Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are expected to enhance photosynthesis and reduce crop water use. However, there is high uncertainty about the global implications of these effects for future crop production and agricultural water requirements under climate change.

Investors and financial regulators are increasingly aware of climate-change risks. So far, most of the attention has fallen on whether controls on carbon emissions will strand the assets of fossil-fuel companies1, 2. However, it is no less important to ask, what might be the impact of climate change itself on asset values? Here we show how a leading integrated assessment model can be used to estimate the impact of twenty-first-century climate change on the present market value of global financial assets.

Climate change is projected to constitute a significant threat to food security if no adaptation actions are taken. Transformation of agricultural systems, for example switching crop types or moving out of agriculture, is projected to be necessary in some cases. However, little attention has been paid to the timing of these transformations. Here, we develop a temporal uncertainty framework using the CMIP5 ensemble to assess when and where cultivation of key crops in sub-Saharan Africa becomes unviable.

Grassland productivity is regulated by both temperature and the amount and timing of precipitation. Future climate change is therefore expected to influence grassland phenology and growth, with consequences for ecosystems and economies. However, the interacting effects of major shifts in temperature and precipitation on grasslands remain poorly understood and existing modelling approaches, although typically complex, do not extrapolate or generalize well and tend to disagree under future scenarios.

Most of the policy debate surrounding the actions needed to mitigate and adapt to anthropogenic climate change has been framed by observations of the past 150 years as well as climate and sea-level projections for the twenty-first century. The focus on this 250-year window, however, obscures some of the most profound problems associated with climate change.

The floating ice shelves along the seaboard of the Antarctic ice sheet restrain the outflow of upstream grounded ice1, 2. Removal of these ice shelves, as shown by past ice-shelf recession and break-up, accelerates the outflow3, 4, which adds to sea-level rise. A key question in predicting future outflow is to quantify the extent of calving that might precondition other dynamic consequences and lead to loss of ice-shelf restraint.

A succession of storms reaching southern England in the winter of 2013/2014 caused severe floods and £451 million insured losses. In a large ensemble of climate model simulations, we find that, as well as increasing the amount of moisture the atmosphere can hold, anthropogenic warming caused a small but significant increase in the number of January days with westerly flow, both of which increased extreme precipitation.

Carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation are a major cause of anthropogenic climate change. The deployment of wind and solar power reduces these emissions, but is subject to the variability of the weather. In the present study, we calculate the cost-optimized configuration of variable electrical power generators using weather data with high spatial (13-km) and temporal (60-min) resolution over the contiguous US.

Recent debate about agricultural greenhouse gas emissions mitigation highlights trade-offs inherent in the way we produce and consume food, with increasing scrutiny on emissions-intensive livestock products. Although most research has focused on mitigation through improved productivity, systemic interactions resulting from reduced beef production at the regional level are still unexplored.

Formal detection and attribution studies have used observations and climate models to identify an anthropogenic warming signature in the upper (0–700 m) ocean. Recently, as a result of the so-called surface warming hiatus, there has been considerable interest in global ocean heat content (OHC) changes in the deeper ocean, including natural and anthropogenically forced changes identified in observational, modelling and data re-analysis studies.