Climate Action NOW!
This week's issue of ISR is part of the #CoveringClimateNow journalism initiative involving more than 250 news outlets around the world to intensely covering the challenge of climate change, leading up to the UN climate summit today. 

Millions, including many scientists, strike around the world on #FridayForFuture

There isn’t much that focuses the mind like a deadline. Just ask any journalist, or indeed anyone working for a government. The story of politicians and climate change is partly one of decision makers putting off hard choices. But that can’t go on for much longer. As zero hour approaches, there can be no more kicking of climate cans. The time to act is now.

13 billion tones of ice were lost by Greenland on August 1, the most in a 24-hour period since records began in 1950. 'Ecological grief' was experienced by researchers around the world, from environmental scientists witnessing the dying Great Barrier Reef to ecologist monitoring mammalian eco-structure. 

World leaders — to a large extent constrained by a desire to protect fossil-fuel industries — continue to play for time. But the window for action is shrinking, so something different and more urgent must be done. Last month, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg did just that by sailing into New York harbour after a two-week transatlantic crossing to attend the UN climate summit. One sail featured the phrase ‘Unite Behind the Science’. Along with our colleagues in Covering Climate Now, we are united with all those who stand behind the consensus view of researchers. But there can be no more delay. Like the oceans we rise.

Extinction leads to restructuring, Science

By most accounts, human activities are resulting in Earth's sixth major extinction event, and large-bodied mammals are among those at greatest risk. Loss of such vital ecosystem components can have substantial impacts on the structure and function of ecological systems, yet fully understanding these effects is challenging. Tóth et al. looked at the loss of large-bodied mammals in the Pleistocene epoch to identify potential community assembly effects. They found that the demise of large mammals led to a restructuring and a shift from biotic to abiotic drivers of community structure. Understanding past changes may help predict the community-level effects of the extinctions we are currently driving.

The hard truth of climate change, by the numbers, Nature

A set of troubling charts shows how little progress nations have made toward limiting greenhouse-gas emissions.

ISP Sci. Rev. 32 (2019)
Editor: Shiwei Wang
Integrated Science Program
Northwestern University

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