Climate change

Ecology plays a central role in the management and conservation of ecosystems. However, as coral restoration emerges as an increasingly popular method of confronting the global decline of tropical coral reefs, an ecological basis to guide restoration remains under-developed. Here, we examine potential contributions that trophic ecology can make to reef restoration efforts. To do so, we conducted a comprehensive review of 519 peer-reviewed restoration studies from the past thirty years.
Elsevier, Materials Today Sustainability, Volume 9, September 2020
Solar light-driven water splitting provides a promising way to store and use abundant solar energy in the form of gaseous hydrogen which is the cleanest chemical fuel for mankind; therefore this field has been attracting increasing attention over the past decades.
CeO2 shows unique catalytic properties by an acid–base bifunctionality as well as redox properties. The acid–base bifunctional properties of CeO2 have been applied to the non-reductive CO2 conversion with alcohols such as dimethyl carbonate (DMC) synthesis from CO2 and methanol. CeO2 shows very high selectivity to DMC; however, the yield of DMC is strongly limited by the equilibrium. The combination of the synthesis of organic carbonates from CO2 and corresponding alcohols with suitable H2O removal methods can enhance the yield of the organic carbonates beyond the equilibrium limitation.
Manufacturing challenges are anticipated to become worse in the coming decades owing to global material and energy constraints combined with environmental issues associated with conventional processes. Addressing these difficulties calls for a significant amount of research to be conducted to establish robust new technologies that are cost-effective and energy efficient, while at the same time minimizing environmental pollution.
This special issue explores the influence that insects and other invertebrates have on ecosystem services and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and makes a case for insect science to promote a sustainability science approach.
Termites are amongst the main macroinvertebrate decomposers in tropical ecosystems and they exert additional impacts through the creation of biostructures (mounds, galleries, sheetings, etc.) with different soil physical and chemical properties, thereby impacting positively on numerous ecosystem services for humankind. Unfortunately, this positive or ‘bright’ role of termites is often overshadowed by their ‘dark’ side, that is, their status as pests threatening agriculture and constructions.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the guiding policy for agriculture and the largest single budget item in the European Union (EU). Agriculture is essential to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but the CAP's contribution to do so is uncertain. We analyzed the distribution of €59.4 billion of 2015 CAP payments and show that current CAP spending exacerbates income inequality within agriculture, while little funding supports climate-friendly and biodiverse farming regions.
Global climate change and land degradation are two grand changes facing humanity. In this perspective, we examine how degraded and abandoned farmland can be harnessed to fight climate change. Building upon and extending natural climate solutions, we suggest that the carbon capture and storage of abandoned farmland can be accelerated and maximized through restoring the diversity of plant species, applying biochar to soil, and co-developing renewable energy such as solar power. The benefits of these approaches extend far beyond climate-change mitigation and land restoration.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 40, August 2020
Tropical insects are astonishingly diverse and abundant yet receive only marginal scientific attention. In natural tropical settings, insects are involved in regulating and supporting ecosystem services including seed dispersal, pollination, organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling, herbivory, food webs and water quality, which in turn help fulfill UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Current and future global changes that affect insect diversity and distribution could disrupt key ecosystem services and impose important threats on ecosystems and human well-being.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Endocrine and Metabolic Research, Volume 13, August 2020
Decades of population-based health outcomes data highlight the importance of understanding how environmental exposures in pregnancy affect maternal and neonatal outcomes. Animal model research and epidemiological studies have revealed that such exposures are able to alter fetal programming through stable changes in the epigenome, including altered DNA methylation patterns and histone modifications in the developing fetus and infant.