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Volume 5 Issue 6, June 2022

Ultrafast desalination

Finding more efficient membranes for water desalination can increase the availability of clean water with reduced environmental impacts. Jiang and colleagues show that a membrane design based on a covalent organic framework can address the problem of low permeation flux and achieve ultrafast desalination.

See Wang et al.

Image: Zhongyi Jiang, Tianjin University; desalinated water, anucha sirivisansuwan / Moment / Getty; sea image, Abstract Aerial Art / DigitalVision / Getty. Cover Design: Valentina Monaco.


  • Commemorating the environmental movement matters, but fulfilling its goals matters more.



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News & Views

  • A short window of opportunity during the COVID-19 economic shutdown provides striking evidence of environmental disparity.

    • Dena Montague
    News & Views
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  • Scholars develop scenarios to identify the operational margins of system Earth, but focus less on how decisions are made that affect the system one way or another. Strategy games can help increase the representation of human agency in scenario development, allowing for deliberation among diverse worldviews.

    • Claude A. Garcia
    • Sini Savilaakso
    • Patrick O. Waeber
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  • Assessing the effectiveness of restoration projects faces challenges due to operational issues and the high costs of gathering on-ground data. This study combines satellite observations with quasi-experimental methods to examine the impacts of the Sustainable Land Management Project in Ethiopia.

    • Susana Constenla-Villoslada
    • Yanyan Liu
    • Shun Chonabayashi
  • Despite the growing use of biodiversity offsets from major industrial projects, little is known about how effective they are. This study shows that the offsets associated with the Ambatovy mine in Madagascar trying to compensate for deforestation at the mine site are on track to achieve no net loss of forest.

    • Katie Devenish
    • Sébastien Desbureaux
    • Julia P. G. Jones
    Article Open Access
  • Minority groups are often disproportionately exposed to air pollution, but what drives these disparities is difficult to analyse. Using the economic shutdown associated with the 2020 COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, this study estimates pollution exposure disparities caused by the in-person economy in California.

    • Richard Bluhm
    • Pascal Polonik
    • Jennifer A. Burney
  • Poor availability and access to clean water is a fundamental sustainability challenge facing our society. Here the authors show that covalent organic framework membranes enable excellent performance in seawater desalination including high permeation flux and fouling resistance, providing a promising technological solution.

    • Meidi Wang
    • Penghui Zhang
    • Zhongyi Jiang
  • The environmental effectiveness of procurement incentives for electric vehicle (EV) sales depends on the behaviour of EV adopters. This study explores such a relationship and how procurement policies should be designed in order to achieve emissions reduction and be economically efficient.

    • Ashley Nunes
    • Lucas Woodley
    • Philip Rossetti
    Analysis Open Access
  • The sheer scale of global development aid projects and funding can be almost impenetrable for researchers and policymakers to derive broad trends, let alone specific topics. This machine learning analysis looks at 3.2 million separate aid activities over the past two decades to find clusters and categories for better targeting of development funds.

    • Malte Toetzke
    • Nicolas Banholzer
    • Stefan Feuerriegel
  • Controlled use of fire for subsistence and smallholder livelihoods has undoubtedly shaped ecosystems but we have limited research on the practices and extent. This analysis of nearly 600 case study locations finds fire use is changing in ways that could pose risks to smallholder livelihoods as well as wildlife and biodiversity.

    • Cathy Smith
    • Ol Perkins
    • Jayalaxshmi Mistry
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Amendments & Corrections

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