Latest Research

  • Review Article |

    Ongoing Arctic changes are impacting phytoplankton. This Review considers recent primary productivity trends and the environmental drivers, as well as how these are changing, that drive phytoplankton diversity in the region.

    • Mathieu Ardyna
    •  & Kevin Robert Arrigo
  • Article |

    High warming rates may exceed an organism’s ability to track their thermal habitats. The velocity of climate change in inland standing waters will increase markedly under future warming, making freshwater species particularly vulnerable because their habitat is fragmented in the landscape.

    • R. Iestyn Woolway
    •  & Stephen C. Maberly
  • Article |

    Monitoring of snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) cause-specific mortality and behaviour reveals increased risk of predation from coyote (Canis latrans) in shallow snow. This could disrupt the keystone Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis)–hare predator–prey cycle in North American boreal forests.

    • Michael J. L. Peers
    • , Yasmine N. Majchrzak
    • , Allyson K. Menzies
    • , Emily K. Studd
    • , Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau
    • , Rudy Boonstra
    • , Murray Humphries
    • , Thomas S. Jung
    • , Alice J. Kenney
    • , Charles J. Krebs
    • , Dennis L. Murray
    •  & Stan Boutin
  • Article |

    Using a meta-analysis approach, the authors find robust evidence that environmental factors play a role in explaining migration patterns across countries and over time, but the size of the effects depend on the economic and sociopolitical context, and the environmental factors considered.

    • Roman Hoffmann
    • , Anna Dimitrova
    • , Raya Muttarak
    • , Jesus Crespo Cuaresma
    •  & Jonas Peisker
  • Article |

    The short observational record makes it difficult to gauge how unprecedented recent Arctic warming is. A multi-model large ensemble estimates a new Arctic climate has emerged for sea-ice extent. As the Arctic shifts from a primarily frozen state, temperature and precipitation follow within decades.

    • Laura Landrum
    •  & Marika M. Holland
  • Article |

    Many marine species have migrated towards the poles as water temperatures warm. In contrast, due to changes in the timing of spawning and transport, benthic invertebrates on the Northwest Atlantic continental shelf are pushed into warmer waters where mortality could be higher.

    • Heidi L. Fuchs
    • , Robert J. Chant
    • , Elias J. Hunter
    • , Enrique N. Curchitser
    • , Gregory P. Gerbi
    •  & Emily Y. Chen
  • Article |

    Multinational enterprises and their international supply chains can have large carbon footprints, but there is mitigation potential. Global carbon transfer through investment has declined in recent years, and this framework, assigning emissions to the investing country, would inform further action.

    • Zengkai Zhang
    • , Dabo Guan
    • , Ran Wang
    • , Jing Meng
    • , Heran Zheng
    • , Kunfu Zhu
    •  & Huibin Du
  • Article |

    Aerosol transport from South Asia to the Tibetan Plateau (TP) peaks in the pre-monsoon period, but the controlling dynamics remain unclear. Observational analysis shows that low February Arctic sea ice boosts the Asian subtropical jet in April, which can loft aerosols over the Himalayas onto the TP.

    • Fei Li
    • , Xin Wan
    • , Huijun Wang
    • , Yvan Joseph Orsolini
    • , Zhiyuan Cong
    • , Yongqi Gao
    •  & Shichang Kang
  • Article |

    Warming is increasing glacial lakes, and scaling relations show a 48% increase in volume for 1990 to 2018. All measures—area, volume, number—increased, providing water storage but also representing a potential hazard with the risk of outburst floods.

    • Dan H. Shugar
    • , Aaron Burr
    • , Umesh K. Haritashya
    • , Jeffrey S. Kargel
    • , C. Scott Watson
    • , Maureen C. Kennedy
    • , Alexandre R. Bevington
    • , Richard A. Betts
    • , Stephan Harrison
    •  & Katherine Strattman
  • Perspective |

    As road transport emissions are set to grow, stronger policy mixes are needed to reach mitigation goals. This Perspective considers the evidence for several policy types—strong regulation, pricing and reduced travel—and the best combination to reduce emissions for passenger and freight vehicles.

    • Jonn Axsen
    • , Patrick Plötz
    •  & Michael Wolinetz
  • Article |

    Gaps in geographic coverage of species abundance data, especially in the tropics, make determining species’ responses to climate change difficult. Modelling a dataset on global waterbird abundance shows abundance declines in the tropics and increases at higher latitudes when temperatures increase.

