News & Comment

  • News & Views |

    Urban development induces local warming in addition to climate change. New research shows that urban growth, climate change and urban adaptation interact nonlinearly and diurnally.

    • Lei Zhao
  • Comment |

    Extensive evidence reveals that Earth’s snow cover is declining, but our ability to monitor trends in mountain regions is limited. New satellite missions with robust snow water equivalent retrievals are needed to fill this gap.

    • Kat J. Bormann
    • , Ross D. Brown
    • , Chris Derksen
    •  & Thomas H. Painter
  • Feature |

    Piece by piece, scientists are gathering evidence of the growing threat of wet snow avalanches in a warmer world.

    • Olive Heffernan
  • Editorial |

    Global snow coverage has declined substantially with anthropogenic warming, impacting biological, socio-economic and physical systems. This issue includes a suite of Comments, Reviews, Perspectives and original research documenting the importance of snow in the climate system, and how this may change with continued warming.

  • Comment |

    The current focus on the long-term global warming potential in climate policy-making runs the risk of mitigation options for short-lived climate pollutants being ignored, and tipping points being crossed. We outline how a more balanced perspective on long- and short-lived climate pollutants could become politically feasible.

    • Lukas P. Fesenfeld
    • , Tobias S. Schmidt
    •  & Alexander Schrode
  • Comment |

    Indigenous reindeer herding in the circumpolar North is threatened by multiple drivers of environmental and social changes that affect the sustainability of traditional family-based nomadic use of pastures. These impacts are exacerbated by indigenous peoples’ lack of voice in governance strategies, management and adaptation responses.

    • Inger Marie Gaup Eira
    • , Anders Oskal
    • , Inger Hanssen-Bauer
    •  & Svein Disch Mathiesen
  • Comment |

    Bitcoin is a power-hungry cryptocurrency that is increasingly used as an investment and payment system. Here we show that projected Bitcoin usage, should it follow the rate of adoption of other broadly adopted technologies, could alone produce enough CO2 emissions to push warming above 2 °C within less than three decades.

    • Camilo Mora
    • , Randi L. Rollins
    • , Katie Taladay
    • , Michael B. Kantar
    • , Mason K. Chock
    • , Mio Shimada
    •  & Erik C. Franklin
  • News & Views |

    Winter snow conditions influence which plants grow where in the Arctic. Now, a modelling study built on observational data of plant occurrence and snow conditions suggests that declines in snow cover will result in the loss of plant species.

    • Gareth Phoenix
  • News & Views |

    Observations show that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is slowing down, and this is predicted to continue in response to climate change. This isn’t the only change expected; tracing ocean circulation within a climate model now shows that the locations where water sinks to the deep ocean to feed the AMOC will also shift in the future.

    • Veronica Tamsitt
  • Comment |

    Scenarios have supported assessments of the IPCC for decades. A new scenario ensemble and a suite of visualization and analysis tools is now made available alongside the IPCC 1.5 °C Special Report to improve transparency and re-use of scenario data across research communities.

    • Daniel Huppmann
    • , Joeri Rogelj
    • , Elmar Kriegler
    • , Volker Krey
    •  & Keywan Riahi
  • Comment |

    Climate change mitigation scenarios are finding a wider set of users, including companies and financial institutions. Increased collaboration between scenario producers and these new communities will be mutually beneficial, educating companies and investors on climate risks while grounding climate science in real-world needs.

    • Christopher Weber
    • , David L. McCollum
    • , Jae Edmonds
    • , Pedro Faria
    • , Alban Pyanet
    • , Joeri Rogelj
    • , Massimo Tavoni
    • , Jakob Thoma
    •  & Elmar Kriegler
  • Editorial |

    Adjustments in the timing of seasonal events can seem like a relatively subtle impact of climate change, but one with potentially large ramifications for the health of ecosystems and the services they provide.

