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New research, February 5-11, 2018

Posted on 16 February 2018 by Ari Jokimäki

A selection of new climate related research articles is shown below.

The Figure is from paper #61.

John's new paper

1. Deconstructing climate misinformation to identify reasoning errors

"Misinformation can have significant societal consequences. For example, misinformation about climate change has confused the public and stalled support for mitigation policies. When people lack the expertise and skill to evaluate the science behind a claim, they typically rely on heuristics such as substituting judgment about something complex (i.e. climate science) with judgment about something simple (i.e. the character of people who speak about climate science) and are therefore vulnerable to misleading information. Inoculation theory offers one approach to effectively neutralize the influence of misinformation. Typically, inoculations convey resistance by providing people with information that counters misinformation. In contrast, we propose inoculating against misinformation by explaining the fallacious reasoning within misleading denialist claims. We offer a strategy based on critical thinking methods to analyse and detect poor reasoning within denialist claims. This strategy includes detailing argument structure, determining the truth of the premises, and checking for validity, hidden premises, or ambiguous language. Focusing on argument structure also facilitates the identification of reasoning fallacies by locating them in the reasoning process. Because this reason-based form of inoculation is based on general critical thinking methods, it offers the distinct advantage of being accessible to those who lack expertise in climate science. We applied this approach to 42 common denialist claims and find that they all demonstrate fallacious reasoning and fail to refute the scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic global warming. This comprehensive deconstruction and refutation of the most common denialist claims about climate change is designed to act as a resource for communicators and educators who teach climate science and/or critical thinking."

Climate change mitigation

2. Reports of coal’s terminal decline may be exaggerated

"Even though coal consumption has recently declined and plans to build new coal-fired capacities have been shelved, constructing all these planned coal-fired power plants would endanger national and international climate targets. Plans to build new coal-fired power capacity would likely undermine the credibility of some countries’ (Intended) Nationally Determined Contributions submitted to the UNFCCC. If all the coal-fired power plants that are currently planned were built, the carbon budget for reaching the 2 °C temperature target would nearly be depleted. Propositions about ‘coal’s terminal decline’ may thereby be premature."

3. The Effects of Solar Radiation Management on the Carbon Cycle

"Relative to a high-CO2 world, solar geoengineering, via cooling the surface ocean, would increase CO2 solubility, enhancing oceanic CO2 uptake. However, the effect from geoengineering-induced changes in ocean circulation and marine biology would be more complicated. Solar geoengineering would have a small effect on surface ocean acidification, but could accelerate acidification in the deep ocean. Solar geoengineering would reduce atmospheric CO2, but the relative contribution from the ocean sink and land sink is uncertain."

4. Intellectual property policies for solar geoengineering

5. Regional climate impacts of stabilizing global warming at 1.5 K using solar geoengineering

6. Time series GHG emission estimates for residential, commercial, agriculture and fisheries sectors in India

"It was observed that the residential sector generates the highest GHG emissions, followed by the agriculture/fisheries and commercial sector. In the residential sector, LPG, kerosene, and fuelwood are the major contributors of emissions, whereas diesel is the main contributor to the commercial, agriculture and fisheries sectors. CO2e emissions have been observed to rise at a cumulative annual growth rate of 0.6%, 9.11%, 7.94% and 5.26% for the residential, commercial, agriculture and fisheries sectors, respectively."

7. A multi-model assessment of energy and emissions for India's transportation sector through 2050

8. Comparisons of decoupling trends of global economic growth and energy consumption between developed and developing countries

9. Comparing North-South technology transfer and South-South technology transfer: The technology transfer impact of Ethiopian Wind Farms

