Climate change

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Vegetation emits organic vapors which can form aerosols in the atmosphere and influence cloud properties. Here, the authors show observational evidence that warmer temperatures lead to increased emissions of these aerosols in boreal forests which cause surface cooling, demonstrating a negative climate feedback mechanism.

    • Taina Yli-Juuti
    • , Tero Mielonen
    •  & Annele Virtanen
  • 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 much the potential intensity of tropical cyclones (TCs) increases in warmer environments is not well known. Here, the authors show that TC rainfall rates have increased by 1.3% per year between 1998 and 2018, a trend that is mainly driven by stronger rainfall in the outer-core region of TCs.

    • Oscar Guzman
    •  & Haiyan Jiang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How climate change influences the lifecycle of stratospheric volcanic aerosols and the associated radiative forcing is unknown. Here, the authors present model experiments suggesting that climate change amplifies the forcing of large-magnitude tropical eruptions but reduces the forcing of moderate-magnitude tropical eruptions.

    • Thomas J. Aubry
    • , John Staunton-Sykes
    •  & Anja Schmidt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Methane emissions from oil and gas systems are underestimated in official inventories. Here the authors synthesize thousands of field measurements and develop an inventory-based model for a better understanding of why this underestimation exists and how it can be fixed.

    • Jeffrey S. Rutherford
    • , Evan D. Sherwin
    •  & Adam R. Brandt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Satellite observations reveal a significant positive trend in Earth’s energy imbalance, but the contributing drivers have yet to be understood. Here, the authors show that it is exceptionally unlikely that this trend can be explained by internal variability; instead, anthropogenic forcing and feedbacks cause the trend.

    • Shiv Priyam Raghuraman
    • , David Paynter
    •  & V. Ramaswamy
  • 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

    How the Central American mountains influence tropical cyclone (TC) development in the eastern North Pacific is not well understood. Here, the authors use model simulations to show that on a seasonal timescale, these mountains interrupt moisture transport from the Caribbean Sea and as a result, reduce TC activity by up to 35%.

    • Dan Fu
    • , Ping Chang
    •  & Hylke E. Beck
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    Many different methods have been developed to forecast climate phenomena like the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which makes a fair comparison of their capabilities crucial. In this perspective, the authors discuss how choices in the evaluation method can lead to an overestimated perceived skill of ENSO forecasts.

    • James S. Risbey
    • , Dougal T. Squire
    •  & Carly R. Tozer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Forests can influence climate by affecting low cloud formation, but where and when this occurs is not well known. Here, the authors provide a global-scale assessment, based on satellite remote sensing observations, suggesting afforestation mostly increases low cloud cover which could potentially cool surface temperatures.

    • Gregory Duveiller
    • , Federico Filipponi
    •  & Alessandro Cescatti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How tropical cyclones have varied in intensity and frequency in the past is not well known as longer records are rare. Here, the authors show that changes in observing practices explain the recorded century scale increase in Atlantic major hurricane frequency, and recent increases are not part of a century-scale trend.

    • Gabriel A. Vecchi
    • , Christopher Landsea
    •  & Thomas Knutson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate models project an intensification of extreme precipitation under climate change, but this effect is difficult to detect in the observational record. Here, the authors show that a physically interpretable anthropogenic impact on extreme precipitation is detectable in global observational data sets.

    • Gavin D. Madakumbura
    • , Chad W. Thackeray
    •  & Alex Hall
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It has been suggested that younger people care more about climate change than older people. Here, the authors present ten year panel data from New Zealand and show that despite a generation gap in starting levels, climate change beliefs have increased at similar rates across ages over the 2009-2018 period.

    • Taciano L. Milfont
    • , Elena Zubielevitch
    •  & Chris G. Sibley
  • 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

    The drivers of monsoon systems in the past are not well known. Here, the authors present a model-based reconstruction of the last 30 million years and show that the south east Asian monsoon evolution is dominated by orographic development while the strength of the Indian Summer monsoon is controlled by a combination of factors.

    • James R. Thomson
    • , Philip B. Holden
    •  & Nigel B. W. Harris
  • 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

    Despite a ban on ozone depleting substances, ozone depletion during cold winters in the Arctic stratosphere has been increasing in recent decades. Here, the authors show conditions favourable for Arctic ozone depletion could worsen as a response of stratospheric temperature and water to continued release of greenhouse gases.

    • Peter von der Gathen
    • , Rigel Kivi
    •  & Markus Rex
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aviation contributes to climate change and ways to reduce its emissions are widely debated. Here, the authors assess the effects of technology improvements and the use of sustainable aviation fuels and find that even when these are considered aviation is unlikely to meet emissions goals in line with the Paris Agreement.

    • Volker Grewe
    • , Arvind Gangoli Rao
    •  & Katrin Dahlmann
  • 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

    The impacts of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) decline in future climate change are uncertain. Here the authors show that the inter-model spread in the AMOC response in global climate models amplify uncertainties in the projections of temperature, rainfall and the jet-stream.

    • Katinka Bellomo
    • , Michela Angeloni
    •  & Jost von Hardenberg
  • 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

    Satellite-based estimates of radiative forcing by aerosol–cloud interactions are consistently smaller than those from global models, hampering accurate projections of future climate change. Here, the authors show that the discrepancy can be substantially reduced by correcting sampling biases induced by inherent limitations of satellite measurements.