  • Comment |

    Biological communities beneath Antarctic ice shelves remain a mystery, hampering assessment of ecosystem development after ice-shelf collapse. Here we highlight major gaps in understanding of the patterns and processes in these areas, and suggest effective ways to study the ecological impacts of ice-shelf loss under climate change.

    • Jeroen Ingels
    • , Richard B. Aronson
    •  & Craig R. Smith
  • Comment |

    Climate change will almost certainly cause millions of deaths. Climate engineering might prevent this, but benefits — and risks — remain mostly unevaluated. Now is the time to bring planetary health research into climate engineering conversations.

    • Colin J. Carlson
    •  & Christopher H. Trisos
  • News & Views |

    Recent years have seen increased melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, contributing to accelerated rates of sea-level rise. New research suggests that this melting occurred due to an increased frequency of atmospheric rivers, narrow filaments of moist air moving polewards.

    • William Neff
  • Research Highlight |

    • Alastair Brown
  • News & Views |

    Earth’s future climate depends, in part, on rapid soil microbial processes that may add up to long-term impacts. Observations from a geothermal gradient reveal decadal increases in soil-carbon loss due to persistent increases in microbial activity.

    • Elise Pendall
  • News & Views |

    The 2014 IPCC Assessment expresses doubt that the global surface temperature increase will remain within the 2 °C target without deploying risky carbon-capturing or solar radiation-deflecting technologies. New behavioural research suggests that, if the IPCC is right, citizens and policymakers will support such risk-taking.

    • Greer Gosnell
  • Editorial |

    Bringing different voices to peer review will benefit research, but it is not a simple task.

  • Comment |

    The SDGs and CitiesIPCC offer an unprecedented opportunity for urban transformation, but bold, integrated action to address the constraints imposed by economic, cultural and political dynamics is needed. We move beyond a narrow, technocentric view and identify five key knowledge pathways to catalyse urban transformation.

    • Patricia Romero-Lankao
    • , Harriet Bulkeley
    • , Mark Pelling
    • , Sarah Burch
    • , David J. Gordon
    • , Joyeeta Gupta
    • , Craig Johnson
    • , Priya Kurian
    • , Emma Lecavalier
    • , David Simon
    • , Laura Tozer
    • , Gina Ziervogel
    •  & Debashish Munshi
  • Comment |

    Transformation is required for cities to fulfil their leadership potential on climate change. Five action pathways can guide them: integrate mitigation and adaptation; coordinate risk reduction and climate adaptation; cogenerate risk information; focus on disadvantaged populations; and improve governance and knowledge networks.

    • Cynthia Rosenzweig
    •  & William Solecki
  • Comment |

    To realize ambitious climate targets, research should focus more on effective ways to encourage rapid and wide-scale changes in climate mitigation actions, and less on understanding climate change beliefs.

    • Linda Steg
  • News & Views |

    Large-scale coastal flood risk models are evolving to include more physical processes. New research utilizing these models suggests that we face a tremendous challenge in limiting future flood risk.

    • Laurens M. Bouwer
  • News & Views |

    On average, El Niño events have weakened and the centre of maximum sea surface temperature anomalies has shifted to the west over the past two decades. New research suggests that the strengthening of cross-equatorial winds in the eastern Pacific can cause these changes.

    • Sang-Wook Yeh
  • News & Views |

    The coincident reduction of Arctic sea ice with increasing mid-latitude wintertime extremes has motivated much research on Arctic–mid-latitude linkages. A new study reveals that projected Antarctic sea-ice loss could also impact the Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes through perturbations to the strength and position of the westerly winds.

    • Yannick Peings
  • Comment |

    With country-specific development objectives and constraints, multiple market failures and limited international transfers, carbon prices do not need to be uniform across countries, but must be part of broader policy packages.

    • Chris Bataille
    • , Céline Guivarch
    • , Stephane Hallegatte
    • , Joeri Rogelj
    •  & Henri Waisman