    • Obed Hernández-Gómez
  • Article |

    Electric vehicles (EV) are often considered as the best chance for reducing light-duty transport emissions. Analysis of US policies shows that required emission reductions exceed feasible EV deployment, and technology alongside behaviour change is needed.

    • Alexandre Milovanoff
    • , I. Daniel Posen
    •  & Heather L. MacLean
  • Article |

    Seawater properties—temperature, salinity and density—cause stratification of the water column, limiting vertical exchange. Considering down to 2,000 m, ocean stratification is shown to have increased ~5.3% since 1960, with ~71% of the change occurring in the upper 200 m primarily from warming.

    • Guancheng Li
    • , Lijing Cheng
    • , Jiang Zhu
    • , Kevin E. Trenberth
    • , Michael E. Mann
    •  & John P. Abraham