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We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding about the remaining options to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, through overcoming political barriers to carbon pricing, taking into account non-CO2 factors, a well-designed implementation of demand-side and nature-based solutions, resilience building of ecosystems and the recognition that climate change mitigation costs can be justified by benefits to the health of humans and nature alone. We consider new insights about what to expect if we fail to include a new dimension of fire extremes and the prospect of cascading climate tipping elements.
A synthesis is made of 10 topics within climate research, where there have been significant advances since January 2020. The insights are based on input from an international open call with broad disciplinary scope. Findings include: (1) the options to still keep global warming below 1.5 °C; (2) the impact of non-CO2 factors in global warming; (3) a new dimension of fire extremes forced by climate change; (4) the increasing pressure on interconnected climate tipping elements; (5) the dimensions of climate justice; (6) political challenges impeding the effectiveness of carbon pricing; (7) demand-side solutions as vehicles of climate mitigation; (8) the potentials and caveats of nature-based solutions; (9) how building resilience of marine ecosystems is possible; and (10) that the costs of climate change mitigation policies can be more than justified by the benefits to the health of humans and nature.
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How do we limit global warming to 1.5 °C and why is it crucial? See highlights of latest climate science.
Storglaciären in northernmost Sweden has the world's longest ongoing continuous mass-balance record, starting in 1946. To extend this mass-balance record, we have reconstructed summer (bS) and winter (bW) mass balances separately back to the mass balance year 1780/81 with annual resolution. We used tree-ring data for bS and a set of circulation indices, based on the sea-level pressure, for bW. Both proxies have correlation coefficients with respective mass balance components of ca. 0.7. The reconstructed net balance (bN) of Storglaciären was well correlated to the observations during 1946–1980 (r = 0.8, p < 0.05). Our reconstruction agrees well with previously obtained results of northern Sweden glacier variability, where the predominantly positive bN years between 1890 and 1910 correspond to the well documented post-Little Ice Age advance of Storglaciären. Furthermore, the results suggest that bS, as a function of summer temperatures, is more important than bW in determining the bN, which is contrary to glaciers in the maritime parts of western Scandinavia. In general, bN has been negative over the last 220 yr, suggesting a predomination of continental conditions over northern Sweden. However, the influence of bW increased in the late twentieth century, indicating a shift to a more oceanic climate regime.
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic proinflammatory cytokine that plays a key role in the injuries and diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). A voltage-gated Na+ channel (VGSC) is essential for the excitability and electrical properties of the neurons. However, there is still limited information on the role of IL-6 in voltage-gated sodium channels. Our study aimed to investigate the effects of IL-6 on Na+ currents in cultured spinal-cord neurons.
VGSC currents were activated and recorded using whole-cell patch-clamp technique in the cultured rat spinal cord neurons. The effects of IL-6 concentration and exposure duration were examined. To determine whether any change in the number of channels in the plasma membrane can inhibit IL-6 on VGSC currents, we examined the expression of α1A (SCN1α) subunit mRNA level and protein level in the neurons before and after IL-6 induction using real-time polymerase chain reaction.
We verified that IL-6, through a receptor-mediated mechanism, suppressed Na+ currents in a time- and dose-dependent manner, but did not alter the voltage-dependent activation and inactivation. Gp130 was involved in this inhibition. Furthermore, the spike amplitude was also inhibited by IL-6 in the doses that decreased the Na+ currents.
VGSC currents are significantly inhibited by IL-6. Our findings reveal that the potential neuroprotection of IL-6 may result from the inhibitory effects on VGSC currents.
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