Climate-change impacts

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Root-mycorrhizal interactions could help explain the heterogeneity of plant responses to CO2 fertilisation and nutrient availability. Here the authors combine tree-ring and metagenomic data to reveal that tree growth responses to increasing CO2 along a soil nutrient gradient depend on the nitrogen foraging traits of ectomycorrhizal fungi.

    • Peter T. Pellitier
    • , Inés Ibáñez
    •  & Kirk Acharya
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How acute deoxygenation events affect tropical marine ecosystems remains poorly understood. This study integrates analyses of coral reef benthic communities with microbial community sequencing to show how a deoxygenation event rapidly altered a shallow tropical coral reef ecosystem in the Caribbean.

    • Maggie D. Johnson
    • , Jarrod J. Scott
    •  & Andrew H. Altieri
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Predicting the risk of flooding in coastal environments relies on accurate land elevation data, but this is not available in many parts of the world. Here the authors apply a global lowland digital terrain model derived from satellite LiDAR and determine that the regions most vulnerable to sea-level rise are in the tropics.

    • A. Hooijer
    •  & R. Vernimmen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Release of freshwater into the oceans as a result of ice sheet melting could impact the distribution of climate-sensitive diseases. Here, the authors show that a rapid ice sheet melting in Greenland could cause an emergence of malaria in Southern Africa whilst transmission risks in West Africa may decline.

    • Alizée Chemison
    • , Gilles Ramstein
    •  & Cyril Caminade
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding the uncertainties associated with urban heat wave (UHW) projection is critical for local actions to mitigate extreme heat risks in cities. Here, the authors show that choices of model structural design contribute a large proportion of the uncertainty in projecting UHWs under climate change.

    • Zhonghua Zheng
    • , Lei Zhao
    •  & Keith W. Oleson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    European Union’s vulnerability to climate change stretches far beyond its borders. Here the authors find that more than 44% of the EU agricultural imports will become highly vulnerable to drought in future because of climate change.

    • Ertug Ercin
    • , Ted I. E. Veldkamp
    •  & Johannes Hunink
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Reflective surfaces have been recommended to mitigate urban heat pollution but can be expensive to apply at a large scale. This work shows that applying them to only the upstream half of a neighborhood can lead to disporportionately high cooling benefits relative to cost.

    • Sushobhan Sen
    •  & Lev Khazanovich
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Benefit-cost analyses of climate policies have generated conflicting assessments; as social welfare is affected by regional heterogeneity. Here the authors show that economically optimal pathways are consistent with climate stabilization but are characterized by persistent economic inequalities due to climate damages.

    • Paolo Gazzotti
    • , Johannes Emmerling
    •  & Massimo Tavoni
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Open fires can increase heavy exposure to hazardous particulate matters, and thus harm human health, particularly among the vulnerable individuals, such as pregnant women. Here, the authors show an association between maternal exposure to fire smoke and increased risk of pregnancy loss in South Asia.

    • Tao Xue
    • , Guannan Geng
    •  & Tong Zhu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Individual exposure to heat is associated with adverse health and economic outcomes. Here, the authors show that people of color and people living in poverty bear a disproportionate burden of urban heat exposure in almost all major cities in the continental United States.

    • Angel Hsu
    • , Glenn Sheriff
    •  & Diego Manya
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It has been suggested that sea surface temperatures in the North Tropical Atlantic exert strong influence on the evolution of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Here, the authors argue that observed statistics are fully consistent with ENSO driving climate variations in the Atlantic and not vice versa.

    • Wenjun Zhang
    • , Feng Jiang
    •  & Axel Timmermann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Agricultural sectors receive US$600 billion per year in government support, providing incentives for GHG emission-intensive production. Here, the authors show that removing this support will not reduce global GHG emissions by much; rather it will need to be radically redirected to contribute to climate change mitigation.

    • David Laborde
    • , Abdullah Mamun
    •  & Rob Vos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Deforestation in the Amazon region has suggested to influence precipitation in a non-linear way. Here, the authors show that forest loss is associated with decreasing precipitation after a scale-dependent threshold is crossed, which can cause stress on agriculture if deforestation is expanded.

