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Selection: with tag climate-change [at least 200 articles] 


Uncertainty in forecasts of long-run economic growth

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (14 May 2018), 201713628,


[Significance] This study develops estimates of uncertainty in projections of global and regional per-capita economic growth rates through 2100, comparing estimates from expert forecasts and an econometric approach designed to analyze long-run trends and variability. Estimates from both methods indicate substantially higher uncertainty than is assumed in current studies of climate change impacts, damages, and adaptation. Results from this study suggest a greater than 35% probability that emissions concentrations will exceed those assumed in the most severe of the available climate change ...


Sea-level rise scenarios and coastal risk management

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 5, No. 3. (1 March 2015), pp. 188-190,


The IPCC's global mean sea-level rise scenarios do not necessarily provide the right information for coastal decision-making and risk management. [\n] Global mean sea-level (GMSL) rise is a major concern for coastal managers and society at large. Since 1988, the IPCC has engaged in a strenuous effort to tackle this kind of challenge at the interface of science and practical decision-making. In this role, the IPCC has recently updated its scenarios of GMSL rise with the release of its Fifth Assessment Report ...


Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise

Nature, Vol. 531, No. 7596. (31 March 2016), pp. 591-597,


Polar temperatures over the last several million years have, at times, been slightly warmer than today, yet global mean sea level has been 6–9 metres higher as recently as the Last Interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) and possibly higher during the Pliocene epoch (about three million years ago). In both cases the Antarctic ice sheet has been implicated as the primary contributor, hinting at its future vulnerability. Here we use a model coupling ice sheet and climate dynamics—including previously underappreciated processes ...


Asylum applications respond to temperature fluctuations

Science, Vol. 358, No. 6370. (21 December 2017), pp. 1610-1614,


[Warming stresses developing countries] Weather-induced conflicts in developing countries spill over to developed countries through asylum applications. One approach to estimating the future impacts of climate change is to look at the effects of weather fluctuations. These transient shocks can be interpreted analytically as randomly distributed treatments applied to countries around the world. Missirian and Schlenker analyzed the relation between these localized shocks to agriculture and applications by that country's migrants for asylum in the European Union. When temperatures in the source ...


Temperature accelerates the rate fields become forests

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (16 April 2018), 201716665,


[Significance] The transition of abandoned fields into forests (secondary succession) has long informed ecologists’ understanding of community assembly and species interactions. Intriguingly, rates of secondary succession show a striking latitudinal pattern, with dominance by woody species (>50% cover) taking less than a decade in the southern United States, and up to 60 years in New England. We used a large-scale experimental network to test how multiple drivers (climate, soils, and the identity of dominant species) influence field-to-forest transitions. We found consistent evidence ...


Portugal wildfire management in a new era assessing fire risks, resources and reforms

(February 2018)


[Executive summary] Portugal has one of the highest forest fire risk rankings in Europe. Fire researchers all point to the same combination of contributing factors: shifting demographics with population moving from rural to urban areas, changes in land use with more agricultural and forested areas left unattended and not being maintained, and fragmentation of land ownership patterns that discourage investment in forest management and fire planning. The trend of annual burned area for the last four decades confirms a new level in fire activity in Portugal, despite ...


  1. Almeida, J., Relvas, P., Silva, L., Catry, F., Rego, F., Santos, T. 2007. Portuguese lookout towers network optimization using automatic positioning algorithms. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Wildland Fire Conference, 13-17 May, Seville, Spain. .
  2. Beighley, M., Hyde, A. C., 2009. Systemic risk and Portugal's forest fire defense strategy - An assessment of wildfire management and response capability.
  3. Beighley, M., Quesinberry, M., 2004. USA-Portugal wildland fire technical

Alternative pathways to the 1.5 °C target reduce the need for negative emission technologies

Nature Climate Change (13 April 2018),


Mitigation scenarios that achieve the ambitious targets included in the Paris Agreement typically rely on greenhouse gas emission reductions combined with net carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere, mostly accomplished through large-scale application of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, and afforestation. However, CDR strategies face several difficulties such as reliance on underground CO2 storage and competition for land with food production and biodiversity protection. The question arises whether alternative deep mitigation pathways exist. Here, using an integrated assessment model, ...


