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Volume 8 Issue 1, January 2018

Volume 8 Issue 1

Glacier response to ice-shelf melt

Ice loss from Antarctica is sensitive to changes in ice shelves, including the Ross Ice Shelf as shown on the cover. Finite-element modelling reveals that localized ice-shelf thinning, particularly in locations vulnerable to warm-water intrusion, can have far-reaching impacts across the entire shelf via tele-buttressing.

See Reese et al. and News & Views by Gagliardini.

Image: André Gilden/Alamy Stock Photo. Cover Design: Tulsi Voralia.


  • Editorial |

    The fashion industry has changed rapidly in recent years with the increased prevalence of fast fashion, impacting the environment. Efforts to green this polluting industry require action from businesses and consumers.


  • Comment |

    Investors will play a major role, whether active or passive, in climate change mitigation. To enable prudent decision-making, we propose three physically based engagement principles that could be used to assess whether an investment is consistent with a long-term climate goal.

    • Richard J. Millar
    • , Cameron Hepburn
    •  & Myles R. Allen
  • Comment |

    Assessing the dynamics of resilience could help insurers and governments reduce the costs of climate-risk insurance schemes and secure future insurability in the face of an increase in extreme hydro-meteorological events related to climate change.

    • R. Cremades
    • , S. Surminski
    •  & J. Gascoigne
  • Comment |

    The Paris Agreement is based on emission scenarios that move from a sluggish phase-out of fossil fuels to large-scale late-century negative emissions. Alternative pathways of early deployment of negative emission technologies need to be considered to ensure that climate targets are reached safely and sustainably.

    • Michael Obersteiner
    • , Johannes Bednar
    •  & Guido Schmidt-Traub


  • Comment |

    Climate change could increase fire risk across most of the managed boreal forest. Decreasing this risk by increasing the proportion of broad-leaved tree species is an overlooked mitigation–adaption strategy with multiple benefits.

    • Rasmus Astrup
    • , Pierre Y. Bernier
    •  & Ryan M. Bright

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    One of the greatest sources of uncertainty about future climate change is the path greenhouse gas emissions will take. Now research using a coupled model of human behaviour and climate finds that individual behaviour can significantly alter emissions trajectories and global temperature.

    • Jonathan M. Gilligan
  • News & Views |

    The thinning of floating ice shelves around Antarctica enhances upstream ice flow, contributing to sea-level rise. Ice-shelf thinning is now shown to influence glacial movement over much larger distances than previously thought.

    • Olivier Gagliardini
  • News & Views |

    Well-mixed water around 500 m depth in the Southern Ocean has been warming. Now research reveals how strengthening wind increases the volume of the warm water.

    • Katsuro Katsumata
  • News & Views |

    Completely stopping fossil fuel use may not be enough to avoid dangerous climate change. Recent research on the mitigation potential of conservation, restoration, and improved land management demonstrates that natural solutions can reduce emissions and remove atmospheric CO2 while safeguarding food security and biodiversity.

    • Will R. Turner
  • News & Views |

    Photosynthesis is the foundation for almost all known life, but quantifying it at scales above a single plant is difficult. A new satellite illuminates plants’ molecular machinery at much-improved spatial resolution, taking us one step closer to combined ‘inside–outside’ insights into large-scale photosynthesis.

    • Timothy W. Hilton


  • 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
    •  & R. M. Colvin
  • 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
    •  & T. Lacombe



  • Article |

    Human behaviour is an important driver of emissions. A system-dynamics model that couples a psychological model of behaviour with a model of emissions and climate change shows that behaviour can influence global temperature in the year 2100 by up to 1.5 °C.

    • Brian Beckage
    • , Louis J. Gross
    •  & Forrest M. Hoffman


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