Writing in Nature Climate Change, Lin and colleagues show that the combined effect of storm climatology and sea-level rise will greatly shorten surge-flooding return periods. Future climate effects may cause the present-day 100-yr and 500-yr surge flooding in New York City (NYC) to occur every 3–20 yrs and every 25–240 yrs, respectively. (Correspondence)

The Rio+20 conference (20–22 June 2012) will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It will focus on two main themes — development of a green economy while fostering sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional frameworks necessary to achieve these goals, including the strengthening of international environmental governance. Areas identified for 'priority attention' are employment, energy, sustainable cities, food security, and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.

An important source of uncertainty in anticipating the effects of climate change on agriculture is limited understanding of crop responses to extremely high temperatures. This uncertainty partly reflects the relative lack of observations of crop behaviour in farmers’ fields under extreme heat. We used nine years of satellite measurements of wheat growth in northern India to monitor rates of wheat senescence following exposure to temperatures greater than 34 °C.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution humans have released ~500 billion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere through fossil-fuel burning, cement production and land-use changes. About 30% has been taken up by the oceans. The oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide leads to changes in marine carbonate chemistry resulting in a decrease of seawater pH and carbonate ion concentration, commonly referred to as ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is considered a major threat to calcifying organisms.

One potential impact from greenhouse-gas emissions is increasing damage from extreme events. Here, we quantify how climate
change may affect tropical cyclone damage. We find that future increases in income are likely to double tropical cyclone damage
even without climate change. Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of high-intensity storms in selected ocean
basins depending on the climate model. Climate change doubles economic damage, but the result depends on the parameters of

In recent years, international climate policy has increasingly focused on limiting temperature rise, as opposed to achieving greenhouse-gas-concentration-related objectives. The agreements reached at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Cancun in 2010 recognize that countries should take urgent action to limit the increase in global average temperature to less than 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels.

Determining how climate change will affect global ecology and ecosystem services is one of the next important frontiers in
environmental science. Many species already exhibit smaller sizes as a result of climate change and many others are likely to
shrink in response to continued climate change, following fundamental ecological and metabolic rules. This could negatively
impact both crop plants and protein sources such as fish that are important for human nutrition. Furthermore, heterogeneity in

Climate change can affect organisms both directly, by affecting their physiology, growth, and behaviour, and indirectly, for example through effects on ecosystem structure and function.