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Talking Point articles

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Overallocation, conflict, and water transfers

The paradox of pervasive overallocation may be that even as it heightens the need for water transfers, it also intensifies their collateral consequences, according to Dave Owen

Bias, complexity and uncertainty in ecosystem risk assessment: pharmaceuticals, a new challenge in scale and perspective

Risk assessment must expand its scale from the molecular and cellular to that of the ecosystem with real world conditions, say Lawrence K Duffy, Kriya L Dunlap and Anna R Godduhn

Water for animal products: a blind spot in water policy

Water-use efficiency in the food system as a whole remains a blind spot, according to Arjen Y Hoekstra, with national water policies focusing on "sustainable production" rather than "sustainable consumption"

Coastal subsidence and relative sea-level rise

Manmade subsidence may be the dominant contributor to relative sea-level rise in coastal environments where subsurface fluids are heavily exploited, according to S E Ingebritsen and D L Galloway

A new paradigm in oil-spill modelling for decision making?

Oil-spill models of intermediate complexity show great merit as a screening tool for decision making, according to Michel Boufadel and Xiaolong Geng

A temporary hiatus in warming of extreme temperatures is not unusual, nor inconsistent with model simulations of human-induced climate change

Michael Wehner examines trends in extreme temperatures during the warming hiatus

The real John Nye lecture: 65 years of glaciology

91-year-old physicist John Nye speaks at British Branch meeting of the International Glaciological Society

Crop heat stress in the context of Earth System modelling

Samuel Levis examines recent work on how best to evaluate crop heat stress during flowering

Has a warm North Atlantic contributed to recent European cold winters?

Noel Keenlyside and Nour-Eddine Omrani discuss the causes of northern hemisphere winter cooling.

Anthropogenic global warming threatens world cultural heritage

Marzeion and Levermann's inventory of the most vulnerable UNESCO world heritage sites under anthropogenic sea-level rise is a first step towards protection, says Anny Cazenave.

Clarifying anti-reflexivity: conservative opposition to impact science and scientific evidence

McCright et al. extend current research on conservatives' distrust of science by distinguishing between public trust in production versus impact scientists, says Riley Dunlap.

Can remote sensing aid bird survival?

Remote sensing can provide valuable information about bird habitat, says Scott Goetz of the Woods Hole Research Center, US.

Future crop production threatened by extreme heat

Uncertainties in the occurrence of heat stress under field conditions, plant responses to heat, and appropriate adaptation measures still need further investigation, say Stefan Siebert and Frank Ewert.

Eco-certification and greening the Brazilian soy and corn supply chains

The continued viability of eco-certification systems depends on strengthening institutions on the demand side, and ensuring farm-level costs on the supply side match price premiums reaching the farm level, say Leah K VanWey and Peter D Richards

Climate-change investment should focus on retiring coal

Vision Prize releases latest poll of expert opinion

Towards a new view of sustainable development: human well-being and environmental stress

The finding that emissions are decoupled from increased well-being is not only of scientific interest, it could also inform policy discussions, say Thomas Dietz and Andrew K Jorgenson

Complexity and determining dangerous levels of climate impacts

Chris Huntingford analyses the different responses of water scarcity for humans and water stress for ecosystems as climate changes.

Ten years of the Three Gorges Dam: a call for policy overhaul

Xiankun Yang and X X Lu discuss what we've learned from this controversial megadam over the past decade.

Moving beyond benefit–cost analysis of climate change

Jonathan Koomey examines a new approach to tackling climate change

Global vegetation model diversity and the risks of climate-driven ecosystem shifts

Ben Bond-Lamberty examines assessments of the outlook for global ecosystems