To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding of Earth's sensitivity to carbon dioxide, finds that permafrost thaw could release more carbon emissions than expected and that the uptake of carbon in tropical ecosystems is weakening. Adverse impacts on human society include increasing water shortages and impacts on mental health. Options for solutions emerge from rethinking economic models, rights-based litigation, strengthened governance systems and a new social contract. The disruption caused by COVID-19 could be seized as an opportunity for positive change, directing economic stimulus towards sustainable investments.
A synthesis is made of ten fields within climate science where there have been significant advances since mid-2019, through an expert elicitation process with broad disciplinary scope. Findings include: (1) a better understanding of equilibrium climate sensitivity; (2) abrupt thaw as an accelerator of carbon release from permafrost; (3) changes to global and regional land carbon sinks; (4) impacts of climate change on water crises, including equity perspectives; (5) adverse effects on mental health from climate change; (6) immediate effects on climate of the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for recovery packages to deliver on the Paris Agreement; (7) suggested long-term changes to governance and a social contract to address climate change, learning from the current pandemic, (8) updated positive cost–benefit ratio and new perspectives on the potential for green growth in the short- and long-term perspective; (9) urban electrification as a strategy to move towards low-carbon energy systems and (10) rights-based litigation as an increasingly important method to address climate change, with recent clarifications on the legal standing and representation of future generations.
Social media summary
Stronger permafrost thaw, COVID-19 effects and growing mental health impacts among highlights of latest climate science.
With the increased development of new tall fescue cultivars used in turf, it is important to understand their individual response to herbicide treatment. The effect of prodiamine on tall fescue root dry weight and root length of selected tall fescue cultivars was studied in the greenhouse in 1.3-m-deep pots of calcined clay. Prodiamine at 0.8 kg ai/ha did not significantly affect either root dry weight or root length. However, the mean root dry weight and maximum root length averaged over all cultivars were significantly reduced at 4 wk after treatment with 1.7 kg/ha. When the prodiamine treatments were repeated in a second experiment, both rates caused a significant reduction in the mean root dry weight and maximum root length but there was no significant difference between prodiamine rates. Single degree of freedom contrasts between the untreated and treated turfs for each cultivar had some differential response in root dry weight. The reduction in root dry weight in the prodiamine treatments was more pronounced in the second study because the turf was less mature. ‘Olympic’ and ‘Rebel’ tall fescue had significantly reduced root dry weight at the 1.7 kg/ha rate in first study; whereas, ‘Amigo,’ Olympic, ‘Sundance,’ and ‘Taurus' tall fescue had significant reduction in root dry weight at both 0.8 and 1.7 kg/ha prodiamine rates. ‘Midnight’ Kentucky bluegrass had significantly reduced root length at both prodiamine rates in the second experiment but in general there was little difference among tall fescue cultivars treated with prodiamine.
Miscanthus is a perennial rhizomatous C4 grass being evaluated in the United States as a potential bioenergy feedstock. Weed control during the first two growing seasons is essential for successful establishment. No herbicides are currently labeled for use in Miscanthus grown for biomass, but herbicides used on field corn might be safe to Miscanthus. Greenhouse experiments were conducted in 2007 and 2008 to evaluate the response of Miscanthus to numerous preemergence (PRE) and postemergence (POST) herbicides. Herbicides with activity only on broadleaf species, whether PRE or POST, did not exhibit injury or reduce Miscanthus biomass. Several herbicides, particularly those with significant activity on grass species, exhibited injury ranging from 6 to 71% (scale of 0 to 100) and/or reduced Miscanthus dry mass by 33 to 78%, especially at the highest rates applied. Field experiments were conducted in 2008 and 2009 with a selection of the herbicides used in the greenhouse experiments to evaluate the response of Miscanthus to herbicides applied PRE, POST and PRE followed by POST. Results from the field experiments generally confirmed those from the greenhouse experiments. PRE herbicides and herbicides with broadleaf-specific activity generally did not produce significant injury or reduce aboveground biomass while herbicides with grass activity tended to cause injury ranging from 22 to 25% and/or reduce biomass by 69 to 78%. With some exceptions, results support prior suppositions that herbicides used in corn are safe to use on Miscanthus and may provide potential herbicide options that growers can use when establishing Miscanthus.
