Reviews & Analysis

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  • Children and adolescents may be the age cohort most vulnerable to climate anxiety. This Review uses a social–ecological theoretical framework to outline how they are uniquely susceptible to climate anxiety and identify potential protective factors.

    • Tara J. Crandon
    • James G. Scott
    • Hannah J. Thomas
    Review Article
  • Climate change is threatening coral-reef-associated ecosystem services and people’s well-being. Addressing direct and indirect coral reef stressors while developing pathways towards recovery and adaptations could mitigate negative impacts, especially in coastal developing countries.

    • Stephanie D’Agata
    News & Views
  • Border carbon adjustments are appraised as a measure to address carbon leakage and competitiveness concerns. This Review Article discusses the possible impacts, as well as practical challenges for implementation.

    • Christoph Böhringer
    • Carolyn Fischer
    • Thomas Fox Rutherford
    Review Article
  • As temperatures rise, plants unfold their leaves earlier in spring, but whether plant roots respond similarly is seldom quantified. Now, a meta-analysis suggests that leaf and root phenology do not respond to warming in the same way, even within the same plant types.

    • Gesche Blume-Werry
    News & Views
  • Net-zero emissions is more than a concept of physical climate science. It is implemented in social, political and economic contexts. This Perspective proposes seven attributes that are critical for the practical and effective implementation of net zero.

    • Sam Fankhauser
    • Stephen M. Smith
    • Thom Wetzer
    Perspective
  • The climate system may respond in different ways to reductions in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Work now shows a delayed recovery (hysteresis) of the tropical rainbelt, with widespread implications for water resources.

    • Eduardo Moreno-Chamarro
    News & Views
  • Flooding-adaptation studies often ignore unique social, cultural and institutional drivers. Now, research illuminates the drivers that are unique versus shared across socio-cultural contexts and adaptations, which vary in ease of implementation.

    • Robyn S. Wilson
    News & Views
  • Most emissions scenarios in line with the Paris Agreement have shown a large amount of net-negative CO2 emissions during the second half of this century. A new set of scenarios expands this picture.

    • Daniel J. A. Johansson
    News & Views
  • Eastward flow in the Southern Ocean is the primary conduit between ocean basins. A comprehensive study of multi-decadal observational records and model experiments reveals that warming in the upper ocean is causing this flow to accelerate.

    • Andrew L. Stewart
    News & Views
  • We find that if all countries adopt the necessary uniform global carbon tax and then return the revenues to their citizens on an equal per capita basis, it will be possible to meet a 2 °C target while also increasing wellbeing, reducing inequality and alleviating poverty. These results indicate that it is possible for a society to implement strong climate action without compromising goals for equity and development.

    • Mark Budolfson
    • Francis Dennig
    • Stéphane Zuber
    Policy Brief
  • Finding effective ways to support rural communities in adapting to climate change is critical for building climate-resilient societies. Now research shows the potential of risk-transfer policies for improving adaptation and securing the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

    • Roman Hoffmann
    News & Views
  • Natural climate solutions, along with reduction in fossil fuel emissions, are critical to mitigating climate change and meeting climate goals. This Perspective outlines a hierarchy for decision-making regarding protecting, managing and then restoring natural systems for climate mitigation.

    • Susan C. Cook-Patton
    • C. Ronnie Drever
    • Peter W. Ellis
    Perspective
  • Assessing the cost of climate change mitigation is essential to policy-making, yet for many the perception remains that meeting climate goals will entail economic loss. This Perspective unpacks key aspects of mitigation cost estimates to clarify interpretation and discussion of costs.

    • Alexandre C. Köberle
    • Toon Vandyck
    • Joeri Rogelj
    Perspective
  • Climate change is threatening agricultural productivity and the welfare of farmers. Increasing employment in non-farm sectors could mitigate such negative impacts, especially in developing countries.

    • Xiaomeng Cui
    • Shuaizhang Feng
    News & Views
  • Assessing the global implementation of climate adaptation is critical. Now, research quantifies where adaptation is happening and where gaps remain.

    • Johanna Nalau
    News & Views
  • Trade liberalization in the early 21st century increased the adaptation capacity of global food systems to climate change; further liberalization and trade facilitation could help to avoid dozens of millions being undernourished at mid-century. The global trade agenda should explicitly include climate change adaptation to achieve SDG 2 Zero Hunger.

    • Charlotte Janssens
    • Petr Havlík
    • Miet Maertens
    Policy Brief
  • Southern salmon populations face increased risk from a warming climate. New analysis of salmon ear bones shows outsized reliance on rarely used cold-water habitat for population survival through drought years — habitat that is expected to shrink under climate change.

    • Rebecca A. Buchanan
    News & Views
  • Subscriptions to a free, weekly deforestation alert system available on the simple interface Global Forest Watch reduced deforestation in the protected areas and logging concessions of tropical African forests. This suggests that freely available near-real-time forest monitoring systems can help reduce emissions from deforestation if they are integrated with forest policies.

    • Fanny Moffette
    • Jennifer Alix-Garcia
    • Amy H. Pickens
    Policy Brief
  • We find that the public prefers the costs of climate action to be constant over time, irrespective of whether average costs are low or high. Policymakers interested in combating global warming should therefore introduce policies that initially rely on stable cost schedules instead of the widely discussed alternative of ramping up costs over time.

    • Michael M. Bechtel
    • Kenneth F. Scheve
    • Elisabeth van Lieshout
    Policy Brief
  • Using a multi-sector model of human and natural systems, we find that the nationwide cost from state-varying climate policy in the United States is only one-tenth higher than that of nationally uniform policy. The benefits of state-led action — leadership, experimentation and the practical reality that states implement policy more reliably than the federal government — do not necessarily come with a high economic cost.

    • Wei Peng
    • Gokul Iyer
    • David G. Victor
    Policy Brief