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  • A failure to recognize the factors behind continued emissions growth could limit the world’s ability to shift to a pathway consistent with 1.5 °C or 2 °C of global warming. Continued support for low-carbon technologies needs to be combined with policies directed at phasing out the use of fossil fuels.

    • G. P. Peters
    • R. M. Andrew
    • A. Peregon
  • Many recently updated climate models show greater future warming than previously. Separate lines of evidence suggest that their warming rates may be unrealistically high, but the risk of such eventualities only emphasizes the need for rapid and deep reductions in emissions.

    • Piers M. Forster
    • Amanda C. Maycock
    • Christopher J. Smith
  • Misleading claims about mass migration induced by climate change continue to surface in both academia and policy. This requires a new research agenda on ‘climate mobilities’ that moves beyond simplistic assumptions and more accurately advances knowledge of the nexus between human mobility and climate change.

    • Ingrid Boas
    • Carol Farbotko
    • Mike Hulme
  • Minimizing the adverse consequences of sea-level change presents a key societal challenge. New modelling is necessary to examine the implications of global policy decisions that determine future greenhouse gas emissions and local policies around coastal risk that influence where and how we live.

    • D. J. Wrathall
    • V. Mueller
    • K. Warner
  • Though critical to many projected pathways to meet global climate targets, the challenges facing biomass energy with carbon capture and storage have yet to enter the forefront of public dialogue.

    • Christopher S. Galik
  • Concern about the carbon footprint of Bitcoin is not holding back blockchain developers from leveraging the technology for action on climate change. Although blockchain technology is enabling individuals and businesses to manage their carbon emissions, the social and environmental costs and benefits of doing so remain unclear.

    • Peter Howson
  • The publication of the IPCC Special Report on global warming of 1.5 oC paved the way for the rise of the political rhetoric of setting a fixed deadline for decisive actions on climate change. However, the dangers of such deadline rhetoric suggest the need for the IPCC to take responsibility for its report and openly challenge the credibility of such a deadline.

    • Shinichiro Asayama
    • Rob Bellamy
    • Mike Hulme
  • The Paris Agreement established a global goal on adaptation and invites parties to review the effectiveness of adaptation actions. However, the measurement of adaptation success remains elusive. Focusing on the capabilities of households and governments to pursue a range of adaptation futures provides a more robust foundation.

    • Lisa Dilling
    • Anjal Prakash
    • Kerry Bowman
  • The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement share the purpose of creating a more resilient, productive and healthy environment for present and future generations. Nations must seize the opportunity to raise their ambition, realize synergies and minimize trade-offs.

    • Liu Zhenmin
    • Patricia Espinosa
  • Climate-smart food systems are needed to feed growing populations while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources. However, to be successful, climate-smart agriculture interventions must be equitable and inclusive to overcome trade-offs with other Sustainable Development Goals.

    • Jon Hellin
    • Eleanor Fisher
  • Manipulation of European Union emission trading systems (ETS) by the buy, bank, burn program compensates unregulated emissions while regulated sectors carry a large part of the burden. This distorts the balance between regulated firms and non-regulated projects, so parties outside the EU ETS can be virtuous at the cost of others.

    • Reyer Gerlagh
    • Roweno J. R. K. Heijmans
  • The students striking for action on climate change admirably display civic engagement on a pressing issue. Nevertheless, their movement’s message focuses far too heavily on the need to ‘listen to science’, which is at most a point of departure for answering the ethical and political questions central to climate action.

    • Darrick Evensen
  • The #FridaysForFuture campaign has prompted unprecedented numbers of youth to join the climate movement around the world. This growing movement is important beyond its potential impact on climate policy because it is creating a cohort of citizens who will be active participants in democracy.

    • Dana R. Fisher
  • Many countries are formulating a long-term climate strategy to be submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by 2020. Model-based, multi-disciplinary assessments can be a key ingredient for informing policy makers and engaging stakeholders in this process.

    • Matthias Weitzel
    • Toon Vandyck
    • Bert Saveyn
  • The way in which climate change research funds are managed is shifting dramatically toward investments in large collaborative research networks. This poses significant challenges for researchers, and requires changes from the institutions and funders that support them.

    • G. Cundill
    • B. Currie-Alder
    • M. Leone
  • Climate science celebrates three 40th anniversaries in 2019: the release of the Charney report, the publication of a key paper on anthropogenic signal detection, and the start of satellite temperature measurements. This confluence of scientific understanding and data led to the identification of human fingerprints in atmospheric temperature.

    • Benjamin D. Santer
    • Céline J. W. Bonfils
    • Cheng-Zhi Zou
  • Carbon mitigation efforts often focus on the world’s poorest people, dealing with topics such as food and energy security, and increased emissions potential from projected population, income and consumption growth. However, more policies are needed that target people at the opposite end of the social ladder — the super-rich.

    • Ilona M. Otto
    • Kyoung Mi Kim
    • Wolfgang Lucht
  • The current narrow focus on afforestation in climate policy runs the risk of compromising long-term carbon storage, human adaptation and efforts to preserve biodiversity. An emphasis on diverse, intact natural ecosystems — as opposed to fast-growing tree plantations — will help nations to deliver Paris Agreement goals and much more.

    • Nathalie Seddon
    • Beth Turner
    • Cécile A. J. Girardin
  • The tendency of modern science to reduce complex phenomena into their component parts has many advantages for advancing knowledge. However, such reductionism in climate science is also a problem because it narrows the evidence base, limiting visions of possible futures and the ways they might be achieved.

    • Jonathan Rigg
    • Lisa Reyes Mason