Perspectives

  • Perspective |

    This Perspective describes persecution, protection and ignorance archetypes for managing and monitoring species redistribution under climate change, and argues for global shared governance agreements to cope with species shifts into new geopolitical areas.

    • Brett R. Scheffers
    •  & Gretta Pecl
  • Perspective |

    Top-down studies of climate change use climate projections and modelled impacts, whereas bottom-up assessments focus on the recent past and present vulnerability. This Perspective argues that these approaches must be integrated to address the needs of immediate adaptation decisions.

    • Declan Conway
    • , Robert J. Nicholls
    • , Sally Brown
    • , Mark G. L. Tebboth
    • , William Neil Adger
    • , Bashir Ahmad
    • , Hester Biemans
    • , Florence Crick
    • , Arthur F. Lutz
    • , Ricardo Safra De Campos
    • , Mohammed Said
    • , Chandni Singh
    • , Modathir Abdalla Hassan Zaroug
    • , Eva Ludi
    • , Mark New
    •  & Philippus Wester
  • Perspective |

    The Paris Agreement places new emphasis on the need to take stock of adaptation progress. This Perspective discusses the conceptual and methodological challenges associated with monitoring adaptation and provides a comprehensive framework for tracking progress among governments.

    • Lea Berrang-Ford
    • , Robbert Biesbroek
    • , James D. Ford
    • , Alexandra Lesnikowski
    • , Andrew Tanabe
    • , Frances M. Wang
    • , Chen Chen
    • , Angel Hsu
    • , Jessica J. Hellmann
    • , Patrick Pringle
    • , Martina Grecequet
    • , J.-C. Amado
    • , Saleemul Huq
    • , Shuaib Lwasa
    •  & S. Jody Heymann
  • Perspective |

    The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project develops a framework to design low-emission development pathways. This Perspective discusses the framework and how it can support the development of national strategies to meet climate targets, as well as help achieve stakeholder engagement.

    • Henri Waisman
    • , Chris Bataille
    • , Harald Winkler
    • , Frank Jotzo
    • , Priyadarshi Shukla
    • , Michel Colombier
    • , Daniel Buira
    • , Patrick Criqui
    • , Manfred Fischedick
    • , Mikiko Kainuma
    • , Emilio La Rovere
    • , Steve Pye
    • , George Safonov
    • , Ucok Siagian
    • , Fei Teng
    • , Maria-Rosa Virdis
    • , Jim Williams
    • , Soogil Young
    • , Gabrial Anandarajah
    • , Rizaldi Boer
    • , Yongsun Cho
    • , Amandine Denis-Ryan
    • , Subash Dhar
    • , Maria Gaeta
    • , Claudio Gesteira
    • , Ben Haley
    • , Jean-Charles Hourcade
    • , Qiang Liu
    • , Oleg Lugovoy
    • , Toshihiko Masui
    • , Sandrine Mathy
    • , Ken Oshiro
    • , Ramiro Parrado
    • , Minal Pathak
    • , Vladimir Potashnikov
    • , Sascha Samadi
    • , David Sawyer
    • , Thomas Spencer
    • , Jordi Tovilla
    •  & Hilton Trollip
  • Perspective |

    Emergent constraints can be an evaluation tool for Earth System Models. This Perspective discusses emergent constraints, how they should be assessed, and when these statistical relationships can be confirmed and used to improve understanding of the changing climate system.

    • Alex Hall
    • , Peter Cox
    • , Chris Huntingford
    •  & Stephen Klein
  • Perspective |

    Big data is increasingly popular in many research domains. This Perspective discusses where elements of big data approaches have been employed in climate research and where combining big data with theory-driven research can be most fruitful.

    • Benedikt Knüsel
    • , Marius Zumwald
    • , Christoph Baumberger
    • , Gertrude Hirsch Hadorn
    • , Erich M. Fischer
    • , David N. Bresch
    •  & Reto Knutti
  • Perspective |

    The Paris Agreement requires substantial changes in the land system. However, national implementation plans are vague, largely insufficient and unlikely to be fully achieved. Realistic policies require proper consideration of land-system lags.

    • Calum Brown
    • , Peter Alexander
    • , Almut Arneth
    • , Ian Holman
    •  & Mark Rounsevell
  • Perspective |

    Near-term climate predictions bridge the gap between seasonal forecasts and long-term projections. This Perspective outlines the challenges and opportunities for near-term climate prediction, highlighting the need for co-ordinated efforts to benefit society.

