News & Comment

  • 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
  • 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
  • Feature |

    The impacts of climate change on people and societies are varied and nuanced, making it difficult to encapsulate in an image. Photographs of people can, however, create an emotional connection to what may otherwise be viewed as a natural problem.

    • Alyssa Findlay
  • News & Views |

    Raising the cost of carbon is critical for effective climate policy, but is politically challenging because the public are averse to costs. Conventional wisdom suggests this could be addressed by giving the public time to adjust by gradually increasing costs. However, new research shows that the public actually prefers a constant cost curve.

    • Christopher Warshaw
  • Comment |

    Co-production is an increasingly popular approach to knowledge generation encouraged by donors and research funders. However, power dynamics between institutions in the Global North and South can, if not adequately managed, impede the effectiveness of co-production and pose risks for long-term sustainability.

    • Katharine Vincent
    • , Suzanne Carter
    • , Anna Steynor
    • , Emma Visman
    •  & Katinka Lund Wågsæther
  • Comment |

    Observed ice-sheet losses track the upper range of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report sea-level predictions, recently driven by ice dynamics in Antarctica and surface melting in Greenland. Ice-sheet models must account for short-term variability in the atmosphere, oceans and climate to accurately predict sea-level rise.

    • Thomas Slater
    • , Anna E. Hogg
    •  & Ruth Mottram
  • Editorial |

    In this interconnected world, many of us would regularly jump on a plane, or train, for a weekend away, or into a car to pop to the shops or to visit family and friends. But the way we travel, day-to-day and on longer trips, will need to change if mitigation targets, including net-zero aspirations, are to be met.

  • Comment |

    We need a modern-day Marshall Plan to build climate resilience in the developing world. It is doable if, for each dollar spent reaching net zero, we spend an additional 25 cents on building resilience.

    • Tim Palmer
  • Feature |

    A new star has exploded back onto the climate scene: hydrogen. It offers possibilities to move away from fossil fuels, but it brings its own challenges.

    • Sonja van Renssen
  • News & Views |

    Theory and observation suggest that populations of long-lived organisms fare worse than short-lived counterparts when submitted to increased mortality. Now, research shows that longevity affords the prospect of reducing mortality by breeding less under stress.

    • Gonçalo Ferraz
  • News & Views |

    Gravity-based estimates of mass change have been extended by the recently launched GRACE Follow-On Satellites. The satellite record, combined with regional climate models, reveals that the Greenland Ice Sheet had lower mass loss in 2017–2018, only to return to a record-breaking mass loss in the summer of 2019.

    • Yara Mohajerani
  • News & Views |

    The response of coastal groundwater to sea-level rise is largely unknown. Groundwater modelling along the California coast — accounting for complex topography and its interaction with rivers, streams and tributaries — shows that the area at risk from rising groundwater tables extends beyond that inundated by sea-level rise alone.

    • Christine May
  • News & Views |

    More intense precipitation is an expected consequence of anthropogenic climate change. Now research quantifies the effect of more concentrated rainfall on American agriculture.

    • Ethan E. Butler
  • Editorial |

    Nature Climate Change is making changes to our article formats to streamline our content and more clearly denote original research contributions.

  • News & Views |

    International trade plays an important role in ensuring the resilience of the global food system. Now research suggests a further reduction in trade barriers could alleviate the impacts of climate change on hunger risk.

    • Victor Nechifor
    •  & Emanuele Ferrari
  • Comment |

    Phasing out coal requires expanding the notion of a ‘just transition’ and a roadmap that specifies the sequence of coal plant retirement, the appropriate policy instruments as well as ways to include key stakeholders in the process.

    • Michael Jakob
    • , Jan Christoph Steckel
    • , Frank Jotzo
    • , Benjamin K. Sovacool
    • , Laura Cornelsen
    • , Rohit Chandra
    • , Ottmar Edenhofer
    • , Chris Holden
    • , Andreas Löschel
    • , Ted Nace
    • , Nick Robins
    • , Jens Suedekum
    •  & Johannes Urpelainen
  • News & Views |

    Climate change will lead to geographic shifts in global habitats, forcing plant populations to migrate or perish. Model-based analysis for wind-dispersed plants under future climate conditions show the importance of considering both ‘where to go’, in terms of the desired temperature, and ‘how to get there’, in terms of wind speed and direction.

    • Gil Bohrer
    •  & Jelle Treep
  • Comment |

    Extreme weather damage databases report no significant heatwave impacts in sub-Saharan Africa since 1900, yet the region has experienced a number of heatwaves and will be affected disproportionately by them under climate change. Addressing this reporting discrepancy is crucial to assess the impacts of future extreme heat there.

    • Luke J. Harrington
    •  & Friederike E. L. Otto
  • Comment |

    Planned relocation of communities exposed to climate hazards is an important adaptation measure. However, relocation planning and policies must recognize and support those who do not wish to relocate, particularly groups with strong place attachment and for whom relocation may increase, not reduce, vulnerability.

    • Carol Farbotko
    • , Olivia Dun
    • , Fanny Thornton
    • , Karen E. McNamara
    •  & Celia McMichael
  • News & Views |

    Over the last two decades, many countries have passed laws addressing climate change and related areas. Research now shows that these laws make a difference to emission outcomes, but the pathways of impact require further research.

    • Navroz K. Dubash
  • News & Views |

    Warming can change the vegetation growing season, but the response of autumn phenology to warming remains uncertain. Now research shows warming can lead to autumn greening by delaying leaf senescence, but carbon uptake is constrained by radiation.

    • Sujong Jeong
  • Editorial |

    Research addressing compound and connected events, and their integrated risk to the natural and built world, is gaining momentum. Paradigms are now evolving to classify and analyse the processes forming such links — whether physical or societal, direct or indirect — and the role of climate change in their ultimate impacts.

  • Comment |

    In risk analysis, it is recognized that hazards can often combine to worsen their joint impact, but impact data for a rail network show that hazards can also tend to be mutually exclusive at seasonal timescales. Ignoring this overestimates worst-case risk, so we therefore champion a broader view of risk from compound hazards.

    • John K. Hillier
    • , Tom Matthews
    • , Robert L. Wilby
    •  & Conor Murphy
  • News & Views |

    The Madden–Julian oscillation causes teleconnections that impact mid-latitudes. Now research predicts dramatic eastward shifts of these impacts in the Pacific–North America region as the climate warms, leading to higher winter rainfall variability along the US West Coast and California in particular.

    • Hien X. Bui
  • News & Views |

    Pacific Islands are already responding to the adverse effects of climate change, but it is unclear to what extent these responses effectively and sustainably improve local resilience. New research seeks to understand how local beneficiaries evaluate adaptation projects and what this teaches us for future adaptation.

    • Carola Klöck
  • News & Views |

    Over the last half of the twentieth century, surface temperature over the South Pole was steady if not slightly cooling, suggesting the high Antarctic interior might be immune to warming. Research now shows a dramatic switch; in the past 30 years, the South Pole has been warming at over three times the global rate.

    • Sharon E. Stammerjohn
    •  & Ted A. Scambos
  • News & Views |

    Migrants arriving in cities must overcome many challenges, including gaining acceptance from established residents. New research from Kenya and Vietnam shows urbanites accept climate hazards as being as legitimate as economic, political or social motivations for rural-to-urban migration.

    • Robert McLeman
  • Research Highlight |

    • Baird Langenbrunner
  • Editorial |

    The world has changed this year under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns around the world have reduced energy demand, resulting in emissions declines, but what could the post-COVID-19 world look like — a return to normal, or will this start a transition?