Research shows increasingly frequent, more intense wildfires in the Western U.S. will dramatically shift the landscape over the coming decades, resulting in the conversion of forests to shrublands, grasslands, or hardwood-dominated ecosystems before 2100, but strategies such as prescribed fires, managed wildfires, and silvicultural treatments could help protect forests.
A critical tipping point for the Earth’s climate is the potential transformation of the world’s largest tropical forests from carbon sinks into net sources of emissions, which has been challenging for researchers to predict. But now, groundbreaking studies analyzing observations from Amazonian and African tropical forests find these forests have already reached or are nearing their “saturation points.” Halting deforestation and degradation of forests, while cutting global emissions is critical.
Given the long lifespans of power system investments, planning should start incorporating climate change effects. A new study provides a valuable example of an approach to more comprehensively integrate climate risks in long-term electricity planning. This work also illustrates an important win-win in that solar power is both an effective adaptation (helping to reduce summer peak) and carbon mitigation strategy, highlighting positive, no-regret investments.
Soil scientists disagree about whether soil carbon sequestration can effectively help decarbonize the atmosphere, but this debate does not undermine the substantive body of science supporting immediate, widespread adoption of practices protecting and restoring soil carbon.
As teleworking is increasingly used worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, research shows teleworking has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the level depends on context and, in some cases, can even increase emissions.
The Paris Agreement’s five year anniversary was marked by governments enacting policy to meet their Nationally Determined Contributions, as well as the U.S. announcing it will re-enter the pact. But what exactly does the U.S. stand to gain by rejoining, and what can nations gain from renewed ambition?
Research demonstrates well-designed policies can help biofuels and bioenergy meet niche energy needs sustainably, while alternative technologies mature and deploy at scale.
Scientific studies demonstrate how climate change is shaping wildfire activity in California, but additional research also shows aggressive action to reduce elevated fuel availability may reduce risk.
This research review outlines opportunities for climate-friendly stimulus packages to help economies recover and reduce emissions while promoting social and environmental co-benefits.
This research review details the costs, benefits, and justice implications of a rapid coal exit scenario and find it produces net societal benefits of $3.4 trillion, or 1.5 percent of global GDP.