    • Yochanan Kushnir
    • , Adam A. Scaife
    • , Raymond Arritt
    • , Gianpaolo Balsamo
    • , George Boer
    • , Francisco Doblas-Reyes
    • , Ed Hawkins
    • , Masahide Kimoto
    • , Rupa Kumar Kolli
    • , Arun Kumar
    • , Daniela Matei
    • , Katja Matthes
    • , Wolfgang A. Müller
    • , Terence O’Kane
    • , Judith Perlwitz
    • , Scott Power
    • , Marilyn Raphael
    • , Akihiko Shimpo
    • , Doug Smith
    • , Matthias Tuma
    •  & Bo Wu
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective synthesizes research on the origins and impacts of scientific misinformation campaigns, pointing to public inoculation, legal, political and financial strategies for countering climate change misinformation and limiting its dissemination.

    • Justin Farrell
    • , Kathryn McConnell
    •  & Robert Brulle
  • Perspective |

    Earth system models project likely future climates, however, evaluation of their output is challenging. This Perspective discusses new evaluation approaches, considering both simulations and observations, to ensure credible information for decision-making.

    • Veronika Eyring
    • , Peter M. Cox
    • , Gregory M. Flato
    • , Peter J. Gleckler
    • , Gab Abramowitz
    • , Peter Caldwell
    • , William D. Collins
    • , Bettina K. Gier
    • , Alex D. Hall
    • , Forrest M. Hoffman
    • , George C. Hurtt
    • , Alexandra Jahn
    • , Chris D. Jones
    • , Stephen A. Klein
    • , John P. Krasting
    • , Lester Kwiatkowski
    • , Ruth Lorenz
    • , Eric Maloney
    • , Gerald A. Meehl
    • , Angeline G. Pendergrass
    • , Robert Pincus
    • , Alex C. Ruane
    • , Joellen L. Russell
    • , Benjamin M. Sanderson
    • , Benjamin D. Santer
    • , Steven C. Sherwood
    • , Isla R. Simpson
    • , Ronald J. Stouffer
    •  & Mark S. Williamson
  • Perspective |

    The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) is the leading mode of intraseasonal variability in the tropical atmosphere. This Perspective examines how the MJO may change with anthropogenic warming, revealing a projected increase in MJO-related precipitation.

    • Eric D. Maloney
    • , Ángel F. Adames
    •  & Hien X. Bui
  • Perspective |

    Global climate change governance has seen an increase in action beyond national governments. This Perspective sets forth a research agenda and recommendations for evaluating non-state and subnational climate mitigation action.

    • Angel Hsu
    • , Niklas Höhne
    • , Takeshi Kuramochi
    • , Mark Roelfsema
    • , Amy Weinfurter
    • , Yihao Xie
    • , Katharina Lütkehermöller
    • , Sander Chan
    • , Jan Corfee-Morlot
    • , Philip Drost
    • , Pedro Faria
    • , Ann Gardiner
    • , David J. Gordon
    • , Thomas Hale
    • , Nathan E Hultman
    • , John Moorhead
    • , Shirin Reuvers
    • , Joana Setzer
    • , Neelam Singh
    • , Christopher Weber
    •  & Oscar Widerberg
  • Perspective |

    Investors are increasingly asking businesses to disclose their climate risk and corresponding management strategies. A review of corporate adaptation strategies reveals limited consideration of broader risks to supply chains, customers and employees.

    • Allie Goldstein
    • , Will R. Turner
    • , Jillian Gladstone
    •  & David G. Hole
  • Perspective |

    Climate policy is heavily focused on reducing demand for fossil fuels, but supply-side polices represent a potentially powerful tool to reduce CO2 emissions. This Perspective uses the US state of California as a case study to explore the rationale and possible impacts of limiting oil production.

    • Peter Erickson
    • , Michael Lazarus
    •  & Georgia Piggot
  • Perspective |

    With warming, meltwater will play an increasingly important role in driving ice loss from Antarctica, raising global sea levels. This Perspective discusses the key process through which Antarctic surface hydrology impacts mass balance.

    • Robin E. Bell
    • , Alison F. Banwell
    • , Luke D. Trusel
    •  & Jonathan Kingslake
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective provides an overview of the snow–sea ice systems in the Arctic and Antarctic, offering insight on how current uncertainties can be reduced, and future challenges met, to improve understanding of polar climate change.