10. The resilience of Australian wind energy to climate change

11. Small systems, big targets: Power sector reforms and renewable energy in small systems

12. European power markets–A journey towards efficiency

13. The impact of frames highlighting coastal flooding in the USA on climate change beliefs

14. Climate discourse: eluding literacy, justice & inclusion, by evading causation, privilege & diversity

15. Does Arctic governance hold the key to achieving climate policy targets?

16. Frequent but Accurate: A Closer Look at Uncertainty and Opinion Divergence in Climate Change Print News

17. Political orientation and climate concern shape visual attention to climate change

18. Does reduced psychological distance increase climate engagement? On the limits of localizing climate change

19. Co-producing ‘post-normal’ climate knowledge with communities in northeast Bangladesh

20. Source partitioning of methane emissions and its seasonality in the U.S. Midwest

21. Estimates and predictions of methane emissions from wastewater in China from 2000 to 2020

22. Global environmental costs of China's thirst for milk

23. Is Shale Gas a Good Bridge to Renewables? An Application to Europe

24. Defining climate change scenario characteristics with a phase space of cumulative primary energy and carbon intensity

25. The carbon footprints of secondary industry in China: an input–output subsystem analysis

26. Disclosure of climate risk information by the world’s largest companies

27. U.S. non-governmental organizations’ cross-sectoral entrepreneurial strategies in energy efficiency

Climate change

28. Coordination to Understand and Reduce Global Model Biases by U.S. and Chinese Institutions

Temperature and precipitation

29. Spatially Distinct Seasonal Patterns and Forcings of the U.S. Warming Hole

"We find that temperatures in the warming hole are associated with changes in climate indices over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, which are likely related to changes in the waviness of the jet-stream over the eastern U.S. We find evidence that the jet-stream exhibited a shift in the late 1950's coincident with the start of the warming hole, resulting in a greater tendency of northerly winds to bring cool air to the southern U.S."

30. Spatial-temporal changes of maximum and minimum temperatures in the Wei River Basin, China: Changing patterns, causes and implications

31. Spatio-temporal variability of dryness/wetness in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River Basin and correlation with large-scale climatic factors

32. Coherent variability between seasonal temperatures and rainfalls in the Iberian Peninsula, 1951–2016

33. Trends in mean and extreme temperatures over Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria

34. Signal detection in global mean temperatures after “Paris”: an uncertainty and sensitivity analysis

35. Trends in autumn rain of West China from 1961 to 2014

36. Variability and predictability of decadal mean temperature and precipitation over China in the CCSM4 last millennium simulation

37. Change in intensity and frequency of extreme precipitation and its possible teleconnection with large-scale climate index over the China from 1960 to 2015

38. Maximum and minimum soil surface temperature trends over China, 1965-2014

39. Climate change impacts in Iran: assessing our current knowledge

40. Changes of precipitation extremes indices in São Francisco River Basin, Brazil from 1947 to 2012

41. The relation between climate change in the Mediterranean region and global warming

42. Future temperature changes over the critical Belt and Road region based on CMIP5 models

43. Response of the Tropical Indian Ocean to Greenhouse Gases and Aerosol Forcing in the GFDL CM3 Coupled Climate Model

44. West Africa climate extremes and climate change indices

Extreme events

45. June 2017: the Earliest European Summer Mega-heatwave of Reanalysis Period

"This paper examines the characteristics of the heatwave that affected western and central Europe in June 2017. Using a novel algorithm, we show that its extension, intensity and persistence were comparable to those of other European mega-heatwaves but it occurred earlier in the summer. The most affected area was Iberia, which experienced devastating forest fires with human casualties and the warmest temperatures of the reanalysis period from daily to seasonal scales. The peak of the mega-heatwave displayed an unprecedented warm air intrusion due to a record-breaking subtropical ridge with signatures closer to those of July and August. The atmospheric circulation was the main triggering factor of the event. However, thermodynamical changes of the last decades made a substantial contribution to the event, by increasing the likelihood of surpassing high temperature thresholds. This episode could be a good example of a coming future, with high-summer mega-heatwaves occurring earlier."

46. Was the cold European winter 2009-2010 modified by anthropogenic climate change? An attribution study

47. Extreme Marine Warming Across Tropical Australia During Austral Summer 2015-16

48. Teleconnections between ENSO and rainfall and drought in Puerto Rico

"No evidence was found for a major control by ENSO over local monthly, seasonal, and yearly rainfall for any climate regions on the island. These results indicate that ENSO is not a main factor causing droughts in Puerto Rico for the study period and thus should not be a factor in predicting the potential for local dry periods or large precipitation deficits in the future."