    • Tatsuya Amano
    • , Tamás Székely
    • , Hannah S. Wauchope
    • , Brody Sandel
    • , Szabolcs Nagy
    • , Taej Mundkur
    • , Tom Langendoen
    • , Daniel Blanco
    • , Nicole L. Michel
    •  & William J. Sutherland
  • Article |

    Cities have an important role in climate mitigation. Textual analysis techniques and regression modelling show the progress made by over 1,000 cities reporting in the European Covenant of Mayors initiative, active in climate action at the urban level.

    • Angel Hsu
    • , Jonas Tan
    • , Yi Ming Ng
    • , Wayne Toh
    • , Regina Vanda
    •  & Nihit Goyal
  • Article |

    Negative emissions technologies are a cornerstone of many mitigation scenarios that limit global warming under 2 °C. Depending on the conditions, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage can provide negative emissions but requires large amounts of land and should be deployed early and with limits.

    • S. V. Hanssen
    • , V. Daioglou
    • , Z. J. N. Steinmann
    • , J. C. Doelman
    • , D. P. Van Vuuren
    •  & M. A. J. Huijbregts
  • Article |

    Negative emissions technologies are essential in scenarios for meeting Paris climate targets. Modelling results show that direct air capture could play an important role with less demand for land yet high energy and water use compared with BECCS and afforestation.

    • Jay Fuhrman
    • , Haewon McJeon
    • , Pralit Patel
    • , Scott C. Doney
    • , William M. Shobe
    •  & Andres F. Clarens
  • Article |

    Reforestation has been recently identified as a promising climate mitigation option. In Southeast Asia, 120 million ha of land are biophysically suitable for reforestation. However, financial, land-use and operational factors constrain mitigation potential to a fraction of its total possible value.

    • Yiwen Zeng
    • , Tasya Vadya Sarira
    • , L. Roman Carrasco
    • , Kwek Yan Chong
    • , Daniel A. Friess
    • , Janice Ser Huay Lee
    • , Pierre Taillardat
    • , Thomas A. Worthington
    • , Yuchen Zhang
    •  & Lian Pin Koh
  • Article |

    Climate change is driving changes in the species composition of plant communities. Analyses of the collection records of thousands of New World plant species reveal widespread increases in the relative abundances of heat-loving species but less consistent responses to changes in precipitation.

    • K. J. Feeley
    • , C. Bravo-Avila
    • , B. Fadrique
    • , T. M. Perez
    •  & D. Zuleta
  • Article |

    Climate models predict that by 2020, 20–55% of the three key ocean basins express an anthropogenic fingerprint of change. The well-ventilated Southern Ocean water masses are particularly sensitive, emerging as early as the 1980–1990s, consistent with observations of change over the past 30 years.

    • Yona Silvy
    • , Eric Guilyardi
    • , Jean-Baptiste Sallée
    •  & Paul J. Durack
  • Article |

    Sea-level rise raises water tables, causing flooding from below and saltwater intrusion. A modelling study predicts that coastal California groundwater flooding will expand 50–130 m inland with 1 m of sea-level rise, with areal flooding extent strongly dependent on topography and drainage capacity.

    • K. M. Befus
    • , P. L. Barnard
    • , D. J. Hoover
    • , J. A. Finzi Hart
    •  & C. I. Voss
  • Article |

    Wide-ranging estimates of the social cost of carbon limit its usefulness in setting carbon prices. Near-term to net zero is an alternative modelling approach that focuses on the prices, combined with other policies, needed to set an economy on a pathway consistent with a net-zero emissions target.

    • Noah Kaufman
    • , Alexander R. Barron
    • , Wojciech Krawczyk
    • , Peter Marsters
    •  & Haewon McJeon
  • Article |

    Multilevel network modelling shows that social network exposure promotes both adaptive and transformative responses to climate change among Papua New Guinean islanders. Different social–ecological network structures are associated with adaptation versus transformation.

    • Michele L. Barnes
    • , Peng Wang
    • , Joshua E. Cinner
    • , Nicholas A. J. Graham
    • , Angela M. Guerrero
    • , Lorien Jasny
    • , Jacqueline Lau
    • , Sarah R. Sutcliffe
    •  & Jessica Zamborain-Mason
  • Letter |

    Short-term extreme weather events such as hourly heat can negatively impact crop yields. US maize and soy yields are damaged by rare extreme hourly downpours, but benefit from more common heavy rainfall, indicating yields may benefit from increasing precipitation intensity under climate change.