Climate-vegetation-fire interactions and feedbacks: trivial detail or major barrier to projecting the future of the Earth system?

Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, Vol. 7, No. 6. (1 November 2016), pp. 910-931,


Fire is a complex process involving interactions and feedbacks between biological, socioeconomic, and physical drivers across multiple spatial and temporal scales. This complexity limits our ability to incorporate fire into Earth system models and project future fire activity under climate change. Conceptual, empirical, and process models have identified the mechanisms and processes driving fire regimes, and provide a useful basis to consider future fire activity. However, these models generally deal with only one component of fire regimes, fire frequency, and do ...


Predicting climate change effects on wildfires requires linking processes across scales

Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, Vol. 2, No. 1. (January 2011), pp. 99-112,


Accurate process‐based prediction of climate change effects on wildfires requires coupling processes across orders of magnitude of time and space scales, because climate dynamic processes operate at relatively large scales (e.g., hemispherical and centennial), but fire behavior processes operate at relatively small scales (e.g., molecules and microseconds). In this review, we outline some of the current understanding of the processes by which climate/meteorology controls wildfire behavior by focusing on four critical stages of wildfire development: (1) fuel drying, (2) ignition, (3) ...


Projected increase in lightning strikes in the United States due to global warming

Science, Vol. 346, No. 6211. (13 November 2014), pp. 851-854,


[Abstract] Lightning plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry and in the initiation of wildfires, but the impact of global warming on lightning rates is poorly constrained. Here we propose that the lightning flash rate is proportional to the convective available potential energy (CAPE) times the precipitation rate. Using observations, the product of CAPE and precipitation explains 77% of the variance in the time series of total cloud-to-ground lightning flashes over the contiguous United States (CONUS). Storms convert CAPE times precipitated water ...


A projected decrease in lightning under climate change

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 8, No. 3. (12 February 2018), pp. 210-213,


Lightning strongly influences atmospheric chemistry1,2,3, and impacts the frequency of natural wildfires4. Most previous studies project an increase in global lightning with climate change over the coming century1,5,6,7, but these typically use parameterizations of lightning that neglect cloud ice fluxes, a component generally considered to be fundamental to thunderstorm charging8. As such, the response of lightning to climate change is uncertain. Here, we compare lightning projections for 2100 using two parameterizations: the widely used cloud-top height (CTH) approach9, and a new ...


Pathways limiting warming to 1.5°C: a tale of turning around in no time?

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 376, No. 2119. (02 April 2018), 20160457,


We explore the feasibility of limiting global warming to 1.5°C without overshoot and without the deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies. For this purpose, we perform a sensitivity analysis of four generic emissions reduction measures to identify a lower bound on future CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes. Final energy demand reductions and electrification of energy end uses as well as decarbonization of electricity and non-electric energy supply are all considered. We find the lower bound of ...


How cleaner air changes the climate

Science, Vol. 360, No. 6385. (13 April 2018), pp. 148-150,


Aerosols have a strong influence on the present climate, but this influence will likely be reduced over the coming decades as air pollution measures are implemented around the world. At a global level, aerosols have helped to reduce the warming effect from greenhouse gas emissions, and necessary reductions in air pollution may thus make it harder to achieve ambitious global climate and environmental aims, such as the Paris Agreement's 2°C target. Furthermore, the local nature of air pollution means that the ...


A sensible climate solution for the boreal forest

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 8, No. 1. (2 January 2018), pp. 11-12,


Climate change could increase fire risk across most of the managed boreal forest. Decreasing this risk by increasing the proportion of broad-leaved tree species is an overlooked mitigation–adaption strategy with multiple benefits. ...


Attribution of recent temperature behaviour reassessed by a neural-network method

Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, No. 1. (15 December 2017),


Attribution studies on recent global warming by Global Climate Model (GCM) ensembles converge in showing the fundamental role of anthropogenic forcings as primary drivers of temperature in the last half century. However, despite their differences, all these models pertain to the same dynamical approach and come from a common ancestor, so that their very similar results in attribution studies are not surprising and cannot be considered as a clear proof of robustness of the results themselves. Thus, here we adopt a ...