49. Integrated drought risk assessment of multi-hazard-affected bodies based on copulas in the Taoerhe Basin, China

50. Assessing typhoon damages to Taiwan in the recent decade: return period analysis and loss prediction

51. Cyclone activity in the Arctic from an ensemble of regional climate models (Arctic CORDEX)

52. Continental United States Hurricane Landfall Frequency and Associated Damage: Observations and Future Risks

Climate forcings and feedbacks

53. Multidecadal variability in surface albedo feedback across CMIP5 models

"Throughout the 21st century, multi-model ensemble mean SAF increases from 0.37 to 0.42 Wm−2K−1. These results suggest models' mean decadal scale SAFs are good estimates of their century scale SAFs if there is at least 0.5K temperature change. Persistent SAF into the late 21st century indicates ongoing capacity for Arctic albedo decline despite there being less sea-ice. If the CMIP5 multi-model ensemble results are representative of the Earth, we cannot expect decreasing Arctic sea-ice extent to suppress SAF in the 21st century."

54. Aerosol optical depth over India

55. Atmospheric dynamics feedback: concept, simulations and climate implications

56. Water vapor radiative effects on short-wave radiation in Spain


57. Crustal heat production and estimate of terrestrial heat flow in central East Antarctica, with implications for thermal input to the East Antarctic ice sheet

58. Recent rift formation and impact on the structural integrity of the Brunt Ice Shelf, East Antarctica

59. The Arctic sea ice cover of 2016: a year of record-low highs and higher-than-expected lows

60. Humidity determines snowpack ablation under a warming climate

61. Decadal changes of surface elevation over permafrost area estimated using reflected GPS signals

"Our results show distinct temporal variations at three timescales: regular thaw settlement within each summer, strong interannual variability that is characterized by a sub-decadal subsidence trend followed by a brief uplift trend, and a secular subsidence trend of 0.26?±?0.02?cm?year−1 during 2004 and 2015."

62. CO2 loss by permafrost thawing implies additional emissions reductions to limit warming to 1.5 or 2 °C

"Inertia means that permafrost carbon loss may continue for many years after anthropogenic emissions have stabilized. Simulations suggest that between 225 and 345 Gt C (10th to 90th percentile) are in thawed permafrost and may eventually be released to the atmosphere for stabilization target of 2 °C. This value is 60–100 Gt C less for a 1.5 °C target. The inclusion of permafrost carbon will add to the demands on negative emission technologies which are already present in most low emissions scenarios."


63. Changes in hydro-meteorological conditions over tropical West Africa (1980–2015) and links to global climate

64. Global models underestimate large decadal declining and rising water storage trends relative to GRACE satellite data

Atmospheric and oceanic circulation

65. Insights into Atlantic multidecadal variability using the Last Millennium Reanalysis framework

"We find that the AMO is linked to continental warming, Arctic sea ice retreat, and an Atlantic precipitation shift. Low clouds decrease globally. We find no distinct multidecadal spectral peak in the AMO over the last 2 millennia, suggesting that human activities may have enhanced the AMO in the modern era."

66. Impacts of the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability on North American Summer Climate and Heat Waves

67. Effects of Greenhouse Gas Increase and Stratospheric Ozone Depletion on Stratospheric Mean Age of Air in 1960-2010

Climate change impacts


68. Adaptation privilege and Voluntary Buyouts: Perspectives on ethnocentrism in sea level rise relocation and retreat policies in the US

"Voluntary buyouts are a policy tool in the US that has the potential to help communities adapt to SLR. While buyouts have been resisted in the past, there is some indication that they are becoming more politically popular. Despite increased popularity, communities in Alaska who need to relocate because of repetitive flooding and sea level rise do not meet the basic requirements of the buyout program in a way that makes this policy applicable to their situation. We find that notions of the market, property, and individualism are ideological assumptions inherent to the buyout policies, which ultimately serve to disadvantage tribal communities as they attempt to relocate as an adaptation strategy to climate change."