    • Hailing Jia
    • , Xiaoyan Ma
    •  & Johannes Quaas
  • 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

    Melting at the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet is often disregarded as a source of quantifiable mass loss. In this study, the authors find the basal mass loss is equivalent to 8% of the ice sheet’s present imbalance, and that the loss of mass from basal melt is likely to increase in the future.

    • Nanna B. Karlsson
    • , Anne M. Solgaard
    •  & Robert S. Fausto
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Tree rings are a crucial archive for Common Era climate reconstructions, but the degree to which methodological decisions influence outcomes is not well known. Here, the authors show how different approaches taken by 15 different groups influence the ensemble temperature reconstruction from the same data.

    • Ulf Büntgen
    • , Kathy Allen
    •  & Jan Esper
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate change is likely to damage economies worldwide. Here the authors show that this strongly reduces incentives to invest causing additional losses, whereas if investors include climate-change mitigation in their action portfolio they can avoid damages for themselves and the global economy.

    • Sven N. Willner
    • , Nicole Glanemann
    •  & Anders Levermann
  • 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

    China has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality in 2060. Here the authors find a promising option to abate 1.0 Gt CO2-eq yr1 of carbon emissions at a marginal cost of $69 (t CO2-eq)−1 by retrofitting 222 GW of coal power plants to co-fire with biomass and upgrading to CCS operation across 2836 counties in China.

    • Xiaofan Xing
    • , Rong Wang
    •  & Siqing Xu
  • 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

    The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a crucial component of the tropical weather system, but forecasting it has been challenging. Here, the authors present a deep learning bias correction method that significantly improves multi-model forecasts of the MJO amplitude and phase for up to four weeks.

    • H. Kim
    • , Y. G. Ham
    •  & S. W. Son
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How to curb climate change is uncertain, in part because determination of allowable emissions depends on models with low accuracy. Here the authors re-analyze climate-carbon feedbacks and find that CO2 emissions could be 9 ± 7% higher and still meet Paris Agreement goals.

    • Xuanze Zhang
    • , Ying-Ping Wang
    •  & Yongqiang Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Do we mitigate climate change in a Kyoto style global agreement or via multiple agreements among smaller groups of states? Here the authors show that the best strategy may begin with regional legally binding, aggressive agreements and, as these become common, renew pursuit of a global legally-binding treaty.

    • Vadim A. Karatayev
    • , Vítor V. Vasconcelos
    •  & Madhur Anand
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) was phased-out under the Montreal, but renewed emissions of CFC-11 have been reported recently. Here, the authors present a joint analysis of multiple factors and find that emissions of CFC-11, but also CFC-12 and CFC-113 are higher than expected, indicating renewed emissions.

    • Megan Lickley
    • , Sarah Fletcher
    •  & Susan Solomon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Most studies have examined the impacts of human-driven climate change on mean or extreme climate variables and have neglected to explore interrelated drought features. Here, the authors show that the presence of human activity has increased the number and maximum length and intensity of drought events across the globe.

    • Felicia Chiang
    • , Omid Mazdiyasni
    •  & Amir AghaKouchak
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Clean water is a fundamental resource, yet the economic impacts of pollution, drinking water availability, and greenhouse gas emissions from freshwaters are unknown. Here the authors combine models with economic assessments and find trillions of dollars in savings by mitigating lake methane emissions.

    • John A. Downing
    • , Stephen Polasky
    •  & Stephen C. Newbold
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Established climate mitigation modelling relies on controversial negative emissions and unprecedented technological change, but neglects to consider degrowth scenarios. Here the authors show that degrowth scenarios minimize many key risks for feasibility and sustainability and thus need to be thoroughly assessed.

    • Lorenz T. Keyßer
    •  & Manfred Lenzen
  • 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

    Ambitious climate policies can negatively impact the global poor by affecting income, food and energy prices. Here, the authors quantify this effect, and show that it can be compensated by national redistribution of the carbon pricing revenues in combination with international climate finance.

    • Bjoern Soergel
    • , Elmar Kriegler
    •  & Alexander Popp
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding the past is necessary to comprehend Earth’s response to present climate change, but past climate reconstruction is hampered by a lack of temperature proxies. Here the authors develop the HDI26, a proxy using cyanobacterial glycolipids to reconstruct water temperatures of lakes worldwide.

    • Thorsten Bauersachs
    • , James M. Russell
    •  & Lorenz Schwark
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Stratification has a considerable influence on lake ecology, but there is little understanding of past or future changes in its seasonality. Here, the authors use modelling and empirical data to determine that between 1901–2099, climate change causes stratification to start earlier and end later.

    • R. Iestyn Woolway
    • , Sapna Sharma
    •  & Eleanor Jennings
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wetland methane emissions contribute to global warming, and are oversimplified in climate models. Here the authors use eddy covariance measurements from 48 global sites to demonstrate seasonal hysteresis in methane-temperature relationships and suggest the importance of microbial processes.

    • Kuang-Yu Chang
    • , William J. Riley
    •  & Donatella Zona
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many trajectories for reaching climate change mitigation targets exaggerate the long-term need for CO2 removal (CDR) because they assume an exponentially increasing carbon price. Here the authors analyse alternative carbon price pathways that halt warming while limiting CDR, and may be easier to implement.

    • Jessica Strefler
    • , Elmar Kriegler
    •  & Ottmar Edenhofer