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We summarize what we assess as the past year's most important findings within climate change research: limits to adaptation, vulnerability hotspots, new threats coming from the climate–health nexus, climate (im)mobility and security, sustainable practices for land use and finance, losses and damages, inclusive societal climate decisions and ways to overcome structural barriers to accelerate mitigation and limit global warming to below 2°C.
We synthesize 10 topics within climate research where there have been significant advances or emerging scientific consensus since January 2021. The selection of these insights was based on input from an international open call with broad disciplinary scope. Findings concern: (1) new aspects of soft and hard limits to adaptation; (2) the emergence of regional vulnerability hotspots from climate impacts and human vulnerability; (3) new threats on the climate–health horizon – some involving plants and animals; (4) climate (im)mobility and the need for anticipatory action; (5) security and climate; (6) sustainable land management as a prerequisite to land-based solutions; (7) sustainable finance practices in the private sector and the need for political guidance; (8) the urgent planetary imperative for addressing losses and damages; (9) inclusive societal choices for climate-resilient development and (10) how to overcome barriers to accelerate mitigation and limit global warming to below 2°C.
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Science has evidence on barriers to mitigation and how to overcome them to avoid limits to adaptation across multiple fields.
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.
We investigated whether changes in nutrient availability affected N, P, S and polyphenol concentrations in different leaf-development stages of three brevideciduous and three evergreen dominant woody species in a nutrient-limited savanna woodland in Central Brazil. Treatments included eight years of annual fertilization with 100 kg ha−1 of N, P, N plus P and control, each replicated in four randomized 15 × 15-m plots. All species increased S concentrations (minimum 28%) in young and mature leaves in fertilized plots. Dalbergia miscolobium decreased total phenol concentrations with P (−34.3%, −23.7%) and NP fertilization (−28.2%, −17.1%). Blepharocalyx salicifolius increased total phenol (27.6%, 18.8%) and tannin (46.3%; 43.5%) in P fertilized and increased total phenol (33.9%) and tannin (27.8%, 43.5%) in NP fertilized plots. Total phenol concentration decreased with leaf age in Ouratea hexasperma, Styrax ferrugineus and Blepharocalyx salicifolius, which also decreased tannin concentration with leaf age. For all treatments, brevideciduous species had higher N, P, total phenols and tannin concentrations and lower S concentration than evergreens. These differences between phenological groups suggest that tropical ecosystems responses to environmental changes are more complex than anticipated by global vegetation models, with consequences for predictions in ecosystem functions and resilience.
Although many studies have now demonstrated that both richness and abundance of gall-inducing insect species are directly and indirectly (via the host plant) influenced by soil quality, the empirical evaluation of it in the field remains anecdotal at best. The effects of soil fertility on richness and abundance of gall-inducing insects associated with a widespread savanna species, Eremanthus glomerulatus, were evaluated under experimental field conditions in Brasilia, central Brazil. The effect of soil fertility on gall-inducing insects species richness was evaluated using three treatments: (1) plots fertilized with nitrogen; (2) plots fertilized with phosphorus; and (3) control plots: soils without fertilization. Species richness of gall-inducing insects (six species of Cecidomyiidae) did not differ among the treatments. Leaves with galls had higher nitrogen concentrations (mean = 15.0 ± 0.5 mg g−1), compared with leaves without galls (mean = 9.0 ± 0.7 mg g−1) on plants that occurred in soils with addition of nitrogen. Similarly, leaves with galls had higher foliar phosphorus concentration (mean = 1.0 ± 0.04 mg g−1) than leaves without galls (mean = 0.6 ± 0.05 mg g−1) in plots with addition of phosphorus. In galled leaves, a negative relationship between gall density and nitrogen concentration was found for one gall-inducing insect species, while three species showed a positive relationship between gall density and leaf nitrogen concentration. A negative relationship between gall density and concentration of leaf phosphorus was observed for four of the six gall-inducing insect species studied. No relationship was found between gall density and leaf nitrogen and phosphorus concentration in ungalled leaves. We argue that foliar nitrogen and phosphorus concentration respond to gall density in galled leaves and therefore, gall-inducing insect species are capable of manipulating their host plant, modifying the foliar nutrients of E. glomerulatus in sclerophyllous savanna.
Nutrient resorption efficiency of woody plants, litterfall and nutrient fluxes were investigated in a burned and an unburned cerrado plot between October 1997 and September 1999. A large experiment (Fire Project, Brasília, Brazil) on the effects of prescribed burnings was initiated in 1992. Cerrado plots were delimited and subjected to different fire regimes. Seasonal trend of litterfall was similar in both plots but the production in the burned plot was 42.2 g m−2 y−1 before the fourth prescribed fire (September 1998) and decreased by 22% 1 y after burning while in the unburned plot it was around 230 gm−2 y−1. Although nutrient concentrations in leaf litter were higher in the burned plot, the nutrient fluxes were 60–80% lower than in the unburned plot. Nutrient use efficiency (ecosystem level) was 4373 for P and 137 for N. Measured resorption efficiency for 10 cerrado species ranged from 14.5 to 37.2% for N and from 40 to 70.4% for P and in general, there were no differences between plots. N is in short supply, partly because of fire history, but the results, both at ecosystem and species levels (mean N/P in fresh leaves was 18), indicated a stronger limitation by P than by N.
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