    • Melinda Webster
    • , Sebastian Gerland
    • , Marika Holland
    • , Elizabeth Hunke
    • , Ron Kwok
    • , Olivier Lecomte
    • , Robert Massom
    • , Don Perovich
    •  & Matthew Sturm
  • Perspective |

    Meeting the Paris Agreement climate goals requires increasingly ambitious climate policy. A framework for ratcheting up stringency through policy sequencing is proposed and illustrated using the cases of Germany and California, USA.

    • Michael Pahle
    • , Dallas Burtraw
    • , Christian Flachsland
    • , Nina Kelsey
    • , Eric Biber
    • , Jonas Meckling
    • , Ottmar Edenhofer
    •  & John Zysman
  • Perspective |

    Ambitious carbon pricing reform is needed to meet climate targets. This Perspective argues that effective revenue recycling schemes should prioritize behavioural considerations that are aimed at achieving greater political acceptance.

    • David Klenert
    • , Linus Mattauch
    • , Emmanuel Combet
    • , Ottmar Edenhofer
    • , Cameron Hepburn
    • , Ryan Rafaty
    •  & Nicholas Stern
  • Perspective |

    Ocean acidification, a result of increased levels of CO2, impacts the marine environment and its biology. This Perspective presents the current understanding of the issue and highlights future directions for research.

    • Catriona L. Hurd
    • , Andrew Lenton
    • , Bronte Tilbrook
    •  & Philip W. Boyd
  • Perspective |

    Action needs to be taken to limit the impacts of climate change, however, human rights and the right to development need to be preserved. This Perspective weighs the risks of action and inaction on achieving a just transition to a low-carbon world.

    • Mary Robinson
    •  & Tara Shine
  • Perspective |

    A press–pulse framework is used to understand the interactive ecological effects of gradual climate trends and extreme weather events. Australian case studies include population collapses, loss of relictual communities and novel ecosystems.

    • R. M. B. Harris
    • , L. J. Beaumont
    • , T. R. Vance
    • , C. R. Tozer
    • , T. A. Remenyi
    • , S. E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
    • , P. J. Mitchell
    • , A. B. Nicotra
    • , S. McGregor
    • , N. R. Andrew
    • , M. Letnic
    • , M. R. Kearney
    • , T. Wernberg
    • , L. B. Hutley
    • , L. E. Chambers
    • , M.-S. Fletcher
    • , M. R. Keatley
    • , C. A. Woodward
    • , G. Williamson
    • , N. C. Duke
    •  & D. M. J. S. Bowman
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective provides a comparative analysis of how well six cities and regions with different coastal and social characteristics and adaptation constraints will be able to adapt to sea-level rise, considering technological, economic, financial, and social factors.

    • Jochen Hinkel
    • , Jeroen C. J. H. Aerts
    • , Sally Brown
    • , Jose A. Jiménez
    • , Daniel Lincke
    • , Robert J. Nicholls
    • , Paolo Scussolini
    • , Agustín Sanchez-Arcilla
    • , Athanasios Vafeidis
    •  & Kwasi Appeaning Addo
  • Perspective |

    Climate memory is anticipated to increase in the future, a process known as reddening. This Perspective examines how a change in the temporal autocorrelation of climate variables may impact the likelihood of critical transitions, using examples from forests, coral reefs, poverty traps and ice sheets.

    • Bregje van der Bolt
    • , Egbert H. van Nes
    • , Sebastian Bathiany
    • , Marlies E. Vollebregt
    •  & Marten Scheffer
  • Perspective |

    Climate change poses a financial risk but it is unclear what management role there is for central banks and financial regulators. This Perspective outlines research and policy directions needed for financial sector engagement.

    • Emanuele Campiglio
    • , Yannis Dafermos
    • , Pierre Monnin
    • , Josh Ryan-Collins
    • , Guido Schotten
    •  & Misa Tanaka
  • Perspective |

    Compound events, events of significant impact that are caused by a combination of processes, are difficult to predict. This Perspective discusses the need for a systematic approach to improve risk assessment of these events.

    • Jakob Zscheischler
    • , Seth Westra
    • , Bart J. J. M. van den Hurk
    • , Sonia I. Seneviratne
    • , Philip J. Ward
    • , Andy Pitman
    • , Amir AghaKouchak
    • , David N. Bresch
    • , Michael Leonard
    • , Thomas Wahl
    •  & Xuebin Zhang
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective reviews the literature on climate change and mental health, and advocates for a systems approach, which considers the complex set of interacting distal, intermediate and proximate factors that influence mental health risk, in future research.

