Editorials

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  • Climate change action is moving forward, with the outcomes from COP26 setting the agenda for governments to commit to. Actors in the private sector are also setting out commitments, and climate action looks to be gaining momentum across society and around the globe.

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  • This month, Nature Climate Change formally introduces a new content type, Policy Brief. We hope it will help to bridge the gap between researchers and policy professionals.

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  • As climate change impacts are felt more and more around the world, adapting to change is becoming critical. However, it is not clear whether actions being taken are effective in reducing risk and increasing resilience, and access to financing is crucial.

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  • Coal has powered the world, spurring development and the advancement of society; however, the time has come to consign it to the past and find new technology to support development and advancement.

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  • Old-fashioned qualitative research methods are still powerful in answering the most emergent climate questions we are faced with.

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  • Climate extremes dominate headlines around the world as the IPCC releases its physical climate assessment report.

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  • Crop production and food security remain one of the primary concerns in a changing world. Research and comments in this issue highlight the various threats to our produce and the carry-over effects of food shocks.

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  • Global hydroclimate and atmospheric dynamics are tethered, and so is their future uncertainty. Despite this, scientists are increasingly able to identify climate change signals in noisy hydroclimate observations, aided by a growing line-up of climate model experiments and an ever-extending observational record.

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  • COP26 will mark six years since the Paris Agreement was reached, with the ambitious 1.5 °C warming target. After the turbulent year of 2020, now is the time that countries need to commit to drive global climate action forward.

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  • In light of the urgent need to mitigate climate change, many governments and companies are looking to the natural world for help, most notably through plans to plant forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere. However, the carbon — and social — dynamics of forests are complex.

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  • This month marks 10 years since the first issue of Nature Climate Change. In this issue, we reflect on developments in research areas over those years and celebrate some memorable papers published in our pages.

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  • About 12 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, its immediate and lasting impacts on the climate system and fossil fuel economy are now better understood. These insights will be fundamental to the global recovery — and ideally the green transitions that accompany it — but the implementation will be hard-won.

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  • The ocean connects all corners of the Earth. It supports life, and we need to better understand and support it to ensure a prosperous future.

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  • The past year has seen climate change manifest in wildfires, storms and flooding, in some cases simultaneous with outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic that restricted human activity and impacted global emissions. Despite these trials, other developments hint at the potential for positive steps in climate mitigation.

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  • The climate crisis highlights just how connected the world is. But understanding the changes cascading throughout the natural world calls for even greater connectivity: between countries, scientists and scientific disciplines.

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  • In this interconnected world, many of us would regularly jump on a plane, or train, for a weekend away, or into a car to pop to the shops or to visit family and friends. But the way we travel, day-to-day and on longer trips, will need to change if mitigation targets, including net-zero aspirations, are to be met.

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  • Nature Climate Change is making changes to our article formats to streamline our content and more clearly denote original research contributions.

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  • Research addressing compound and connected events, and their integrated risk to the natural and built world, is gaining momentum. Paradigms are now evolving to classify and analyse the processes forming such links — whether physical or societal, direct or indirect — and the role of climate change in their ultimate impacts.

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  • The world has changed this year under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns around the world have reduced energy demand, resulting in emissions declines, but what could the post-COVID-19 world look like — a return to normal, or will this start a transition?

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  • Climate change is altering environmental niches, causing species to shift their habitat range as they track their ecological niche. These shifts allow species to persist but may disadvantage existing species in these areas; understanding the positives and negatives is needed to ensure effective management for biodiversity.

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