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Celebrating Earth Day 2022

To mark this year’s Earth Day, we’ve selected some of the articles recently featured in PLOS’s new, multidisciplinary environmental journals to showcase the diverse nature of the research we publish. These articles collectively highlight the wide-ranging impacts of human activity on global ecology, climatology, and natural resources. They also emphasize the urgency of concerted and equitable action to protect the world’s ecosystems, climate and people and deliver a sustainable future for us all.

To discover more content from each of the three journals, visit their webpages:

PLOS Climate
PLOS Sustainability and Transformation
PLOS Water

PLOS Climate

Image credit: zcf428526 on Pixabay.

Long-term spatio-temporal variability and trends in rainfall and temperature extremes and their potential risk to rice production in Bangladesh

Mainuddin and colleagues demonstrate that ongoing trends in climatic conditions are likely to lead to severe impacts on current rice production systems in Bangladesh, highlighting an urgent need for adaptation measures.

Image credit: lpittman on Pixabay.

Future loss of local-scale thermal refugia in coral reef ecosystems

Dixon and colleagues show that climate change and rising ocean temperatures could lead to near-total loss of present-day safe havens for coral reefs by the end of the 21st century, even if global mean temperature rise is limited to 1.5 °C.

PLOS Sustainability and Transformation

Image credit: theSOARnet on Pixabay.

The hidden value of trees: Quantifying the ecosystem services of tree lineages and their major threats across the contiguous US

Cavender-Bares and colleagues find that trees- above all pines and oaks- provide $114 billion of ecosystem services per annum in the contiguous United States, far exceeding their commercial value from wood products and food crops. The provision of these services is increasingly threatened by climate change, fire risk, and emerging pests and pathogens.

Image credit: LTapsaH on Pixabay.

Maximising sustainable nutrient production from coupled fisheries-aquaculture systems

Willer and colleagues show that redirecting wild-caught fish currently used for aquaculture feed to human consumption could increase the efficiency of production and micronutrient transfer, as well as increasing system-wide sustainability by relieving pressure on fisheries stocks.

PLOS Water

Image credit: Matthias_Groeneveld on Pixabay.

Solar circulator to restore dissolved oxygen in a hypoxic ice-covered lake

Flynn and colleagues examine the potential of a technological solution to increase oxygenation of water in frozen-over lakes, with the aim of reducing mortality of vulnerable aquatic organisms across the winter.

Image credit: byrev on Pixabay.

“Where does it go?”: Perceptions and problems of riverine and marine litter amongst South Africa and Malawi’s urban poor

Kalina and colleagues explore public perceptions of pollution of aquatic ecosystems in low-resource urban communities in South Africa and Malawi, and provide recommendations around education, engagement, and equitable systemic change.

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