Agricultural policy can reduce wildfires

Science, Vol. 359, No. 6379. (01 March 2018), pp. 1001.1-1001,


[Excerpt] [...] Agriculture is an important driver of European wildfires. It is a major source of fire ignitions [...]. Additionally, farmland abandonment and policies promoting forestry increase fire hazard, as they lead to vegetation growth and fuel build-up in the landscape [...]. However, agriculture is also part of the solution. Agricultural areas, such as crops, orchards, and grasslands, are much less fire-prone, particularly if they include irrigated crops [...]. The European Union's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a powerful financial instrument ...


Why current negative-emissions strategies remain ‘magical thinking’

Nature, Vol. 554, No. 7693. (22 February 2018), pp. 404-404,


[Excerpt] Decarbonization of the world’s economy would bring colossal disruption of the status quo. It’s a desire to avoid that change — political, financial and otherwise — that drives many of the climate sceptics. Still, as this journal has noted numerous times, it’s clear that many policymakers who argue that emissions must be curbed, and fast, don’t seem to appreciate the scale of what’s required. [...] [\n] The 2015 Paris agreement gave politicians an answer: negative emissions. Technology to reduce the amount ...


Range dynamics of mountain plants decrease with elevation

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 115, No. 8. (20 February 2018), pp. 1848-1853,


[Significance] Shifts of upper range limits are a key response of mountain biota to climate change. However, assessing whether species profit or suffer from the changing climate requires the simultaneous evaluation of changes in species’ lower and upper range limits, optima, and abundances. Here, we provide an integrated assessment for 183 plant species of the European Alps. We demonstrate that, over recent decades, increases in abundance were more pronounced than range shifts, suggesting an in-filling process which decreases in intensity with increasing ...


Adapt to more wildfire in western North American forests as climate changes

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 18. (02 May 2017), pp. 4582-4590,


Wildfires across western North America have increased in number and size over the past three decades, and this trend will continue in response to further warming. As a consequence, the wildland–urban interface is projected to experience substantially higher risk of climate-driven fires in the coming decades. Although many plants, animals, and ecosystem services benefit from fire, it is unknown how ecosystems will respond to increased burning and warming. Policy and management have focused primarily on specified resilience approaches aimed at resistance ...


Humidity determines snowpack ablation under a warming climate

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 115, No. 6. (06 January 2018), pp. 1215-1220,


[Significance] Changes in the amount and timing of snowmelt have large effects on water for society and ecosystems. Using long-term records from across the western United States, we demonstrate that atmospheric humidity is a major control on how seasonal snow responds to warming temperatures. Specifically, we observe an increase in the frequency and magnitude of episodic winter melt events under higher humidity that may alter the timing of water availability. In lower-humidity regions, however, warming is associated with increased sublimation and/or evaporation ...


Global models underestimate large decadal declining and rising water storage trends relative to GRACE satellite data

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (22 January 2018), 201704665,


[Significance] We increasingly rely on global models to project impacts of humans and climate on water resources. How reliable are these models? While past model intercomparison projects focused on water fluxes, we provide here the first comprehensive comparison of land total water storage trends from seven global models to trends from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites, which have been likened to giant weighing scales in the sky. The models underestimate the large decadal (2002–2014) trends in water storage relative to ...



In Present and future probability of meteorological and hydrological hazards in Europe (2016), pp. 112-118


[Excerpt: Introduction] Uncontrolled forest fires impact both natural and built-up environments as well as humans. The occurrence of a forest fire requires the same basic elements as any fire: heat, oxygen and fuel. Preceding and prevailing weather conditions are crucial for setting conditions susceptible to fire in a forest. Drought, high temperatures and pronounced evaporation dry off organic material in forests, i.e. the fuel. Strong wind during/after ignition substantially intensifies spreading of the fire and raises the likelihood of the surface ...


