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  • Two founding fathers of climate science and climate modelling were honoured with the Nobel prize in physics this year. They led early climate research towards both fundamental and societally relevant research, which is now as vital as it was then.

    • Gabriele C. Hegerl
    Comment Open Access
  • Disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability. We must acknowledge the human-made components of both vulnerability and hazard and emphasize human agency in order to proactively reduce disaster impacts.

    • Emmanuel Raju
    • Emily Boyd
    • Friederike Otto
    Comment Open Access
  • Soils are essential to life on Earth but are rapidly degrading worldwide due to unsustainable human activities. We argue that soil degradation constitutes a key Earth system process that should be added to the planetary boundaries framework.

    • Clarisse T. Kraamwinkel
    • Anne Beaulieu
    • Ruth A. Howison
    Comment Open Access
  • The pandemic has badly affected the most diverse career stage in UK Earth sciences: early career researchers. Disrupted careers must be rescued with contingency plans, remote networks, a focus on mental health and mentor support if we are to retain diversity and talent.

    • Ben J. Fisher
    • Connor J. Shiggins
    • Jack Buckingham
    Comment Open Access
  • Adaptation to climate change must be ramped up urgently. This Comment proposes three avenues to transform ambition to action: improve tracking of actions and progress, upscale investment especially in critical areas, and accelerate learning through practice.

    • Bruce Currie-Alder
    • Cynthia Rosenzweig
    • Ying Wang
    Comment Open Access
  • About 74,000 years ago Earth’s climate abruptly transitioned to particularly severe cold and dry conditions, which lasted for several millennia. An incomplete eruption record may be why volcanic eruptions were dismissed as the trigger.

    • Alice R. Paine
    • Fabian B. Wadsworth
    • James U. L. Baldini
    Comment Open Access
  • Devastating disasters that are predicted but ignored are known as Black Elephants—a cross between a Black Swan event and the proverbial elephant in the room. It’s time we acknowledged the looming natural hazard risks that no one wants to talk about.

    • Yolanda C. Lin
    • Gizem Mestav Sarica
    • David Lallemant
    Comment Open Access
  • Media attention to an article on Greenland’s dynamic ice loss provided a Comms Earth author with a way out of pandemic isolation, a broader perspective of her work, and a heavy responsibility to communicate accurately. She found the experience time-consuming, but rewarding.

    • Michalea King
    Comment Open Access
  • Greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution have changed the composition of the atmosphere, and thereby initiated global warming and reduced air quality. Our editorial board members note the need for a deeper understanding of atmospheric fluxes and processes to tackle climate and human health issues.

    • Joshua Dean
    • Astrid Kiendler-Scharr
    • Ralf Zimmermann
    Comment Open Access
  • Our relationship with the landscape has developed through time and more and more the environment is responding to human-driven changes. Now is the time to steer this relationship towards a sustainable future, suggest our Editorial Board Members.

    • Erika Buscardo
    • Gerald Forkuor
    • Michael Storozum
    Comment Open Access
  • Oceans and cryosphere are immediately affected by human-induced climate change. Our Editorial Board members present viewpoints on the most pressing and fruitful avenues of research on frozen and liquid water, and the transition from one to the other.

    • Annie Bourbonnais
    • Sze Ling Ho
    • Mark Altabet
    Comment Open Access
  • Processes within the Earth shape and influence the surface environment and the emergence and evolution of life. Our Editorial board members outline recent advances and future directions in our attempt to understand the history of our planet and its environment.

    • João C. Duarte
    • Mojtaba Fakhraee
    • Claire I. O. Nichols
    Comment Open Access
  • The ocean is mitigating global warming by absorbing large amounts of excess carbon dioxide from human activities. To quantify and monitor the ocean carbon sink, we need a state-of-the-art data resource that makes data submission and retrieval machine-compatible and efficient.

    • Toste Tanhua
    • Siv K. Lauvset
    • Robert M. Key
    Comment Open Access
  • Over the past 20 years, the proportion of US geoscience undergraduate degree recipients from marginalized racial groups has increased about threefold, more than for graduate degrees. Much of this progress currently is concentrated at relatively few universities.

    • Rachel J. Beane
    • Eric M. D. Baer
    • Lisa D. White
    Comment Open Access
  • Perceived risks from carbon dioxide removal have led to calls for net zero targets to be split into separate goals for removals and emissions. A better approach is to accompany net targets with ambitious near-term action, disclose measures to achieve them and closely monitor and manage carbon sinks.

    • Stephen M. Smith
    Comment Open Access
  • Water levels in inland seas and lakes globally will drop, often dramatically, over the 21st century in response to climate change. Based on the case of the Caspian Sea, we argue for a concerted campaign to raise awareness of threats to people, biodiversity and geopolitical stability.

    • Matthias Prange
    • Thomas Wilke
    • Frank P. Wesselingh
    Comment Open Access
  • Responses to the COVID-19 emergency have exposed break-points at the interface of science, media, and policy. We summarize five lessons that should be heeded if climate change ever enters a state of emergency perceived to warrant stratospheric aerosol injection.

    • Holly Buck
    • Oliver Geden
    • Olaf Corry
    Comment Open Access