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Talking Point articles

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Climate change predicted to lengthen transatlantic travel times

Paul Williams' study into the impact of changing winds on the duration of transatlantic flights will spur future research, says Isla R Simpson.

A perspective on the historical analysis of race and treatment storage and disposal facilities in the United States

Analysing the distribution of treatment, storage and disposal facilities across the United States to determine why they are concentrated in non-white and low income neighbourhoods, as Mohai and Saha have done, adds to our emerging understanding of environmental justice, say Paul B Stretesky and Ruth McKie.

Is international conservation aid enough?

Bare, Kauffman and Miller reckon that conservation aid alone is not enough to mitigate drivers of deforestation, and may even exacerbate forest loss. Elizabeth Law argues that this controversial result warrants investigation with nuance and robustness

Greenhouse gas emissions from Brazil's Amazonian hydroelectric dams

Dam-building is rapidly shifting to humid tropical areas, where emissions are higher than in other climatic zones, so the impact of these emissions needs to be given proper weight in energy-policy decisions, says Philip Fearnside.

Soil models: what’s in a name?

Researchers reviewing modelling of organic matter in soils discover that unique model names make their studies easier.

The challenges of studying capitalism and its discontents

Methodological challenges inevitably face scholars attempting to engage with the big questions of capitalism and justice, says Sonja Klinsky

More frequent moments in the climate-change debate as emissions continue

Having plotted a timeline of significant climate meetings and reports against metrics of atmospheric greenhouse-gas changes and global temperature, Chris Huntingford and Pierre Friedlingstein believe it is an open question whether the timeline implies a lack of progress in constraining climate change despite multiple recent keynote meetings, or the increasing level of debate is encouragement that solutions will be found to prevent any dangerous warming.

On methods for assessing water-resource risks and vulnerabilities

Much more can and should be done with new data and methods to improve our understanding of water challenges, says Peter Gleick.

Greater understanding is needed of whether warmer and shorter winters associated with climate change could reduce winter mortality

It's important that health systems continue to ensure adequate health protection against cold temperatures even as temperatures warm, says Kristie Ebi

Vulnerability – a fragile definition?

Researchers in disaster-risk reduction and climate-change adaptation don't see vulnerability the same way. Although their views are moving closer together, according to a new review.

Mediterranean climate future: an insightful look into the Basin's precipitation response to greenhouse gas forcing

Yochanan Kushnir discusses improvements in climate models to better simulate the impact of greenhouse gas warming in this critical world region.

Reporting carbon losses from tropical deforestation with Pan-tropical biomass maps

Data and methods are no longer an obstacle to the inclusion of REDD+ in a new climate agreement, argue Frédéric Achard and Joanna House.

1.5°C Special Report: let’s accept the challenge

We have to meet the UNFCCC’s request for details by 2018 of the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, argue Christopher Reyer and Katja Frieler

How does gender affect vulnerability to climate change?

Researchers must put more emphasis on nuance, review finds, while Asia and Central and South America lack studies

High-energy focus: bringing disciplines together

There’s more to high-energy particles than clouds and cosmic rays, says Giles Harrison of the University of Reading, UK.

Towards typologies of urban climate and global environmental change

We need an understanding of which kind of cities can contribute what kind of measures to mitigate and adapt to global environmental change, says Felix Creutzig.

The Arctic matters: extreme weather responds to diminished Arctic Sea ice

The short answer to whether the disappearance of multi-year Arctic sea ice will make extreme weather events more frequent is yes....and no, according to Jennifer Francis.

Industrial concessions, fires and air pollution in Equatorial Asia

There's a compelling justification to prevent reclassification of logging concessions into oil palm or timber concessions after logging, say Dominick Spracklen et al.

Oil palm deserves government attention in Brazil

José R Moreira and José Goldemberg analyse biodiesel production from oil palm plantations as one possible way to mitigate climate change while providing cost effective results.

Use of models and observations in event attribution

Gabriele Hegerl gives her take on an important step towards improving the reliability of event attribution results.