Forest fire danger extremes in Europe under climate change: variability and uncertainty

Keywords: adaptation   array-of-factors   biodiversity   biodiversity-impacts   burnt-area   climate-change   climate-extremes   communicating-uncertainty   data-transformation-modelling   data-uncertainty   downscaling   droughts   dynamic-system   ecosystem-resilience   emergent-property   euro-cordex   europe   extreme-events   extreme-weather   fire-damage   fire-danger-rating   fire-management   fire-weather-index   forest-fires   forest-management   forest-pests   forest-resources   free-scientific-software   geospatial   geospatial-semantic-array-programming   human-behaviour   humidity   ipcc-scenarios   mastrave-modelling-library   mitigation   modelling-uncertainty   no-analog-pattern   peseta-series   precipitation   rcp85   resilience   resilience-vs-resistance   review   robust-modelling   science-policy-interface   science-society-interface   scientific-communication   semantic-array-programming   spatial-pattern   species-richness   species-specific-effects   temperature   vegetation-changes   wildfires   wind  


Forests cover over a third of the total land area of Europe. In recent years, large forest fires have repeatedly affected Europe, in particular the Mediterranean countries. Fire danger is influenced by weather in the short term, and by climate when considering longer time intervals. In this work, the emphasis is on the direct influence on fire danger of weather and climate. [\n] For climate analysis at the continental scale, a daily high-emission scenario (RCP 8.5) was considered up to the end ...


  1. de Rigo, D., Bosco, C., San-Miguel-Ayanz, J., Houston Durrant, T., Barredo, J. I., Strona, G., Caudullo, G., Di Leo, M., Boca, R., 2016. Forest resources in Europe: an integrated perspective on ecosystem services, disturbances and threats. In: San-Miguel-Ayanz, J., de Rigo, D., Caudullo, G., Houston Durrant, T., Mauri, A. (Eds.), European Atlas of Forest Tree Species. Publ. Off. EU, Luxembourg, pp. e015b50+. .
  2. Alberdi Asensio, I., Baycheva-Merger, T., Bouvet, A., Bozzano,

Climate impacts from a removal of anthropogenic aerosol emissions

Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, No. 2. (28 January 2018), pp. 1020-1029,


Limiting global warming to 1.5 or 2.0°C requires strong mitigation of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Concurrently, emissions of anthropogenic aerosols will decline, due to coemission with GHG, and measures to improve air quality. However, the combined climate effect of GHG and aerosol emissions over the industrial era is poorly constrained. Here we show the climate impacts from removing present-day anthropogenic aerosol emissions and compare them to the impacts from moderate GHG-dominated global warming. Removing aerosols induces a global mean surface ...


Mediterranean habitat loss under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate change projections - Assessing impacts on the Natura 2000 protected area network

Vol. 28547 EN (2017),


[Executive summary] This report describes the main findings of Task 10, Mediterranean habitat loss, of the Peseta III project (Climate Impacts and Adaptation in Europe, focusing on Extremes, Adaptation and the 2030s). Using an approach that integrates results from 11 sectors, the main objective of the Peseta III project is to make a consistent multi-sectorial assessment of the projected impacts of climate change in Europe. [\n] The Mediterranean region is one of the 36 global hotspots of biological diversity [1] and the most ...


Change impacts and adaptation in Europe, focusing on extremes and adaptation until the 2030s - PESETA-3 project, final sector report on Task 9: Droughts

Vol. 28990 EN (2017),


[Executive summary] This document reports the results of the analyses performed within the framework of the PESETA3 project regarding the Task 9 - Droughts. The main objective of this task is to provide robust scientific-based information to stakeholders and decision makers on the possible impacts of future climate scenarios on the occurrence of drought events. [\n] This report is focused on the analysis of the variations of soil moisture on the European continent, as well as of a soil moisture-based drought severity indicator ...


Will drought events become more frequent and severe in Europe?

International Journal of Climatology (09 October 2017),


As a result of climate change in recent past and unsustainable land management, drought became one of the most impacting disasters and, with the projected global warming, it is expected to progressively cause more damages by the end of the 21st century. This study investigates changes in drought occurrence, frequency, and severity in Europe in the next decades. A combined indicator based on the predominance of the drought signal over normal/wet conditions has been used. The indicator, which combines the standardized ...