Miscanthus sinensis is a perennial grass native to Asia, but since its introduction to the United States in the late 19th century, it has become both a major ornamental crop and invasive species. Previous studies of the ecology of M. sinensis in both its introduced and native ranges have suggested that it may be occupying a novel ecological niche in the introduced range. Miscanthus sinensis and its daughter species, Miscanthus × giganteus, are under evaluation as bioenergy crops; therefore, characterization of the ecology and environmental niche of M. sinensis is essential to mitigate the risk of fostering future invasion in the United States. In July 2011, we surveyed 18 naturalized M. sinensis populations spanning the U.S. distribution, covering a 6° latitudinal gradient from North Carolina to Massachusetts. Miscanthus sinensis populations ranged in size from 3 to 181,763 m2 with densities between 0.0012 and 2.2 individuals m−2, and strongly favored highly disturbed and unmanaged habitats such as roadsides and forest edges. Population size and individual plant morphology (i.e., tiller height, basal diameter, and tiller number) were not affected by soil characteristics and nutrient availability, though increased tree canopy cover was associated with reduced population size (P < 0.0001). Plant size and vigor were not significantly affected by low light availability, which supports previous suggestions of shade tolerance of M. sinensis. In summary, M. sinensis can tolerate a broad range of climatic conditions, light availability, and nutrient availability in the eastern United States, suggesting risk of further invasion beyond its current distribution in the United States.
Miscanthus × giganteus cv. Illinois is a high-yielding perennial grass crop being developed for cellulosic biomass production in the United States. It is a sterile cultivar and must be established using plantlets or rhizomes; this asexual propagation is relatively expensive, thereby limiting more widespread acceptance. Perennial, tetraploid, seeded types of M. × giganteus have been developed that could reduce establishment costs, while producing high biomass yields. Weed control during the year of establishment is essential because this grass crop does not compete well with weeds in the establishment year. Greenhouse and field experiments were conducted to identify PRE and POST herbicides that would not adversely affect seeded M. × giganteus emergence or growth. Imazethapyr and quinclorac applied PRE had no negative affect on M. × giganteus growth in the greenhouse with respect to seedling emergence, plant height, observed injury symptoms, or fresh weight. In the field, plant emergence was significantly higher with quinclorac plus atrazine than the nontreated control, and emergence with isoxaflutole plus atrazine was not significantly different from the control. Six herbicides applied POST in the greenhouse showed little or no negative effect on miscanthus growth. In the field, several PRE plus POST herbicide combinations did not negatively affect M. × giganteus growth; however, none of these provided adequate weed control under irrigated conditions. Further evaluation of PRE and POST herbicides is needed to identify robust weed control options that are safe on seeded M. × giganteus.
Miscanthus is a perennial, rhizomatous C4 grass grown in the European Union and studied in the United States as a bioenergy feedstock. U.S. farmers might be more willing to grow this perennial species if methods for its control were established. Experiments were conducted from 2007 to 2009 to evaluate methods to control miscanthus. As glyphosate rate increased from 0 to 3.6 kg ae ha−1 in a greenhouse trial, miscanthus dry weight decreased. Aboveground biomass in the summer following treatments decreased 82, 77, and 95% with fall, spring, and fall followed by spring applications of glyphosate (1.7 kg ae ha−1), respectively, compared with nontreated plots in field experiments. Summer shoot count was reduced by 41% compared with the nontreated control with fall followed by spring glyphosate applications. A second field experiment demonstrated that spring tillage with one or two spring glyphosate applications (2.5 kg ae ha−1 application−1) reduced aboveground dry biomass by 94 and 95%, respectively, and reduced miscanthus shoot number by 38 and 67%, respectively, in the same growing season. These experiments suggest that although glyphosate and tillage can reduce miscanthus biomass, complete control of a mature stand likely will require more than one growing season.
Perennial grasses are expected to comprise a substantial portion of the lignocellulosic biomass to meet renewable energy mandates in the U.S. in the next decade. As many warm-season grasses are slow to establish from seed, plantings are often compromised by weed interference during the establishment year. Greenhouse experiments were conducted to determine the tolerance of switchgrass and prairie cordgrass to several herbicides applied PRE or POST (at four different growth stages). Preemergence atrazine at rates ≤ 1.684 kg ai ha−1 in switchgrass and quinclorac at rates ≤ 0.279 kg ai ha−1 in prairie cordgrass did not significantly reduce emergence, plant height, or biomass yield 8 wk after treatment. When treatments were applied at the two- to three-leaf stage, only atrazine (≤ 0.123 kg ai ha−1) did not reduce switchgrass fresh weight and only 2,4-D ester (≤ 0.533 kg ae ha−1), nicosulfuron (0.018 kg ai ha−1), and quinclorac (0.140 kg ha−1) did not significantly reduce prairie cordgrass yield. Phytotoxic effects decreased for all herbicides with increasing growth stage at the time of treatment for both species. All evaluated herbicides were safe with respect to biomass yield on the respective grasses when applied at the latest growth stage (approximately five-leaf stage). These results show that viable PRE and POST herbicides are available for weed control during establishment of switchgrass and prairie cordgrass; however, all evaluated herbicides would likely reduce biomass yield in a mixture planting of both grasses.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.