Climate sciences

Definition

Climate science is the study of relatively long-term weather conditions, typically spanning decades to centuries but extending to geological timescales. The discipline is primarily concerned with atmospheric properties – for example temperature and humidity – and patterns of circulation, as well as interactions with the ocean, the biosphere, and, over longer timescales, the geosphere.

Featured

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from agricultural sources is generally omitted from sulfur emission estimates despite its abundance in livestock emissions. Here, the authors show that agriculture is the most important source of sulfur in Denmark using proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry measurements of H2S.

    • Anders Feilberg
    • , Michael Jørgen Hansen
    • , Dezhao Liu
    •  & Tavs Nyord
  • Research | | open

    Cool roofs have been shown to mitigate heat in urban areas, but their impact on water conservation has not been examined. Here the authors conduct simulations with an urban canopy model to show that implementation of cool roofs in California can also reduce outdoor water consumption by up to 9%.

    • Pouya Vahmani
    •  & Andrew D. Jones
  • Research | | open

    Land use and land cover change has led to more frequent hot, dry summers in parts of the mid-latitudes. Here the authors use an Earth system model to show that regions converted to crops and pastures experience hot, dry summers 2 to 4 times more frequently than they would if native forests had remained.

    • Kirsten L. Findell
    • , Alexis Berg
    • , Pierre Gentine
    • , John P. Krasting
    • , Benjamin R. Lintner
    • , Sergey Malyshev
    • , Joseph A. Santanello Jr.
    •  & Elena Shevliakova
  • Research | | open

    Biochar promotes plant growth via a slow release of nutrients; however, a mechanistic understanding of nutrient storage in biochar is lacking. Here, using high-resolution spectromicroscopy and mass spectrometry, the authors identify an organic coating on co-composted particles that enhances nutrient retention.

    • Nikolas Hagemann
    • , Stephen Joseph
    • , Hans-Peter Schmidt
    • , Claudia I. Kammann
    • , Johannes Harter
    • , Thomas Borch
    • , Robert B. Young
    • , Krisztina Varga
    • , Sarasadat Taherymoosavi
    • , K. Wade Elliott
    • , Amy McKenna
    • , Mihaela Albu
    • , Claudia Mayrhofer
    • , Martin Obst
    • , Pellegrino Conte
    • , Alba Dieguez-Alonso
    • , Silvia Orsetti
    • , Edisson Subdiaga
    • , Sebastian Behrens
    •  & Andreas Kappler
  • Research | | open

    The impacts of carbon capture and storage (CCS) on subsurface microorganisms are poorly understood. Here, the authors show that deep ecosystems respond quickly to CO2 injections and that the environmental consequences of their metabolic activities need to be properly assessed for sustainable CCS in basalt.

    • Rosalia Trias
    • , Bénédicte Ménez
    • , Paul le Campion
    • , Yvan Zivanovic
    • , Léna Lecourt
    • , Aurélien Lecoeuvre
    • , Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin
    • , Jenny Uhl
    • , Sigurður R. Gislason
    • , Helgi A. Alfreðsson
    • , Kiflom G. Mesfin
    • , Sandra Ó. Snæbjörnsdóttir
    • , Edda S. Aradóttir
    • , Ingvi Gunnarsson
    • , Juerg M. Matter
    • , Martin Stute
    • , Eric H. Oelkers
    •  & Emmanuelle Gérard
  • Research | | open

    Global maps of biogeographic realms help to understand the geological and ecological processes that gave rise to species distributions, yet a marine realm map has been lacking. Here, Costello et al. use a database of over 65,000 species to reveal 30 marine biogeographic realms and high rates of species endemicity.

    • Mark J. Costello
    • , Peter Tsai
    • , Pui Shan Wong
    • , Alan Kwok Lun Cheung
    • , Zeenatul Basher
    •  & Chhaya Chaudhary

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Satellite measurements indicate that Greenland's meltwater rivers are exporting one billion tons of sediment annually, a process that is controlled by the sliding rate of glaciers. This rate is nearly 10% of the fluvial sediment discharge to the ocean.

    • Matthew A. Charette
  • Comments and Opinion |

    In the scientific community, the big question is not whether action on climate change is required, but what form it should take — and the part that scientists should play. Three Nobel laureates and three early-career researchers gave their thoughts to Nature on the current state of climate action worldwide and the place of science in society.

    • Peter Agre
    • , Mario Molina
    •  & Steven Chu
    Nature 550, S62–S64