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 4 Issue 4 | September 2023


So far 2023 has seen hundreds of millions of people affected by devastating earthquakes and extreme weather. These events emphasize how much we still need to learn about the earth as an interconnected system that includes humans. The papers in this issue of AGU Advances provide excellent examples of how Earth and space scientists are approaching this complexity and underscore the critical role of long-term observations and experiments. 

My career has spanned all 6 IPCC reports and the increasing certainty that climate change is not only unequivocally detectable but accountable for increases in the intensity of some of this years’ weather extremes. Events like the upcoming global climate strike on 15-17 September (depending on where you live) demonstrate that people are taking the need for action seriously – increasing the pressure on science to propose and evaluate responses. Therefore, I also recommend the Commentaries in this issue that address ongoing challenges for including human responses in climate predictions, teaching in an era of cloud computing, and improving the scientific enterprise by ensuring we welcome the breadth of human diversity to our ranks. —Susan Trumbore, Editor in Chief


Fair Seas for All

Work at sea is key to our science, but, too often, transgender and gender-diverse scientists face obstacles and harassment that make field research a trial. A few simple steps can make things more inclusive. McMonigal et al.

Education Lies Beneath the Clouds of Earth Observation

Cloud-based Earth Observation offers unique opportunities for education, but leveraging this requires new teaching methods that emphasize technical fundamentals, ethics, and stakeholder engagement. Crowley et al.

Constraints Can Reduce Regional Climate Projection Uncertainty

Climate projections are uncertain because we don’t exactly know how the climate system responds to human actions, but combining interdisciplinary results can reduce uncertainty in future planning. Lehner et al.


Sensing the Color of Soil for Climate Modeling

The color of soil reflecting the Sun’s rays affects the Earth’s climate and water cycle. Using satellite data that senses many wavelengths improves soil reflectivity estimates, especially in deserts. Braghiere et al.

A Multidecadal View of Oceanic Storage of Anthropogenic Carbon

A decline in the ratio of ocean carbon accumulation to atmospheric carbon dioxide growth between 1994-2004 and 2004-2014 suggests a reduction in the sensitivity of the ocean carbon sink. Müller et al.

How Much Terrestrial Precipitation is Used by Vegetation?

Precipitation is partly used by vegetation and partly transformed into river flow. Quantifying the amount of water that is directly used by vegetation is essential to decipher climate change's impact. Hunt, Sahimi, & Ghanbarian 

Pleistocene Conveyer Belt in the Pacific

The cooling of the planet over time increased the water carrying capacity of the mantle and could have shrunk the oceans. Abell & Winckler

Low-Frequency Quakes Have Modest Effect on Slow Earthquake Cycle

Slow slip phenomena on subdaily scales, captured by seismic and GNSS data, show that low-frequency earthquakes are incidental to larger magnitude slow earthquakes, in which aseismic slip dominates. Mouchon et al.

Verifying Methane Inventories and Trends With Atmospheric Methane Data

Methane inventories are critical not only for understanding the global carbon cycle, but for informing policy about best approaches for reducing emissions to mitigate climate change. Worden et al.

Deepening Arctic Snowpack Drives Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greater snowfall will cause earlier-than-expected losses of ancient carbon from permafrost and further accelerate climate change. Pedron et al.

Barnacles Help Reconstruct Drift Path of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

Careful calibration of isotopes in a barnacle shell growing on ocean debris – in this case an airplane part – informs a new forensic method to identify its most probable drift path. Al-Qattan et al.

Geohealth Solution Sharing

Pesticide exposures can impact human and ecosystem health, and Andrade-Rivas et al. [2023] use a modeling approach applied to Ecuador that can be scaled and exported to limit negative impacts in other regions. —Gabriel Filippelli, GeoHealth

This article also may be read in Spanish.

Remote Carbon Flux Monitoring

An inexpensive system of automated gas sensors and open-source software, tested by Forbes et al. [2023] in a Kenyan savanna, will help democratize and expand science research on soil respiration. —Benjamin Bond-Lamberty, JGR: Biogeosciences

Arctic Warming Effects

Frozen flume experiments by Douglas et al. [2023] reveal the sensitivity of permafrost riverbank erosion to water temperature, bank roughness, and pore-ice content. —Marisa Repasch, JGR: Earth Surface

Fostering Sustainable Cities and Communities through Geoscience

AGU has curated a special collection of interdisciplinary research across our journals featuring articles that aims to guide us towards building inclusive, safe, and resilient communities globally. This special collection was inspired by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.


View AGU Advances archives