    • Corey Lesk
    • , Ethan Coffel
    •  & Radley Horton
  • Article |

    Arctic climate in the Last Interglacial (LIG)—a warm period 130,000–116,000 years ago—is poorly simulated by modern climate models. A model with improved sea-ice melt-pond physics reproduces LIG Arctic temperatures, suggests an ice-free Arctic during this period and predicts the same by 2035.

    • Maria-Vittoria Guarino
    • , Louise C. Sime
    • , David Schröeder
    • , Irene Malmierca-Vallet
    • , Erica Rosenblum
    • , Mark Ringer
    • , Jeff Ridley
    • , Danny Feltham
    • , Cecilia Bitz
    • , Eric J. Steig
    • , Eric Wolff
    • , Julienne Stroeve
    •  & Alistair Sellar
  • Article |

    Reduced GHG and air pollutant emissions during the COVID-19 lockdowns resulted in declines in NOx emissions of up to 30%, causing short-term cooling, while ~20% SO2 emissions decline countered this for overall minimal temperature effect.

    • Piers M. Forster
    • , Harriet I. Forster
    • , Mat J. Evans
    • , Matthew J. Gidden
    • , Chris D. Jones
    • , Christoph A. Keller
    • , Robin D. Lamboll
    • , Corinne Le Quéré
    • , Joeri Rogelj
    • , Deborah Rosen
    • , Carl-Friedrich Schleussner
    • , Thomas B. Richardson
    • , Christopher J. Smith
    •  & Steven T. Turnock
  • Article |

    Detecting a human role in a given year of extreme glacier mass loss is difficult at regional scales. Event attribution methods estimate that two extreme mass-loss years in the New Zealand Southern Alps, 2011 and 2018, were at least six and ten times more likely with anthropogenic climate warming.

    • Lauren J. Vargo
    • , Brian M. Anderson
    • , Ruzica Dadić
    • , Huw J. Horgan
    • , Andrew N. Mackintosh
    • , Andrew D. King
    •  & Andrew M. Lorrey
  • Article |

    Warming harms public health in Chinese cities directly via heat and indirectly by worsening air quality. Climate and epidemiological models estimate that reducing aerosols in a warmer climate can enhance atmospheric ventilation, reduce particulate matter exposure and offset warming-driven deaths.

    • Chaopeng Hong
    • , Qiang Zhang
    • , Yang Zhang
    • , Steven J. Davis
    • , Xin Zhang
    • , Dan Tong
    • , Dabo Guan
    • , Zhu Liu
    •  & Kebin He
  • Article |

    Climate warming over Canada drives glacier retreat and threatens water resources in regions that rely on downstream meltwater. Streamflow and climate data are combined with a municipal water source database to identify Alberta communities whose water supply would be most impacted by glacier retreat.

    • Sam Anderson
    •  & Valentina Radić
  • Matters Arising |

    • H. B. O’Neill
    • , C. R. Burn
    • , M. Allard
    • , L. U. Arenson
    • , M. I. Bunn
    • , R. F. Connon
    • , S. A. Kokelj
    • , S. V. Kokelj
    • , A.-M. LeBlanc
    • , P. D. Morse
    •  & S. L. Smith
  • Perspective |

    In recent decades, the Arctic has warmed at over twice the global rate. This Perspective places these trends into the context of abrupt Dansgaard–Oeschger warming events in the palaeoclimate record, arguing that the contemporary Arctic is undergoing comparably abrupt climate change.

    • Eystein Jansen
    • , Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen
    • , Trond Dokken
    • , Kerim H. Nisancioglu
    • , Bo M. Vinther
    • , Emilie Capron
    • , Chuncheng Guo
    • , Mari F. Jensen
    • , Peter L. Langen
    • , Rasmus A. Pedersen
    • , Shuting Yang
    • , Mats Bentsen
    • , Helle A. Kjær
    • , Henrik Sadatzki
    • , Evangeline Sessford
    •  & Martin Stendel
  • Article |

    Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) will be required to achieve 1.5 °C or well below 2 °C climate targets. Analysis of equitable distributions of CDR responsibility shows 2–3 times larger responsibility on large emitters such as the United States, China and the European Union than under a least-cost approach.

    • Claire L. Fyson
    • , Susanne Baur
    • , Matthew Gidden
    •  & Carl-Friedrich Schleussner
  • Article |

    The impacts of climate change on agriculture differ regionally and will increase hunger globally. Reducing tariffs and other barriers to international trade would mitigate this, but trade integration requires a careful approach to avoid reducing domestic food security in food-exporting regions.

