10 New Insights in Climate Science 2020 – a Horizon Scan

10 New Insights in Climate Science 2020 – a Horizon Scan

Pihl, E., Alfredsson, E., Bengtsson, M., Bowen, K., Broto, V., Chou, K., . . . Zelinka, M. (2021). 10 New Insights in Climate Science 2020 – a Horizon Scan. Global Sustainability, 1-65. doi:10.1017/sus.2021.2

Abstract
A synthesis is made of ten fields within climate science where there have been significant advances since mid-2019, through an expert elicitation process with broad disciplinary scope. Findings include: 1) a better understanding of equilibrium climate sensitivity; 2) abrupt thaw as an accelerator of carbon release from permafrost; 3) changes to global and regional land carbon sinks; 4) impacts of climate change on water crises, including equity perspectives; 5) adverse effects on mental health from climate change; 6) immediate effects on climate of the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for recovery packages to deliver on the Paris Agreement; 7) suggested long-term changes to governance and a social contract to address climate change, learning from the current pandemic, 8) updated positive cost-benefit ratio and new perspectives on the potential for green growth in the short and long term perspective; 9) urban electrification as a strategy to move towards low-carbon energy systems; and 10) rights-based litigation as an increasingly important method to address climate change, with recent clarifications on the legal standing and representation of future generations.