Seventh national communication and third biennial report from the European Union under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - Required under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol

(December 2017)


[Executive summary] [::Introduction] The European Union (EU) and its Member States, both jointly and individually, have engaged in domestic and international action on climate change for a number of years and this has resulted in significant emission reductions. The staff working documents accompanying this report constitute the EU’s seventh national communication as required under Article 12 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Article 7 of the Kyoto Protocol, and its third biennial report as required under Decision 2/CP.17 of the ...


Extreme weather explicitly blamed on humans for the first time

Nature, Vol. 552, No. 7685. (2017), pp. 291-292,


Scientists take the bold step of saying phenomena wouldn’t have happened without global warming. [Excerpt] [...] Now, for the first time, climate researchers are reporting that some weather events would have been outright impossible without the warming influence of humanity’s greenhouse-gas emissions. [\n] This kind of confident assertion rarely makes its way into the scientific literature. Yet it appeared in three studies included in a special annual edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) dedicated to attributing the causes of ...


Greater future global warming inferred from Earth’s recent energy budget

Nature, Vol. 552, No. 7683. (6 December 2017), pp. 45-50,


Climate models provide the principal means of projecting global warming over the remainder of the twenty-first century but modelled estimates of warming vary by a factor of approximately two even under the same radiative forcing scenarios. Across-model relationships between currently observable attributes of the climate system and the simulated magnitude of future warming have the potential to inform projections. Here we show that robust across-model relationships exist between the global spatial patterns of several fundamental attributes of Earth’s top-of-atmosphere energy budget ...


Anthropogenic forcings and associated changes in fire risk in Western North America and Australia during 2015-2016

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society In Explaining Extreme Events of 2016 from a Climate Perspective, Vol. 99, No. 1. (January 2018), pp. S60-S64,


Extreme vapor pressure deficits (VPD) have been associated with enhanced wildfire risk. Using one model, we found for 2015/16 that human influences quintupled the risk of extreme VPD for western North America and increased the risk for extratropical Australia. [Excerpt: Introduction] In 2016, about 3.6 million hectares of land burned in the United States and Canada (NIFC 2017; NFD 2017). In Canada, a wildfire southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta, caused the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history and destroyed 2400 homes ...


Evidence for declining forest resilience to wildfires under climate change

Ecology Letters (12 December 2017),


Forest resilience to climate change is a global concern given the potential effects of increased disturbance activity, warming temperatures and increased moisture stress on plants. We used a multi-regional dataset of 1485 sites across 52 wildfires from the US Rocky Mountains to ask if and how changing climate over the last several decades impacted post-fire tree regeneration, a key indicator of forest resilience. Results highlight significant decreases in tree regeneration in the 21st century. Annual moisture deficits were significantly greater from ...


Repeated wildfires alter forest recovery of mixed-conifer ecosystems

Ecological Applications, Vol. 26, No. 6. (September 2016), pp. 1842-1853,


Most models project warmer and drier climates that will contribute to larger and more frequent wildfires. However, it remains unknown how repeated wildfires alter post-fire successional patterns and forest structure. Here, we test the hypothesis that the number of wildfires, as well as the order and severity of wildfire events interact to alter forest structure and vegetation recovery and implications for vegetation management. In 2014, we examined forest structure, composition, and tree regeneration in stands that burned 1–18 yr before a ...


Impact of asymmetric uncertainties in ice sheet dynamics on regional sea level projections

Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 17, No. 12. (04 December 2017), pp. 2125-2141,


Currently a paradigm shift is made from global averaged to spatially variable sea level change (SLC) projections. Traditionally, the contribution from ice sheet mass loss to SLC is considered to be symmetrically distributed. However, several assessments suggest that the probability distribution of dynamical ice sheet mass loss is asymmetrically distributed towards higher SLC values. Here we show how asymmetric probability distributions of dynamical ice sheet mass loss impact the high-end uncertainties of regional SLC projections across the globe. For this purpose ...