    • Argemiro Teixeira Leite-Filho
    • , Britaldo Silveira Soares-Filho
    •  & Jan Börner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate models struggle to track the response of Arctic sea ice to warming, leading to efforts to improve sea-ice models. Here the author shows standard model metrics are poor judges of the impact of model improvements, but a new one, marginal ice zone fraction, is optimally suited to this task.

    • Christopher Horvat
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Adverse climatic conditions are commonly reported to shape asylum migration, but their effect relative to other drivers is unknown. Here the authors compare climatic, economic, and political factors as predictors of future asylum flows to the EU and find that war and repression are the most important factors.

    • Sebastian Schutte
    • , Jonas Vestby
    •  & Halvard Buhaug
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The growing energy consumption and carbon emissions of Bitcoin mining could potentially undermine global sustainability efforts. Here, the authors show the annual energy consumption of the Bitcoin blockchain in China is expected to peak in 2024 at 296.59 Twh and generate 130.50 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

    • Shangrong Jiang
    • , Yuze Li
    •  & Shouyang Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding how cities respond to extreme weather is critical; as such events are becoming more frequent. Using anonymized mobile phone data for Houston, Texas during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, the authors find that mobility behavior exposes neighborhood disparities in resilience capacity and recovery.

    • Boyeong Hong
    • , Bartosz J. Bonczak
    •  & Constantine E. Kontokosta
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The effect of climate change on highland malaria transmission remains unclear because of increasing and decreasing trends. Here, Rodó et al. analyze malaria case data and climate data for the Ethiopian highlands from 1968 to 2008 and find that changes in temperature and associated climate variability facilitated the effect of interventions at the beginning of the 21st century.

    • Xavier Rodó
    • , Pamela P. Martinez
    •  & Mercedes Pascual
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Global warming is expected to increase mortality due to heat stress in many regions. Here, the authors asses how mortality due to high temperatures changes in China changes for different demographic groups and show that heat-related excess mortality is increasing under climate change, a process that is strongly amplified by population ageing.

    • Jun Yang
    • , Maigeng Zhou
    •  & Qiyong Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many cities in the US self-report greenhouse gas emissions. Here, the authors find that US cities under-report their own greenhouse gas emissions, on average, by 18.3% because city inventories omit some fuels and source types and estimate transportation emissions differently.

    • Kevin Robert Gurney
    • , Jianming Liang
    •  & Thomas Lauvaux
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The regulation of aircraft engine NOx emissions was introduced to improve local air quality and reduce NOx emissions at altitude. Here, the authors find that greater fuel efficiency of aircrafts, and therefore lower CO2 emissions, could be preferable to reducing NOx emissions in terms of the aviation industries future climate impacts.

    • Agnieszka Skowron
    • , David S. Lee
    •  & Bethan Owen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The Southern Ocean takes up the most heat and carbon, yet because of its remote and harsh location, it remains relatively sparsely measured. Here the authors use a 25 year temperature series which shows a clear, long term trend in subsurface warming that emerges from interannual variability.

    • Matthis Auger
    • , Rosemary Morrow
    •  & Rebecca Cowley
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Global flood risk is assessed in this study; in particular, the authors describe, based on a modeling approach, the positive effect of river dams on mitigating flood hazards to people.

    • Julien Boulange
    • , Naota Hanasaki
    •  & Yadu Pokhrel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Human emissions are thought to have caused an increase in wildfire risk, but how different emission sources contribute is less well known. Here, the authors show that the increase due to greenhouse gas emissions was balanced by aerosol-driven cooling, an effect that is projected to disappear during the 21st century.

    • Danielle Touma
    • , Samantha Stevenson
    •  & Sloan Coats
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ice arches that form along Nares Strait, which separates Greenland and Ellesmere Island, act to reduce the export of thick multi-year ice out of the Arctic. Here, we show that there has been a recent trend towards shorter duration arch formation that has resulted in enhanced transport of ice along the strait.

    • G. W. K. Moore
    • , S. E. L. Howell
    •  & K. McNeil
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions not only amplify the global climate crisis, but cause damage currently unaccounted for by food prices. Here the authors show the calculation of prices with internalized climate costs for food categories and production systems, revealing strong market distortions.

