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  1. Over the course of more than three decades, Li-ion batteries have come to revolutionize the way we store and transport energy. These incredibly compact electrochemical devices rely fundamentally on the ability to reversibly insert lithium ions into densely packed arrangements of atoms. Of the tens of thousands of materials reported in the structural databases, only a very small number have been shown to be capable of accommodating the kind of fast ionic diffusion necessary to operate in practical devices. In honor of John B. Goodenough’s 100th birthday, this perspective will overview the current understanding of the kinds of structural features that help and/or hurt fast lithium ion transport through insertion hosts, with a particular focus on the role that the rotation of rigid subunits plays in the movement of lithium through the solid state.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 17, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Irrigated agriculture in snow-dependent regions contributes significantly to global food production. This study quantifies the impacts of climate change on irrigated agriculture in the snow-dependent Yakima River Basin (YRB) in the Pacific Northwest United States. Here we show that increasingly severe droughts and temperature driven reductions in growing season significantly reduces expected annual agricultural productivity. The overall reduction in mean annual productivity also dampens interannual yield variability, limiting yield-driven revenue fluctuations. Our findings show that farmers who adapt to climate change by planting improved crop varieties may potentially increase their expected mean annaul productivity in an altered climate, but remain strongly vulnerable to irrigation water shortages that substantially increase interannual yield variability (i.e., increasing revenue volatility). Our results underscore the importance for crop adaptation strategies to simultaneously capture the biophysical effects of warming as well as the institutional controls on water availability.

  3. There is an increasing appreciation that food–energy–water (FEW) nexus problems are approaching criticality in both the developing and developed world. As researchers and managers attempt to address these complex resource management issues, the concept of the FEW nexus has generated a rapidly growing footprint in global sustainability discourse. However, this momentum in the FEW nexus space could be better guided if researchers could more clearly identify what is and is not a FEW problem. Without this conceptual clarity, it can be difficult to defend the position that FEW innovations will produce desired outcomes and avoid unintended consequences. Here we examine the growing FEW nexus scholarship to critically evaluate what features are necessary to define a FEW nexus. This analysis suggests that the FEW nexus differs from sector-focused natural resource or sustainability problems in both complexity and stakes. It also motivates two new foci for research: the identification of low-dimension indexes of FEW system status and approaches for identifying boundaries of specific FEW nexuses.