    • Helen L. Berry
    • , Thomas D. Waite
    • , Keith B. G. Dear
    • , Anthony G. Capon
    •  & Virginia Murray
  • Perspective |

    Climate change has a gradual influence on landscapes and ecosystems that may lead to feelings of loss for those with close ties to the natural environment. This Perspective describes existing research on ecological grief and outlines directions for future inquiry.

    • Ashlee Cunsolo
    •  & Neville R. Ellis
  • Perspective |

    Flood impact and recovery is influenced by behavioural responses. This Perspective describes how integrating human behaviour and risk perception into flood-risk assessment models may improve identification of effective risk-management strategies.

    • J. C. J. H. Aerts
    • , W. J. Botzen
    • , K. C. Clarke
    • , S. L. Cutter
    • , J. W. Hall
    • , B. Merz
    • , E. Michel-Kerjan
    • , J. Mysiak
    • , S. Surminski
    •  & H. Kunreuther
  • Perspective |

    In this Perspective, private company supply-chain initiatives designed to reduce deforestation are assessed. Public–private policy mixes are advocated to increase their efficacy.

    • Eric F. Lambin
    • , Holly K. Gibbs
    • , Robert Heilmayr
    • , Kimberly M. Carlson
    • , Leonardo C. Fleck
    • , Rachael D. Garrett
    • , Yann le Polain de Waroux
    • , Constance L. McDermott
    • , David McLaughlin
    • , Peter Newton
    • , Christoph Nolte
    • , Pablo Pacheco
    • , Lisa L. Rausch
    • , Charlotte Streck
    • , Tannis Thorlakson
    •  & Nathalie F. Walker
  • Perspective |

    The response of storms, blocks and jet streams to external forcing, basin-to-basin and tropical–extratropical interactions, and non-linear predictive theory, are highlighted as strategic areas to advance understanding of regional climate dynamics

    • Matthew Collins
    • , Shoshiro Minobe
    • , Marcelo Barreiro
    • , Simona Bordoni
    • , Yohai Kaspi
    • , Akira Kuwano-Yoshida
    • , Noel Keenlyside
    • , Elisa Manzini
    • , Christopher H. O’Reilly
    • , Rowan Sutton
    • , Shang-Ping Xie
    •  & Olga Zolina
  • Perspective |

    Efforts to improve people’s capacity to adapt to climate change have so far focussed on a relatively narrow understanding of adaptive capacity. In this Perspective, the authors propose an approach to build adaptive capacity across a broader set of domains.

    • Joshua E. Cinner
    • , W. Neil Adger
    • , Edward H. Allison
    • , Michele L. Barnes
    • , Katrina Brown
    • , Philippa J. Cohen
    • , Stefan Gelcich
    • , Christina C. Hicks
    • , Terry P. Hughes
    • , Jacqueline Lau
    • , Nadine A. Marshall
    •  & Tiffany H. Morrison
  • Perspective |

    Some of the predicted impacts of climate change on crops may be avoided by exploiting existing crop diversity. This Perspective examines this possibility for wine grapes where about 1% of diversity accounts for more than 80% of cultivated areas in some countries.

    • E. M. Wolkovich
    • , I. García de Cortázar-Atauri
    • , I. Morales-Castilla
    • , K. A. Nicholas
    •  & T. Lacombe
  • Perspective |

    Effective integration of climate knowledge into policy requires trust between climate science producers and users. This Perspective identifies risks associated with the dynamics of trust at the climate science–policy interface and how they may be overcome.

    • Justine Lacey
    • , Mark Howden
    • , Christopher Cvitanovic
    •  & R. M. Colvin
  • Perspective |

    Climate impact models have a limited ability to represent risks to the poor and vulnerable. Wider adoption of best practices and new model features that incorporate social heterogeneity and different policy mechanisms are needed to address this shortcoming.

    • Narasimha D. Rao
    • , Bas J. van Ruijven
    • , Keywan Riahi
    •  & Valentina Bosetti
  • Perspective |

    Many of the measures required to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals while complementing decarbonization efforts required to reduce long-term climate change.

    • Andy Haines
    • , Markus Amann
    • , Nathan Borgford-Parnell
    • , Sunday Leonard
    • , Johan Kuylenstierna
    •  & Drew Shindell
  • Perspective |

    Bias correction methods aim to remove introduced bias for climate model simulations; however, improper use can result in spurious climate signals. This Perspective considers the issues of bias correction and makes recommendations for research to overcome model biases.

