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Reading Recommendations

April 2018

Time to refine key climate policy models

Alexander R. Barron

Ambition regarding climate change at the national level is critical but is often calibrated with the projected costs — as estimated by a small suite of energy–economic models. Weaknesses in several key areas in these models will continue to distort policy design unless collectively addressed by a diversity of researchers.

Nature Climate Change

Developing countries must lead on solar geoengineering research

A. Atiq Rahman, Paulo Artaxo, Asfawossen Asrat &Andy Parker

The nations that are most vulnerable to climate change must drive discussions of modelling, ethics and governance.


Ice-free Arctic projections under the Paris Agreement

Michael Sigmond, John C. Fyfe & Neil C. Swart

Under the Paris Agreement, emissions scenarios are pursued that would stabilize the global mean temperature at 1.5–2.0 °C above pre-industrial levels, but current emission reduction policies are expected to limit warming by 2100 to approximately 3.0 °C. Whether such emissions scenarios would prevent a summer sea-ice-free Arctic is unknown.

Nature Climate Change

‘Extreme’ Changes Underway in Some of Antarctica’s Biggest Glaciers


As unusually warm ocean water melts the ice from below, the glaciers’ grounding lines are receding fast, bolstering fears of worst-case sea level rise.

Inside Climate News

Quantified, localized health benefits of accelerated carbon dioxide emissions reductions

Drew Shindell, Greg Faluvegi, Karl Seltzer & Cary Shindell

Accelerating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions, including as a substitute for negative emissions, hence reduces long-term risks but requires dramatic near-term societal transformations. A major barrier to emissions reductions is the difficulty of reconciling immediate, localized costs with global, long-term benefits. However, 2 °C trajectories not relying on negative emissions or 1.5 °C trajectories require elimination of most fossil-fuel-related emissions. This generally reduces co-emissions that cause ambient air pollution, resulting in near-term, localized health benefits.

Nature Climate Change

Two degrees no longer seen as global warming guardrail

Orlando SIERRA

A world that heats up by 2C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) could see mass displacement due to shortages of food and fresh water and the loss of animal and plant species at an accelerated speed.


South American monsoon response to iceberg discharge in the North Atlantic

Nicolás M. Stríkis et al.

Here, we present a precisely dated speleothem record of South American monsoon precipitation covering the period encompassed by the last six Heinrich Stadials. Our monsoon record allows us to determine the timing of regional hydroclimatic expression of Heinrich Stadials over tropical lowland South America. By comparing our record with sea-surface temperature reconstructions from the subtropical North Atlantic, our results provide evidence connecting South American monsoon precipitation and methane release with the events of iceberg discharge depicted by the deposits of ice-rafted detritus.


Will the world ever be ready for solar geoengineering?

By Tien Nguyen

Many object to shielding the planet from the sun’s rays by injecting particles into the atmosphere, but a small band of researchers think the approach is worth studying before it’s too late


Global climate science group ponders effort to recruit more female authors

By Susan Cosier

The world’s leading climate science body is expected to decide this week on whether to establish a new task force on promoting gender equity within the male-dominated group. The move comes on the heels of a study finding that although the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has increased the proportion of women involved in writing its authoritative reports, barriers to participation remain.


Carbon dioxide addition to coral reef waters suppresses net community calcification

Rebecca Albright, Yuichiro Takeshita, David A. Koweek, Aaron Ninokawa, Kennedy Wolfe, Tanya Rivlin, Yana Nebuchina, Jordan Young & Ken Caldeira

Coral reefs feed millions of people worldwide, provide coastal protection and generate billions of dollars annually in tourism revenue. Ocean acidification poses a chronic threat to coral reefs by reducing the saturation state of the aragonite mineral of which coral skeletons are primarily composed, and lowering the concentration of carbonate ions required to maintain the carbonate reef. Reduced calcification, coupled with increased bioerosion and dissolution, may drive reefs into a state of net loss this century.


Researchers create new low-cost, sustainable material for reducing air and water pollution


A new class of hybrid materials shows promise as an affordable and sustainable product for reducing particulate matter in air and organic pollutants in wastewater. The material, produced inexpensively from an industrial waste by-product and naturally abundant polymers, performed more efficiently than activated carbon, the current gold standard.

Science Daily

Long-term monitoring is essential to effective environmental policy

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Environmental policy guided by science saves lives, money, and ecosystems. So reports a team of eleven senior researchers in Environmental Science & Policy. Using air pollution in the United States as a case study, they highlight the success of cleanup strategies backed by long-term environmental monitoring.

Science Daily

143 Million People May Soon Become Climate Migrants

By Laura Parker

Climate change will drive human migration more than other events, a new report warns. But the worst impacts can be avoided.


Nat Geo

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