Residential heating with wood and coal is an important source of ambient (outdoor) air pollution; it can also cause substantial indoor air pollution through either direct exposure or infiltration from outside.

How often do people visit the world’s protected areas (PAs)? Despite PAs covering one-eighth of the land and being a major focus of nature-based recreation and tourism, we don’t know. To address this, we compiled a globally-representative database of visits to PAs and built region-specific models predicting visit rates from PA size, local population size, remoteness, natural attractiveness, and national income.

Half the epidemiological studies with information about menopausal hormone therapy and ovarian cancer risk remain unpublished, and some retrospective studies could have been biased by selective participation or recall. We aimed to assess with minimal bias the effects of hormone therapy on ovarian cancer risk.

Sustainable biomass can play a transformative role in the transition to a decarbonized economy, with potential applications in electricity, heat, chemicals and transportation fuels. Deploying bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS) results in a net reduction in atmospheric carbon. BECCS may be one of the few cost-effective carbon-negative opportunities available should anthropogenic climate change be worse than anticipated or emissions reductions in other sectors prove particularly difficult.

Climate extremes have profound implications for urban infrastructure and human society, but studies of observed changes in climate extremes over the global urban areas are few, even though more than half of the global population now resides in urban areas. Here, using observed station data for 217 urban areas across the globe, we show that these urban areas have experienced significant increases (p-value <0.05) in the number of heat waves during the period 1973–2012, while the frequency of cold waves has declined.

Air pollution is hypothesized to be a risk factor for diabetes. Epidemiological evidence is inconsistent and has not been systematically evaluated.

As the water vapor content in the atmosphere scales with temperature, a warmer world is expected to feature an intensification of the hydrological cycle. Work to date has mainly focused on mean precipitation changes, whose connection to climatic modes is elusive at a global scale.

The variability of the levels of atmospheric particulate matter PM10 and its composition is assessed in the rural and urban zones of Mexicali during fall and winter 2008-2009, using a low level volume Minivol sampler, with quartz and Teflon filters. During fall the Mexican norm was exceeded (120 μg/m3 in 24 hr) in only two occasions, while in winter it was exceeded twelve times. The predominant component in fall was geological material with 62.5% for the rural zone and 48.5% for the urban one.

Water soft paths begin from the vision that future water management has more to gain from reducing demand than from increasing supply. This article reviews three case studies of water soft path analysis in small urban areas in Canada, and one study of an urban planning process incorporating soft path concepts. The analytical studies indicate how communities can avoid the need for expansion of water infrastructure with negligible impacts on lifestyles or livelihoods.

The global number of dam constructions has increased dramatically over the past six decades and is forecast to continue to rise, particularly in less industrialized regions. Identifying development pathways that can deliver the benefits of new infrastructure while also maintaining healthy and productive river systems is a great challenge that requires understanding the multifaceted impacts of dams at a range of scales.