The real cost of energy

Nature, Vol. 553, No. 7682. (2017), pp. S145-S147,


All energy production has environmental and societal effects. But calculating them — and pricing energy accordingly — is no easy task. [Excerpt] [...] Electricity production is rife with externalities. Mining for raw materials often causes water pollution, habitat destruction and socio-economic harm. Burning coal pollutes the air, sickening and killing people, and introduces toxic mercury into the aquatic food chain. Nuclear-power plants require the clean-up and maintenance of radioactive materials after decommissioning. Energy production uses water, sometimes at the expense of agriculture and ...


US natural resources and climate change: concepts and approaches for management adaptation

Environmental Management, Vol. 44, No. 6. (2009), pp. 1001-1021,


Public lands and waters in the United States traditionally have been managed using frameworks and objectives that were established under an implicit assumption of stable climatic conditions. However, projected climatic changes render this assumption invalid. Here, we summarize general principles for management adaptations that have emerged from a major literature review. These general principles cover many topics including: (1) how to assess climate impacts to ecosystem processes that are key to management goals; (2) using management practices to support ecosystem resilience; ...


Less than 2 °C? An economic-environmental evaluation of the Paris Agreement

Ecological Economics, Vol. 146 (April 2018), pp. 69-84,


[Highlights] [::] 188 countries' INDCs have been analysed from a policies, finance and emissions point of view. [::] Policies and finance are faced up with socio-economic and biophysical constraints. [::] Unilateralism and finance approach lead to mismatches between policies and global objectives. [::] Constraints and mismatches could explain the Paris Agreement ineffectiveness. [Abstract] The literature dedicated to the analysis of the different climate agreements has usually focused on the effectiveness of the aims for emissions in the light of the advance in climate change. This article quantifies ...


Climate extremes and predicted warming threaten Mediterranean Holocene firs forests refugia

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 47. (21 November 2017), pp. E10142-E10150,


[Significance] Climate extremes are major drivers of long-term forest growth trends, but we still lack appropriate knowledge to anticipate their effects. Here, we apply a conceptual framework to assess the vulnerability of Circum-Mediterranean Abies refugia in response to climate warming, droughts, and heat waves. Using a tree-ring network and a process-based model, we assess the future vulnerability of Mediterranean Abies forests. Models anticipate abrupt growth reductions for the late 21st century when climatic conditions will be analogous to the most severe dry/heat ...


Warning signs for stabilizing global CO 2 emissions

Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 12, No. 11. (01 November 2017), 110202,


Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels and industry comprise ~90% of all CO2 emissions from human activities. For the last three years, such emissions were stable, despite continuing growth in the global economy. Many positive trends contributed to this unique hiatus, including reduced coal use in China and elsewhere, continuing gains in energy efficiency, and a boom in low-carbon renewables such as wind and solar. However, the temporary hiatus appears to have ended in 2017. For 2017, we project emissions ...


Global carbon budget 2017

Earth System Science Data Discussions (13 November 2017), pp. 1-79,


Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere – the "global carbon budget" – is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe data sets and methodology to quantify the five major components of the global carbon budget and their uncertainties. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry (EFF) are based on energy statistics and cement production ...


Towards real-time verification of CO2 emissions

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 7, No. 12. (13 November 2017), pp. 848-850,


The Paris Agreement has increased the incentive to verify reported anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions with independent Earth system observations. Reliable verification requires a step change in our understanding of carbon cycle variability. [\n] Emissions of CO2 from fossil fuels and industry did not change from 2014 to 2016, yet there was a record increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. This apparent inconsistency is explained by the response of the natural carbon cycle to the 2015–2016 El Niño event, but it raises ...


Impact of population growth and population ethics on climate change mitigation policy

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 46. (14 November 2017), pp. 12338-12343,


[Significance] We investigate how future population growth is relevant to climate change policy. The answer depends importantly on ethical questions about whether our ultimate goal should be to increase the number of people who are happy or rather to increase the average level of people’s happiness. We calculate the best (optimal) emissions reduction pathway given each of these two different goals that society might have and calculate how much cheaper it would be to avoid dangerous interference with the climate given a ...


