News & Comment

Filter By:

  • Rainfall enhancement has historically been overlooked as a key component of sustainability and climate change adaptation strategies. In this comment, we argue that rainfall enhancement is emerging as a viable contributor to addressing growing water security concerns in a warming climate. We specifically consider current progress and future directions for rainfall enhancement applications based on the experience of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with its national decade-long operational cloud seeding program and its grant-based international research and development program.

    • Youssef Wehbe
    • Steve Griffiths
    • Abdulla Al Mandous
    CommentOpen Access
  • Due to the greater negative impacts on humans and ecosystems, compound events (CEs) have received increasing attention in China over recent decades. Previous studies mainly considered combinations of frequent hazards (e.g., extreme hot and dry events or heatwaves and extreme precipitation), potentially leading to an inadequate understanding of CEs hotspots, as the occurrence of CEs varies considerably with the diverse hazard types and their temporal sequence (multivariate compound events (MCEs) and temporally compounding events (TCEs)). Here, using daily meteorological observations from 1961 to 2020, we identify 44 CEs types considering the temporal sequences of various hazards from that period and explore their occurrence patterns in China. The results show that 12 CEs types related to extreme hot or dry events widely and frequently (return period < 1 year) occur in China, particularly compound extreme hot-dry-high fire risk events (return period of 0.2–0.4 yrs). Regarding the temporal sequences, MCEs and TCEs have similar spatial distributions, but the magnitudes of MCEs are approximately 1.1 to 2.6 times those of TCEs. This difference is obvious in CEs formed by multiple hazards (>2). By considering occurrence patterns (return period and magnitude), temporal trends, and correlations between different hazards, we determine that the southern humid regions of China are prone to CEs. These results provide a general reference on the national scale for identifying CEs hotspots where more climate action is needed in the future.

    • Xuezheng Zong
    • Yunhe Yin
    • Tong Cui
    EditorialOpen Access
  • Population ageing is one of the most challenging social and economic issues facing governments in the twenty-first century1. Yet the compounding challenges of people living longer while also coping with the impacts of climate change has been subject to less examination. Here, we show that often-used binary definitions of”vulnerable” older communities – such as people over the age of 65 – can lead to the underestimation of future risks from extreme weather in a warming climate. Within this broad grouping, successively older age groups not only exhibit higher vulnerability to the impacts of climate extremes, but they also show more rapid growth in the future. Lower income countries are more likely to underestimate future climate risks if simplistic classifications of vulnerable older communities persist.

    • Luke J. Harrington
    • Friederike E. L. Otto
    CommentOpen Access