AGU Advances

A cross-disciplinary, gold open-access journal publishing full length, high-impact research articles across all of the Earth and space sciences. Submit your research.

Volume 3 Issue 4 | September 2022


One goal of AGU Advances is to provide a forum for commentary and opinion on the practice of Earth and space sciences. For example, we initiated a series of editorials and commentary that is part of the new cross-journal, AGU Journals Special Collection on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, a living collection aimed at providing a central portal for related topics and new contributions.

In this issue, early-career researchers expand on a discussion started by Emanuel on the need to balance between wrangling big data and taking the time to be curious and test novel ideas. Papers in this issue reflect examples of strategic use of models to ask novel questions (Harrison et al., Hohenegger & Stevens, Lin et al.) and the multiple uses of observations for confronting and improving models (Banerjee et al., Picard et al.) and documenting and attributing change in specific regions Feng et al., Wang et al.. Big data are here to stay, and we owe it to our early-career researchers to ensure they do not just manage them but have the fun of applying them to answer questions. —Susan Trumbore, Editor in Chief


Are We at Risk of Losing the Current Generation of Climate Researchers to Data Science?

“We highlight an urgent need for a better balance between data-intensive and foundational climate science activities, more open-ended research opportunities that reinforce the scientific freedom of early-career researchers (ECRs), and strong coordinated action to provide infrastructure and resources to the ECRs working in under-resourced environments.” Jain et al.


New Tool to Decipher Past Upper Troposphere Temperatures

Small variations in clumped O2 isotopes reflect temperatures in the upper troposphere. Bubbles measured in polar ice cores show the global lapse-rate appears to steepen during the Last Glacial Maximum. Banerjee et al., Viewpoint by Seltzer & Tyne

Oceans Warming Increases Xinjiang’s Precipitation, but Scarcity Stays

A transition toward an unusually wet condition due to ocean surface warming-induced increased precipitation will not alleviate the water scarcity risk in Xinjiang, China. Feng et al. 

The Long-Lasting Impact of a Nuclear War on the Ocean

Model simulations of the impact of a large-scale nuclear war reveal long lasting effects with much of the ocean not returning to pre-war levels despite the cessation of the initial cooling. Harrison et al. 

Why does it rain so much over tropical land?

Analyses of observations show that tropical land receives more rain than its fair share, owing to a proposed negative feedback that is not captured in current climate models. Hohenegger & Stevens 

A Burning Issue

California has lost 7% of its forest cover to climate change over the past 25 years. Wang et al. 

Microwave Metrics Improve Satellite Snow Observations

Two metrics, microwave grain size and polydispersity, can describe some of the snow microstructure. This formulation offers consistent prediction of observations across many regions in the Arctic, the boreal area, and Antarctica. Picard et al. 

Origin of Dawnside Subauroral Plasma Flows in Geomagnetic Storms

Solar eruptions cause geomagnetic storms that induce strong plasma flows in the ionosphere and affect space weather, including a special “dawnside” stream that occurs only during extreme storm events. Lin et al. 


Earth’s Oldest Rocks

The Acasta Gneiss Complex of bedrock in the Northwest Territories, Canada, contains the oldest rocks currently known on Earth (4.02 billion years old). By sampling and analyzing zircons from glacial eskers dating from about 20,000 years ago, Bilak et al. [2022] allow their extent to be better mapped and constrained. —Peter van der Beek, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems

Lunar Surface Morphology

Orbital missions and even rovers can only image or sample rocks very close to the surface. But Wagner and Robinson [2022] now present three-dimensional reconstructions that enable virtual exploration of pits on the Moon. —Laurent G. J. Montési, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets

Urban Water Use

Predictions of water use in urban water systems are crucial for reliable water supplies and sustainable management of water resources. The new graph convolutional recurrent neural network (GCRNN) by Zanfei et al. [2022] will enable water utilities to forecast water use, even if some sensors fail. —Jim Hall, Water Resources Research

Featured Special Collection

Environmental risk factors are often unevenly distributed across populations, leading to disproportionate exposures and health risks among marginalized communities. A special collection, “Geospatial data applications for environmental justice,” in AGU’s journal GeoHealth, invites submissions on novel geospatial technologies and data for monitoring, tracking, and assessing exposures to environmental hazards especially at neighborhood scales. This unprecedented access to data is opening avenues for mapping and analysis to characterize ethnoracial and socioeconomic disparities in the distributions of environmental stressors.  We welcome submissions that detail current research on the inequitable burdens of environmental risk factors in urban and rural areas, including papers that are transdisciplinary, and those that include geoscience, health, sociological, and/or community science approaches.

Call for Papers: here, including links to the submission sites. For further information, please see Using Data to Mitigate Inequitable Environmental Burdens published in Editor’s Vox, AGU Publications’ blog.

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