69. Dew point temperature affects ascospore release of allergenic genus Leptosphaeria

70. Implications of climate change for shipping: Opening the Arctic seas

71. Implications of climate change for shipping: Ports and supply chains

72. Environmental evaluation of high-value agricultural produce with diverse water sources: case study from Southern California

73. Groundwater depletion limits the scope for adaptation to increased rainfall variability in India

"Using historical data on irrigation, rice yields, and precipitation, I show that irrigated locations experience much lower damages from increasing precipitation variability, suggesting that the expansion of irrigation could protect Indian agriculture from this future threat. However, accounting for physical water availability shows that under current irrigation practices, sustainable use of irrigation water can mitigate less than a tenth of the climate change impact. Moreover, if India continues to deplete its groundwater resources, the impacts of increased variability are likely to increase by half."

74. Effectiveness of time of sowing and cultivar choice for managing climate change: wheat crop phenology and water use efficiency

75. Valuing deaths or years of life lost? Economic benefits of avoided mortality from early heat warning systems

76. Respiratory hospital admissions and weather changes: a retrospective study in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA


77. Vulnerability of the Great Barrier Reef to climate change and local pressures

78. Drought neutralises plant–soil feedback of two mesic grassland forbs

79. Nonlinear responses of temperature sensitivities of community phenophases to warming and cooling events are mirroring plant functional diversity

80. Declining radial growth response of coastal forests to hurricanes and nor'easters

81. Tree rings reveal a major episode of forest mortality in the late 18th century on the Tibetan Plateau

"Our findings suggest that, besides the effect of drought in the late 18th century, large-scale forest mortality may be an additional factor that further deteriorated the environment and increased the intensity of dust storms."

82. Temperature effects on a marine herbivore depend strongly on diet across multiple generations

83. Weather-driven change in primary productivity explains variation in the amplitude of two herbivore population cycles in a boreal system

84. Phytoplankton community structure in 2011-2013 compared to the extratropical warming event of 2014-2015

85. Effects of temperature and precipitation on grassland bird nesting success as mediated by patch size

86. Long-term deepened snow promotes tundra evergreen shrub growth and summertime ecosystem net CO2 gain, but reduces soil carbon and nutrient pools

87. Phosphorus limitation and heat stress decrease calcification in Emiliania huxleyi

"We show that CO2 sequestration is negatively affected by both an increase in temperature and the resulting decrease in nutrient availability. This will impact the biogeochemical cycle of carbon and may have a positive feedback on rising CO2 levels."

88. Elevated CO2 concentrations reduce C4 cover and decrease diversity of understorey plant community in a Eucalyptus woodland

89. Plant geographical range size and climate stability in China: Growth form matters

Other impacts

90. Permafrost Stores a Globally Significant Amount of Mercury

Other papers

91. Potentials of meteorological characteristics and synoptic conditions to mitigate urban heat island effects

92. Greenland-wide seasonal temperatures during the last deglaciation

93. Synchronous multi-decadal climate variability of the whole Pacific areas revealed in tree rings since 1567

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Comments 1 to 1:

  1. Excellent research on deconstructing denialist myths, and fascinating.

    Regarding your example:

    P1: The climate has changed in the past through natural processes
    P2: The climate is currently changing
    C: The climate is currently changing through natural processes

    In summary this is of course one of the most frustrating denialist arguments, because the fact that climate changed before does not mean natural causes are a driving factor today. Its logically flawed before even needing to consider the science.

    However its also a frustrating argument, because I think there are other issues as well. I think this is how some denialists might see this particular myth:

    P1: The climate has changed in the past.
    P2: The climate is currently changing
    C: Change happens all the time, so why worry?

    The premises are true, but it is of course a false deduction because the argument lacks sufficient information on cause, consequences, dangers, and options available to humanity to change things to draw the conclusion. Its also a form of philosophical fatalism.

    Some denialists also see the myth in yet another way in my experience:

    P1: The climate has changed in the past, and humanity survived.
    P2: The climate is currently changing
    C: So why worry?

    The premisese are true, but are not sufficient reasons because mere survival still had huge costs, and the past is not fully understood, and relevant to todays more complex integrated technological world with billions of people. So the premises are misleading, or have inadequate information.

    This is possibly why "climate has changed before" is such a recurring and annoying myth, because it possibly combines three arguments in the one myth, all logically flawed. Its a sort of super myth.

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