    • Charlotte Janssens
    • , Petr Havlík
    • , Tamás Krisztin
    • , Justin Baker
    • , Stefan Frank
    • , Tomoko Hasegawa
    • , David Leclère
    • , Sara Ohrel
    • , Shaun Ragnauth
    • , Erwin Schmid
    • , Hugo Valin
    • , Nicole Van Lipzig
    •  & Miet Maertens
  • Article |

    Wind patterns could enhance or hinder the ability of organisms reliant on wind-driven dispersal and pollination to shift their ranges under climate change. Organisms in the tropics and on the leeward side of mountains may be particularly at risk due to scarcity of suitable, wind-accessible sites.

    • Matthew M. Kling
    •  & David D. Ackerly
  • Letter |

    Polar bear numbers are expected to decline as the sea ice they rely on to catch their prey declines with global warming. Projections show when fasts caused by declining sea ice are likely to lead to rapid recruitment and survival declines across the polar bear circumpolar range.

    • Péter K. Molnár
    • , Cecilia M. Bitz
    • , Marika M. Holland
    • , Jennifer E. Kay
    • , Stephanie R. Penk
    •  & Steven C. Amstrup
  • Article |

    Short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs) are thought to have short-term impacts relative to CO2. A compact Earth system model estimates SLCFs have caused substantial, long-term impacts via carbon–climate feedbacks since the pre-industrial era but species-dependent impacts of opposite sign largely cancel.

    • Bo Fu
    • , Thomas Gasser
    • , Bengang Li
    • , Shu Tao
    • , Philippe Ciais
    • , Shilong Piao
    • , Yves Balkanski
    • , Wei Li
    • , Tianya Yin
    • , Luchao Han
    • , Xinyue Li
    • , Yunman Han
    • , Jie An
    • , Siyuan Peng
    •  & Jing Xu
  • Article |

    The rate of warming in many marine ecosystems is faster in winter than in summer. Winter warming will impact fish species’ associations in the Mediterranean more than summer warming, and this has implications for how communities form and for future biodiversity, particularly in heavily fished areas.

    • Nicholas J. Clark
    • , James T. Kerry
    •  & Ceridwen I. Fraser
  • Analysis |

    The economic optimality of limiting global warming to below 2 °C has been questioned. This analysis shows that the 2 °C target is economically optimal in a version of the DICE model that includes updated climate science, climate damage estimates and evidence on social discount rates.

    • Martin C. Hänsel
    • , Moritz A. Drupp
    • , Daniel J. A. Johansson
    • , Frikk Nesje
    • , Christian Azar
    • , Mark C. Freeman
    • , Ben Groom
    •  & Thomas Sterner
  • Article |

    Climate change laws are shown to reduce national CO2 emissions by 0.78% in their first three years and 1.79% in the longer term. These reductions add up to 38 GtCO2 of avoided emissions for 1999–2016—equal to a year of CO2 emissions.

    • Shaikh M. S. U. Eskander
    •  & Sam Fankhauser
  • Article |

    A large proportion of anthropogenic heat energy is being taken up by ocean warming. Analysis of yearly 0–700 m ocean heat content maps from four different estimates shows that the longer the period over which regional trends are estimated, the larger the area of statistically significant warming.

    • Gregory C. Johnson
    •  & John M. Lyman
  • Letter |

    Phenological shifts due to warming extend the growing season for plants, with implications for ecosystem productivity. Carbon uptake through photosynthesis is limited by radiation, particularly in autumn, which explains contrasting regional responses of autumn carbon uptake to rising temperatures.

    • Yao Zhang
    • , Róisín Commane
    • , Sha Zhou
    • , A. Park Williams
    •  & Pierre Gentine
  • Article |

    Autumn leaf senescence has later onset, higher phenological plasticity and a stronger climatic response under warm compared to cold autumns. While night-time warming delays senescence, drought induced by daytime warming advances it, which may lead to loss in growing season under global warming.

    • Lei Chen
    • , Heikki Hänninen
    • , Sergio Rossi
    • , Nicholas G. Smith
    • , Stephanie Pau
    • , Zhiyong Liu
    • , Guanqiao Feng
    • , Jie Gao
    •  & Jianquan Liu
  • Article |

    Carbon dioxide removal technologies may be needed to meet climate targets. In this study, national surveys and deliberative workshops in the United States and the United Kingdom show that carbon dioxide removal is perceived as too slow to address the immediate climate crisis while not addressing the root causes of climate change.

    • Emily Cox
    • , Elspeth Spence
    •  & Nick Pidgeon