Reviews & Analysis

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  • US homes are large by any international standards. Full grid decarbonization and electrification of residential energy uses — along with extensive house renovation — are all required, but smaller homes could make this much easier to deliver.

    • André Cabrera Serrenho
    News & Views
  • Tiny phytoplankton are the base of ocean production and thus critical to carbon storage, carbon fluxes and living marine resources. Now, research suggests that the vertical migration of these organisms provides a previously under-recognized resiliency to climate warming.

    • John P. Dunne
    News & Views
  • How global warming affects the ability of northern peatlands to store carbon is uncertain. Now, researchers show that early summer warming increases carbon uptake, whereas warmer late summer decreases it.

    • Sari Juutinen
    News & Views
  • A warmer world will shift mortality patterns around the world. Research suggests that the mortality costs from climate change will be massively larger than previously thought, despite accounting for future adaptation and rising incomes.

    • Maximilian Auffhammer
    News & Views
  • Summits on climate change, organized by various (international) institutions on a frequent basis, seek to discuss and decide on future initiatives for climate action. Research now shows that there is significant variation in their effectiveness in terms of climate mitigation.

    • Zorzeta Bakaki
    News & Views
  • Falling raindrops have an essential but as yet unquantified role in planetary climate change. An approach to quantifying precipitation efficiency establishes that the way raindrops reach the surface plays an important part in persistent uncertainties over future tropical atmospheric circulation and extreme precipitation.

    Research Briefing
  • Climate change affects sea surface density via changes in the sea surface temperature and salinity. These projected sea surface density changes are likely to affect the dispersal patterns of widely distributed mangrove species and are expected to be largest in the Indo West Pacific, the primary hotspot of mangrove diversity.

    Research Briefing
  • A projected change in the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is found to induce a change in high-latitude winds, thereby affecting future Southern Ocean warming. A greater projected increase in ENSO amplitude in response to transient greenhouse forcing weakens high-latitude westerly poleward intensification and slows future Southern Ocean warming.

    Research Briefing
  • Years of research on adaptation to climate change shows that many efforts are counterproductively increasing vulnerability, rather than reducing it — known as ‘maladaptation’. Now a study suggests ways forward by identifying four structural challenges that need to be overcome in adaptation implementation.

    • E. Lisa F. Schipper
    News & Views
  • Quantifying historical trends in tropical cyclone activity has proved difficult, but a new reconstruction reveals a clear global decline over the past century, driven by an increasingly cyclone-hostile environment in the troposphere.

    • Alexander J. Baker
    News & Views
  • The world’s poorest households, who often depend on agricultural incomes, are increasingly vulnerable to weather-induced shocks. A recent study shows how anti-poverty programmes can help to protect both consumption and income when exposed to shocks.

    • Sarah Janzen
    News & Views
  • Many companies purchase renewable energy certificates to report reduced emissions, but this may not lead to actual emission reductions. We need emission accounting that is both accurate and that incentivizes companies to make impactful contributions to decarbonizing electricity grids.

    • Anders Bjørn
    • Shannon M. Lloyd
    • H. Damon Matthews
    Policy Brief
  • A study involving over 12,000 observations shows that high-quality cropland soils not only lead to a higher yield, but also to a smaller yield reduction and variability in response to warmer climates. Appropriate efforts to improve soil quality may reduce the decline in crop production induced by climate change in China by 20%.

    Research Briefing
  • The rapid growth of artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping our society in many ways, and climate change is no exception. This Perspective presents a framework to assess how AI affects GHG emissions and proposes approaches to align the technology with climate change mitigation.

    • Lynn H. Kaack
    • Priya L. Donti
    • David Rolnick
  • Following a complete cessation of anthropogenic emissions, global warming will continue before cooling. We modelled this zero-emissions scenario in the context of realistic emissions pathways and revealed an existing commitment to temporarily exceeding 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C global warming thresholds half a decade before these targets would have otherwise been reached.

    Research Briefing
  • How the species that form ecological communities respond to climate change will affect the future resilience of ecosystems, and their capacity to support humankind. The responses of animals and plants to four decades of warming demonstrate the sensitivity of high-latitude ecosystems to increasing temperatures.

    • Robert J. Wilson
    News & Views
  • Climate change and rising CO2 concentrations have been increasing plant productivity over the past two decades. Now, research projects that this increase will cease over most of the Northern Hemisphere, except the Arctic, by 2060.

    • Alexander Koch
    News & Views