    • Douglas Maraun
    • , Theodore G. Shepherd
    • , Martin Widmann
    • , Giuseppe Zappa
    • , Daniel Walton
    • , José M. Gutiérrez
    • , Stefan Hagemann
    • , Ingo Richter
    • , Pedro M. M. Soares
    • , Alex Hall
    •  & Linda O. Mearns
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective considers how to better use and explore climate model output, considering whether statisticians can help achieve better design of ensembles and interpretation of output.

    • Rasmus Benestad
    • , Jana Sillmann
    • , Thordis Linda Thorarinsdottir
    • , Peter Guttorp
    • , Michel d. S. Mesquita
    • , Mari R. Tye
    • , Petteri Uotila
    • , Cathrine Fox Maule
    • , Peter Thejll
    • , Martin Drews
    •  & Kajsa M. Parding
  • Perspective |

    • Gergely Torda
    • , Jennifer M. Donelson
    • , Manuel Aranda
    • , Daniel J. Barshis
    • , Line Bay
    • , Michael L. Berumen
    • , David G. Bourne
    • , Neal Cantin
    • , Sylvain Foret
    • , Mikhail Matz
    • , David J. Miller
    • , Aurelie Moya
    • , Hollie M. Putnam
    • , Timothy Ravasi
    • , Madeleine J. H. van Oppen
    • , Rebecca Vega Thurber
    • , Jeremie Vidal-Dupiol
    • , Christian R. Voolstra
    • , Sue-Ann Watson
    • , Emma Whitelaw
    • , Bette L. Willis
    •  & Philip L. Munday
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective considers the potential mitigation contribution of carbon capture and utilization, such as chemical conversation or to enhance oil recovery. The authors find it will account for a small amount of the required total mitigation effort.

    • Niall Mac Dowell
    • , Paul S. Fennell
    • , Nilay Shah
    •  & Geoffrey C. Maitland
  • Perspective |

    The economic impact of climate change has typically been considered at regional or national levels. This Perspective assesses impacts at household level to determine effects on poverty and the poor. It shows how rapid development could reduce these impacts.

    • Stephane Hallegatte
    •  & Julie Rozenberg
  • Perspective |

    Australia allocates less than 0.1% of health funding to research on health and climate change. This Perspective highlights the country's strength in the individual disciplines of climate science and health research and calls for bringing these areas together.

    • Donna Green
    • , Andrew Pitman
    • , Adrian Barnett
    • , John Kaldor
    • , Peter Doherty
    •  & Fiona Stanley
  • Perspective |

    An in-depth review of five major integrated assessment models from an industrial ecology perspective reveals differences between the fields regarding the modelling of linkages in the industrial system.

    • Stefan Pauliuk
    • , Anders Arvesen
    • , Konstantin Stadler
    •  & Edgar G. Hertwich
  • Perspective |

    The global North dominates climate change research, but contributions from the South are needed to address this global issue. This Perspective examines the North–South divide and proposes actions, across a range of scales and actors, that may help bridge the divide.

    • Malgorzata Blicharska
    • , Richard J. Smithers
    • , Magdalena Kuchler
    • , Ganesh K. Agrawal
    • , José M. Gutiérrez
    • , Ahmed Hassanali
    • , Saleemul Huq
    • , Silvia H. Koller
    • , Sugata Marjit
    • , Hassan M. Mshinda
    • , Hj Hassan Masjuki
    • , Noel W. Solomons
    • , Johannes Van Staden
    •  & Grzegorz Mikusiński
  • Perspective |

    Changes in the ocean affect the biogeochemical cycle of iron, which in turn impacts phytoplankton growth. This Perspective discusses what research is needed to predict the future marine iron cycle.

    • D. A. Hutchins
    •  & P. W. Boyd
  • Perspective |

    It has been predicted, by theory and models, that heavy precipitation will increase with climate change and this is now being seen in observations. Emergence of signals such as this will enable testing of predictions, which should increase confidence in them.

    • E. M. Fischer
    •  & R. Knutti
  • Perspective |

    Understanding the influence of the changing Arctic on mid-latitude weather is complex, and a challenge for researchers. This Perspective considers current approaches and proposes a way forward based on accepting the chaotic nature of the atmospheric circulation.

    • James E. Overland
    • , Klaus Dethloff
    • , Jennifer A. Francis
    • , Richard J. Hall
    • , Edward Hanna
    • , Seong-Joong Kim
    • , James A. Screen
    • , Theodore G. Shepherd
    •  & Timo Vihma