How population growth relates to climate change

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 46. (14 November 2017), pp. 12103-12105,


[Excerpt] Currently, around 7.5 billion people live on our planet and scenarios for the future show a plausible range from 8.5 to over 12 billion before the population will level off or start to decline, depending on the future course of fertility and mortality (1, 2). These people will also have to cope with the consequences of climate change that may be in the range of 1.5 °C to more than 3 °C, depending on the scale of mitigation efforts. The ...


Enhanced poleward propagation of storms under climate change

Nature Geoscience (13 November 2017),


Earth’s midlatitudes are dominated by regions of large atmospheric weather variability—often referred to as storm tracks— which influence the distribution of temperature, precipitation and wind in the extratropics. Comprehensive climate models forced by increased greenhouse gas emissions suggest that under global warming the storm tracks shift poleward. While the poleward shift is a robust response across most models, there is currently no consensus on what the underlying dynamical mechanism is. Here we present a new perspective on the poleward shift, which ...


World’s carbon emissions set to spike by 2% in 2017

Nature, Vol. 551, No. 7680. (13 November 2017),


Increased coal use in China appears to be driving the first increase in global greenhouse-gas output since 2014. [Excerpt] [...] Humanity’s carbon emissions are likely to surge by 2% in 2017, driven mainly by increased coal consumption in China, scientists reported on 13 November. The unexpected rise would end a three-year period in which emissions have remained flat despite a growing global economy. [...] Several factors caused the world’s CO2 emissions to level out from 2014 to 2016, including an economic slowdown ...


Stay or go - How topographic complexity influences alpine plant population and community responses to climate change

Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics (November 2017),


In the face of climate change, populations have two survival options − they can remain in situ and tolerate the new climatic conditions (“stay”), or they can move to track their climatic niches (“go”). For sessile and small-stature organisms like alpine plants, staying requires broad climatic tolerances, realized niche shifts due to changing biotic interactions, acclimation through plasticity, or rapid genetic adaptation. Going, in contrast, requires good dispersal and colonization capacities. Neither the magnitude of climate change experienced locally nor the ...


Spreading like wildfire

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 7, No. 11. (November 2017), pp. 755-755,


The 2017 wildfire season has seen unusually high fire levels in many parts of the world, with extensive and severe fires occurring in Chile, the Mediterranean, Russia, the US, Canada and even Greenland. Is this a sign of things to come? [Excerpt] During January and February, Chile experienced what their president Michelle Bachelet called “The greatest forest disaster in our history”. The nation was not adequately equipped to tackle these fires, leading the government to enact a state of emergency and accept ...


Prepare for larger, longer wildfires



Climate change makes land management more urgent than ever, says Kathie Dello. [Excerpt] [...] Scientists must walk a careful line when attributing specific events to climate change. Wildfires are part of a healthy ecosystem and a fact of life in the western United States. Many aspects of a landscape affect them, including past fire suppression, land use and human carelessness. [\n] But climate change increases the threat: fires that do start are larger and last longer. Warmer summer temperatures mean more evaporation. Overall, ...


Natural climate solutions

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 44. (31 October 2017), pp. 11645-11650,


[Significance] Most nations recently agreed to hold global average temperature rise to well below 2 °C. We examine how much climate mitigation nature can contribute to this goal with a comprehensive analysis of “natural climate solutions” (NCS): 20 conservation, restoration, and/or improved land management actions that increase carbon storage and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions across global forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands. We show that NCS can provide over one-third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed between now and 2030 to stabilize ...


The exceptionally hot summer of 2007 in Athens, Greece — A typical summer in the future climate?

Global and Planetary Change, Vol. 67, No. 3-4. (June 2009), pp. 227-236,


Summer 2007 was abnormally warm for many areas of southeastern Europe, the Balkan peninsula and parts of Asia Minor with departures from the seasonal means exceeding 4 °C in some areas but also distinct periods of extremely hot weather. Greece experienced very likely the warmest summer of its instrumental history with record breaking temperatures being observed at a number of stations. The historical air temperature record of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA), extending back to the 19th century, was used in ...

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