    • Maximilian Pieper
    • , Amelie Michalke
    •  & Tobias Gaugler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors estimate the damages associated with global temperature variability. They find that variability in temperature leads to substantial uncertainty about damages, which imposes costs equivalent to a large fraction of annual consumption today.

    • Raphael Calel
    • , Sandra C. Chapman
    •  & Nicholas W. Watkins
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Switching and relocating crops could be a key pathway for agricultural adaptation to climate change. Here, Rising and Devineni use data-driven Bayesian modelling to estimate the potential for crop switching to mitigate climate impacts on US crop production under a high-emission scenario, showing considerable opportunities but also limitations.

    • James Rising
    •  & Naresh Devineni
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Satellites provide clear evidence of greening trends in the Arctic, but high-resolution pan-Arctic quantification of these trends is lacking. Here the authors analyse high-resolution Landsat data to show widespread greening in the Arctic, and find that greening trends are linked to summer warming overall but not always locally.

    • Logan T. Berner
    • , Richard Massey
    •  & Scott J. Goetz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The intermittency of solar resources is one of the primary challenges for the large-scale integration of the renewable energy. Here Yin et al. used satellite data and climate model outputs to evaluate the geographic patterns of future solar power reliability, highlighting the tradeoff between the maximum potential power and the power reliability.

    • Jun Yin
    • , Annalisa Molini
    •  & Amilcare Porporato
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The impacts of climate change on agricultural productivity remain debated. Here, the authors present new evidence for the magnitude and causes of U.S. crop insurance losses, using a database of production risk from 1989–2014 across 1733 counties for corn and 1632 counties for soybeans, and find that crop production risk will increase in response to warmer temperatures.

    • Edward D. Perry
    • , Jisang Yu
    •  & Jesse Tack
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The methane emissions from natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are unclear. Here the authors report high methane emissions from heavy-duty NGVs, and by using a scenario analysis show that strictly implementing the upcoming China VI standard could reduce GHG emissions by 509 Mt CO2eq for 2020-2030.

    • Da Pan
    • , Lei Tao
    •  & Mark A. Zondlo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wheat yield is sensitive to temperature, but there could be substantial variation in this response across cultivars. Here the authors present data on the climatic responses of wheat cultivars in South Africa, highlighting which cultivars might be better able to maintain yield under warming.

    • Aaron M. Shew
    • , Jesse B. Tack
    •  & Petronella Chaminuka
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Prior studies mapping climatologically suitable areas for malaria transmission have used relatively simple thresholds for precipitation. Here the authors show that when models incorporate hydrological processes a more complex pattern of malaria suitability emerges in Africa and future shifts in suitability are more pronounced.

    • M. W. Smith
    • , T. Willis
    •  & C. J. Thomas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Drylands cover nearly half of Earth’s surface, yet how they will fare in light of anthropogenic climate change is debated. Here the authors find that over the past 40 years climate change has pushed ~13% of drylands towards desertification threatening hundreds of millions of people in developing nations.

    • A. L. Burrell
    • , J. P. Evans
    •  & M. G. De Kauwe
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cement plays a dual role in the carbon cycle like a sponge. Here, the authors employ a dynamic model to quantify such sponge effect and concluded that deep decarbonization of the global cement cycle will require radical technology advancements and widespread deployment of material efficiency measures.

    • Zhi Cao
    • , Rupert J. Myers
    •  & Gang Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate change may impact groundwater storage and thus the availability of freshwater resources. Here the authors use climate models to examine seven aquifers and find that storage changes are primarily the result of enhancement of evapotranspiration, reduction in snowmelt, and over-pumping rather than long-term precipitation changes.

    • Wen-Ying Wu
    • , Min-Hui Lo
    •  & Zong-Liang Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Heatwaves are expected to become more frequent and more intense under global warming, but how these trends differ on a regional scale is not well known. Here, the authors provide a comprehensive assessment of regional changes and show that most heat indicaters have increased since the 1950s.

    • S. E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
    •  & S. C. Lewis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here the authors develop a set of global, long-term, spatial projections of urban land expansion for understanding the planet’s potential urban futures. The global total amount of urban land increases by a factor of 1.8-5.9 over the 21st century, and the developed world experiences as much new urban development as the developing world.

    • Jing Gao
    •  & Brian C. O’Neill