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  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science will play a crucial role in improving environmental sustainability, but the energy requirements of these methods will have an increasingly negative effect on the environment without sustainable design and use.

    • Caroline Jay
    • Yurong Yu
    • David Topping
  • Human exploration of the Solar System began on the Moon during the space race of the mid-twentieth century. To facilitate documentation and study of the human influence on the Moon, we argue it is time to designate a ‘Lunar Anthropocene’.

    • Justin Allen Holcomb
    • Rolfe David Mandel
    • Karl William Wegmann
  • Africa’s worsening air pollution has received too little attention. We argue that actions are needed in energy transition management, transport emission regulation and waste management to protect Africa’s air quality.

    • Mohammed Iqbal Mead
    • Gabriel Okello
    • Francis David Pope
  • The rapid spread of solar power plants onto cropland is having increasingly detrimental impacts. Targeted policy and technological solutions are urgently needed to resolve the tension between renewable energy and food production.

    • Ning Zhang
    • Huabo Duan
    • Xuemei Bai
  • Admission to doctoral study is a crucial step in the academic pipeline, but discriminatory procedures can disproportionately impact students from ethnic minority backgrounds. We show how these policies contribute to inequity in the geosciences and propose strategies for change.

    • Benjamin Fernando
    • Sam Giles
    • Natasha Dowey
  • Extreme rainfall events are often linked to climate change based on simple thermodynamic arguments, but complex dynamic processes also play a role. Scientists have a responsibility to ensure they provide accurate information to the media and public.

    • Andrew D. King
    • Kimberley J. Reid
    • Kate R. Saunders
  • The recent emergence of a new economic model that is focused on the pursuit of human and ecological wellbeing — the wellbeing economy — offers a fresh framework for geology to contribute to society. The challenge will be to extend the social purpose of geology beyond material and financial goals to the ultimate ends of sustainability through delivering long-term wellbeing for all.

    • Iain Stewart
  • Rocket emissions and debris from spacecraft falling out of orbit are having increasingly detrimental effects on global atmospheric chemistry. Improved monitoring and regulation are urgently needed to create an environmentally sustainable space industry.

    • Jamie D. Shutler
    • Xiaoyu Yan
    • Hitoshi Nasu
  • Inclusive and equitable geoscience requires identification and removal of structural barriers to participation. Replacing the leaky pipeline metaphor with that of a hostile obstacle course demands that those with power take the lead.

    • Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
    • Rebecca T. Barnes
    • Erika Marín-Spiotta
  • A more comprehensive understanding of the role of irrigation in coupled natural–human systems is needed to minimize the negative consequences for climate, ecosystems and public health.

    • Sonali Shukla McDermid
    • Rezaul Mahmood
    • Zoe Lieberman
  • Social scientists and geoscientists must work together to critically evaluate and develop feasible visions for a sustainable future. Is a clean-energy economy more viable than a degrowth future?

    • Thomas Franssen
    • Mandy de Wilde
  • Enabling public sharing of scientific data in China not only needs top-down mandates but also incentive mechanisms that boost confidence and willingness to engage in data-sharing practices among Chinese researchers.

    • Xin Li
    • Guodong Cheng
    • Guofeng Zhao
  • Globally, land- and fire-management policies have counterproductively caused cascading ecosystem changes that exacerbate, rather than mitigate, wildfires. Given rapidly changing climate and land-use conditions that amplify wildfire risk, a policy shift to adaptive management of fire regimes is urgently needed.

    • Mark A. Cochrane
    • David M. J. S. Bowman
  • Working spaces and cultures in the geosciences need to change in order to attract, safeguard and retain people with disabilities.

    • Anya Lawrence
  • Geoscientists will play key roles in the grand challenges of the twenty-first century, but this requires our field to address its past when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Considering the bleak picture of racial diversity in the UK, we put forward steps institutions can take to break down barriers and make the geosciences equitable.

    • Natasha Dowey
    • Jenni Barclay
    • Rebecca Williams
  • Geological and botanical archives can preserve evidence of exceptional floods going back centuries to millennia. Updated risk guidelines offer a new opportunity to apply lessons from paleoflood hydrology to judge the odds of future floods.

    • Scott St. George
    • Amanda M. Hefner
    • Judith Avila
  • Underground smouldering fires resurfaced early in 2020, contributing to the unprecedented wildfires that tore through the Arctic this spring and summer. An international effort is needed to manage a changing fire regime in the vulnerable Arctic.

    • Jessica L. McCarty
    • Thomas E. L. Smith
    • Merritt R. Turetsky