Climate sciences

  • 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

    The North Water polynya is a unique but vulnerable ecosystem, home to Indigenous people and Arctic keystone species. New palaeoecological records from Greenland suggest human abandonment c. 2200–1200 cal yrs BP occurred during climate-forced polynya instability, foreshadowing future ecosystem declines.

    • Sofia Ribeiro
    • , Audrey Limoges
    •  & Thomas A. Davidson
  • 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
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To explore the importance of local vs. global sulfur-cycle controls on variations in pyrite sulfur isotopes, the authors couple carbon-nitrogen-sulfur concentrations and stable isotopes of sediments from the Peruvian oxygen minimum zone, identifying a major role for the local organic carbon loading.

    • Virgil Pasquier
    • , David A. Fike
    •  & Itay Halevy
  • 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

    The deep North Pacific is the end of the road for global ocean circulation, but the circulation patterns and ventilation are poorly understood. Here the authors show that diffusive transports both along and across density layers play a leading role in returning 1,400 year old water to the surface.

    • Mark Holzer
    • , Tim DeVries
    •  & Casimir de Lavergne
  • 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

    Reconciling the Snowball Earth hypothesis with sedimentological cyclicity has been a persistent challenge. A new cyclostratigraphic climate record for a Cryogenian banded iron formation in Australia provides evidence for orbital forcing of ice sheet advance and retreat cycles during Snowball Earth.

    • Ross N. Mitchell
    • , Thomas M. Gernon
    •  & Xiaofang He
  • 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

    Estimating velocities in gas liquid flows is of importance in many engineering applications. Hohermuth et al. show that previous bubble velocities obtained from intrusive probes have been underestimated and provide a correction scheme for more accurate velocity measurements.

    • B. Hohermuth
    • , M. Kramer
    •  & D. Valero
  • 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

    How sea-level in the western Mediterranean reacts to climate changes is not well known. Here, the authors present a regional reconstruction and show that temperatures influenced sea-level change rates during the Holocene, while recent sea-level rise is happening faster than during any other period of the last 4000 years.

    • Matteo Vacchi
    • , Kristen M. Joyse
    •  & Alessio Rovere
  • 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

    How the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) changed on glacial-interglacial time scales is not well known. Here, the authors present a 140,000 year long sediment record from the Drake passage and show both glacial-interglacial as well as millennial-scale variability which are linked to Atlantic variability and marine carbon storage.

    • Shuzhuang Wu
    • , Lester Lembke-Jene
    •  & Gerhard Kuhn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Anomalously slow earthquakes play a critical role in the earthquake cycle and fault sliding. Here, the authors detect continuous seismic radiation from a glacier sliding over its bed and show persistent coastal shaking to represent an addition to the family of slow earthquakes.

    • Evgeny A. Podolskiy
    • , Yoshio Murai
    •  & Shin Sugiyama
  • 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

    “Earth degassing is a critical carbon source, but its contribution to Cenozoic atmospheric CO2 variations is not well known. Here, the authors analyse CO2 fluxes on the Tibetan Plateau and suggest that the India-Asia collision was the primary driver of changes in atmospheric CO2 over the past 65 Ma.”

    • Zhengfu Guo
    • , Marjorie Wilson
    •  & Jiaqi Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There is a lot of uncertainty about what Earth’s climate and geography were like in the early Cambrian, when animal life diversified throughout the oceans. Here we show that numeric comparisons of model simulations and climatically influenced rocks can help constrain geography and climate during this time.

    • Thomas W. Wong Hearing
    • , Alexandre Pohl
    •  & Thijs R. A. Vandenbroucke
  • 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

    Reprocessed data from satellite altimetry show that the mean significant wave height decreases globally by 22% on average from 30 km to 3 km from the coast. By combining these data with wave period from reanalysis, we estimate a mean reduction of 38% concerning the mean wave energy flux.

    • Marcello Passaro
    • , Mark A. Hemer
    •  & Florian Seitz
  • 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

    North Atlantic deep water (NADW) formation influences the climate and carbon cycle, but the contribution of Arctic waters is difficult to constrain. Here the authors use Pa/Th proxy measurements to determine the amount of Arctic Ocean water that flows through the Fram Strait and contributes to NADW.

    • Lauren E. Kipp
    • , Jerry F. McManus
    •  & Markus Kienast
  • 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

    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

    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

    Up to 40% of the ocean’s fixed nitrogen is lost in oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) by anammox, but despite the importance of this process, nitrogen loss patterns in OMZs are difficult to predict. Here the authors show that ammonium release from small particles is a major control of anammox in the Peruvian OMZ.

    • Clarissa Karthäuser
    • , Soeren Ahmerkamp
    •  & Marcel M. M. Kuypers
  • 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

    Earth-system sensitivity (ESS) describes the long-term temperature response for a given change in atmospheric CO2 and, as such, is a crucial parameter to assess future climate change. Here, the authors use a Bayesian model with data from the last 420 Myrs to reduce uncertainties and estimate ESS to be around 3.4 °C.

    • Tony E. Wong
    • , Ying Cui
    •  & Klaus Keller
  • 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

    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

    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

    New data from five hot-water drilled boreholes show how atmospheric anomalies affect the circulation beneath Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf on multi-year time scales. The apparent link of the dense water formation to remote teleconnections is an important step for better predicting contributions to future sea level rise from this sector of Antarctica.

    • Tore Hattermann
    • , Keith W. Nicholls
    •  & Torsten Kanzow
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Long-term sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) records can help inform how biodiversity will likely respond to future climate change. Here, Liu et al. reconstruct plant diversity at the margin of the Tibetan Plateau over the last ~18,000 years using sedaDNA and use this record to predict future diversity change.

    • Sisi Liu
    • , Stefan Kruse
    •  & Ulrike Herzschuh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The Arctic Ocean cooling machine, currently the Barents Sea, plays a crucial role in both regulating the climate and determining the deep ocean circulation. Here the authors show that the efficiency of the cooling machine is poleward enhanced in a warming climate, which pushes Arctic Atlantification poleward.

    • Qi Shu
    • , Qiang Wang
    •  & Fangli Qiao
  • 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