IN THIS SUPPLEMENT
- China continues to increase its global share of research papers, but publication numbers are just one indicator that a country’s science is thriving. Nature Index 2017 China looks beyond the country’s impressive performance in key metrics and examines how it holds up in other factors that contribute to a functioning research ecosystem, such as collaboration, willingness to make data and research open, science communication and sound science policy.
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Cover Art: Mark Leong
Can we get over the polarizing discussions of the past?
“Will agriculture become more ecological or more efficient?” – Can we get over the polarizing discussions of the past, and just ask in how far and why more ecological is more efficient? “Will it define its markets globally or locally?” – Why not discussing the interplay between both, and the often observable occurrence of nested markets, and – most importantly – of the diverse marketing strategies of many farmers? Can we get over simplification? “Where must the state intervene?” – Good question! How can we for example foster the societal benefits of healthy food and a healthy diet? “Will we need to raise the price of food in the first world to increase its value?” – Again, why not differentiating a bit more and connecting the question more directly with the previous one about societal benefit and – just an example 😉 – SDGs.
Visit the Sustainable Agriculture discussion:
Scientists have documented a recent, massive melt event on the surface of highly vulnerable West Antarctica that, they fear, could be a harbinger of future events as the planet continues to warm.
In the Antarctic summer of 2016, the surface of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest floating ice platform on Earth, developed a sheet of meltwater that lasted for as long as 15 days in some places. The total area affected by melt was 300,000 square miles, or larger than the state of Texas, the scientists report.
That’s bad news because surface melting could work hand in hand with an already documented trend of ocean-driven melting to compromise West Antarctica, which contains over 10 feet of potential sea level rise.
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If we work towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, by rapidly curbing our CO₂ emissions and developing new technologies to remove excess CO₂ from the atmosphere, then we stand a chance of limiting warming to around 2℃.
The fundamental science is very well understood. The evidence that climate change is happening is abundant and clear. The difficult part is: what do we do next? More than ever, we need strong, cooperative and accountable leadership from politicians of all nations. Only then will we avoid the worst of climate change and adapt to the impacts we can’t halt.
The authors acknowledge the contributions of Wes Mountain (multimedia), Alicia Egan (editing) and Andrew King (model projection data).
We fact of the matter is: Americans don’t need Washington to meet our Paris commitment1, and Americans are not going to let Washington stand in the way of fulfilling it. That’s the message mayors, governors, and business leaders all across the U.S. have been sending.