Volume 9 Issue 6, June 2019

Volume 9 Issue 6

Ghost forests

Ghost forests, like the one on the Pacific coast in Neskowin, Oregon, USA, pictured on the cover, are created by the submergence of low-lying forest land and are one of the most striking illustrations of climate change impacts. In this issue, the physical and ecological mechanisms that influence sea-level driven land conversion of forests to marshes are reviewed, with a focus on the Atlantic coast of North America.

See Kirwan and Gedan

Image: Dennis Frates / Alamy Stock Photo. Cover Design: Tulsi Voralia.

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    New voices in the climate movement appear keenly aware that they face well-funded, long-entrenched interests inhibiting sensible climate change policy. Getting a grip on when and how lobbying impacts policy is key to translating calls for ‘climate action’ into feasible policies.

Comment

  • Comment |

    The students striking for action on climate change admirably display civic engagement on a pressing issue. Nevertheless, their movement’s message focuses far too heavily on the need to ‘listen to science’, which is at most a point of departure for answering the ethical and political questions central to climate action.

    • Darrick Evensen
  • Comment |

    The #FridaysForFuture campaign has prompted unprecedented numbers of youth to join the climate movement around the world. This growing movement is important beyond its potential impact on climate policy because it is creating a cohort of citizens who will be active participants in democracy.

    • Dana R. Fisher
  • Comment |

    Manipulation of European Union emission trading systems (ETS) by the buy, bank, burn program compensates unregulated emissions while regulated sectors carry a large part of the burden. This distorts the balance between regulated firms and non-regulated projects, so parties outside the EU ETS can be virtuous at the cost of others.

    • Reyer Gerlagh
    •  & Roweno J. R. K. Heijmans

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Public education for youth can influence future generations, but it typically does not create outcomes for those who need to vote on policies and create change today. A new study suggests that well-designed instructional units can foster family interactions that increase adult concern about climate change.

    • Martha C. Monroe
  • News & Views |

    Corporations devote massive amounts of resources to lobby policy makers in the United States. New research highlights the channels through which direct lobbying has blocked climate legislation, and evaluates the resulting social welfare loss.

    • Fabien Prieur
  • News & Views |

    The Arctic stores vast amounts of soil carbon, much of which is likely to be lost to the atmosphere as the climate warms. A clever new analytical approach suggests that even carbon that has been stored for hundreds to thousands of years is vulnerable to warming.

    • Richard Conant
  • News & Views |

    ‘Nudge’ interventions, such as green energy defaults, may be simple and cost-effective ways to address climate change and can complement more substantive climate policies. But, new research finds that information about a nudge policy lowers support for a carbon tax, unless that nudge policy is described as part of a comprehensive approach.

    • Alexander Maki

Perspectives

  • Perspective |

    The Paris Agreement places new emphasis on the need to take stock of adaptation progress. This Perspective discusses the conceptual and methodological challenges associated with monitoring adaptation and provides a comprehensive framework for tracking progress among governments.

    • Lea Berrang-Ford
    • , Robbert Biesbroek
    • , James D. Ford
    • , Alexandra Lesnikowski
    • , Andrew Tanabe
    • , Frances M. Wang
    • , Chen Chen
    • , Angel Hsu
    • , Jessica J. Hellmann
    • , Patrick Pringle
    • , Martina Grecequet
    • , J.-C. Amado
    • , Saleemul Huq
    • , Shuaib Lwasa
    •  & S. Jody Heymann

Review Articles

  • Review Article |

    A review of the phenomenon of low-lying ‘ghost forests’, and the physical and ecological mechanisms that control their occurrence in the context of sea level rise, with a focus on the Atlantic Coast of North America.

    • Matthew L. Kirwan
    •  & Keryn B. Gedan

Letters

  • Letter |

    Public concern about climate change is difficult to motivate. This study finds an increase in climate change concern among parents after their middle school-aged children participated in a climate change school curriculum.

    • Danielle F. Lawson
    • , Kathryn T. Stevenson
    • , M. Nils Peterson
    • , Sarah J. Carrier
    • , Renee L. Strnad
    •  & Erin Seekamp
  • Letter |

    There is a growing need to find cost-effective options for greenhouse gas abatement. In this study, spatially disaggregated marginal abatement cost curves are developed to facilitate economic appraisal of tropical reforestation.

    • Jonah Busch
    • , Jens Engelmann
    • , Susan C. Cook-Patton
    • , Bronson W. Griscom
    • , Timm Kroeger
    • , Hugh Possingham
    •  & Priya Shyamsundar

Articles

  • Article |

    Political interests play a key role in the passage of climate policy. This study quantifies that political lobbying reduced the probability of enacting the Waxman–Markey bill in the United States by 13 percentage points, representing US$60 billion in expected climate damages.

    • Kyle C. Meng
    •  & Ashwin Rode
  • Article |

    Calcifying marine species are threatened by ocean acidification. A year-long study of calcifying fluid chemistry shows that reef species, both corals and calcifying macroalgal species, were not able to adapt to ocean acidification.

    • S. Comeau
    • , C. E. Cornwall
    • , T. M. DeCarlo
    • , S. S. Doo
    • , R. C. Carpenter
    •  & M. T. McCulloch
  • Article |

    Behavioural interventions aimed at curbing carbon emissions are inexpensive and easy to implement but can offer the false promise of a quick fix. Across six experiments, the authors show that exposure to a green energy nudge diminishes support for carbon taxes.

    • David Hagmann
    • , Emily H Ho
    •  & George Loewenstein

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