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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #42 2022

Posted on 20 October 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Eyes North

This summer the Wilson Center Polar Institute convened a workshop Arctic Methane — Situational Awareness, Assessment & Policy Directions  "focusing on a stocktake of current and planned Arctic methane measurement, monitoring and modeling capabilities, and the challenges of bringing these components together in an integrated system that is positioned to inform future policy decisions and action." The event brought together a pantheon of distinguished researchers and policy experts with a focus on the subject area.

Why obsess over methane? While short-lived, methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas— gram-for-gram it's about 22 times more effective than CO2. Of course, there's more: methane decomposes into CO2 and water, with the former being our chief more long-lived culprit, and while decomposing methane also strips otherwise more useful hydroxl radicals from the atmosphere.

The workshop participants concentrated on methane produced directly as a result of recent warming, in the short term as opposed to the fossil methane in clathrates. Here, in a kind of two-step, warming temperatures thaw permafrost with its payload of organic detritus, then hungry critters (microbes) proceed to devour this organic materal, venting methane as they thrive. The faster we melt permafrost, the bigger our annual emissions of methane. They are "ours" given that we triggered the progression.

Why the Wilson workshop? Some of the gathering's conclusions explain impetus. From the report:

  • Arctic methane is underestimated in current carbon budgets, increasing its already significant global climate impact. Arctic methane should play an important role in global climate policy decisions and actions. However, the Global Methane Pledge does not fully address permafrost sources of methane release and warming.
  • Permafrost methane has significant potential to drive accelerated warming. There are no direct technical solutions for mitigating permafrost methane release. We currently have no integrated, strategic approach to track and predict carbon emissions from thawing permafrost.
  • Major scientific and technical gaps in measurement, monitoring and modeling capabilities produce large uncertainties in current and future trajectories of Arctic methane emissions.
  • Science assessments and policy decisions at pan-Arctic scale need accelerated and integrated focus in order to provide the basis for implementing actions at time scales required to meet global climate targets.

The reasons behind these observations are elaborated in the workshop's brief and highly readable report, included in this week's government/NGO section. 

Thanks to serendipity, a paper just publshed by Annual Reviews and also pivoting on "two-step methane" delves into much greater detail on  questions and potential challenges presented by decomposing perrmafrost. Permafrost and Climate ChangeCarbon Cycle Feedbacks From the Warming Arctic by Schurr et al. illustrates several major unknowns about how the future will unfold and methane emerge in the Arctic. There's a lot of raw material available for creating methane, and a lot of "we don't know what to expect." This is nicely encapsulated in point from the authors' conclusions:

Based on published projections across a range of techniques, three levels of CO2 and CH4 emissions (low, medium, high) that are plausible outcomes of a warming Arctic combine together into nine scenarios of cumulative additional net greenhouse gas emissions by 2100. The CO2-equivalent cumulative greenhouse gas emissions in these scenarios, which directly combine the effect of CO2 and the higher warming potential of CH4, range from 55 Pg C-CO2-e to 232 Pg C-CO2-e. In comparison, the 2019 emissions of Russia, OECD Europe, United States, and China, each scaled to 100 years, are 46, 88, 144, and 277 Pg C-CO2, respectively. The historic (1850–2021) cumulative release of fossil fuel carbon for Russia, Japan, United States, and China was 32, 18, 115, and 66 Pg C-CO2, respectively.

That's way too much uncertainty about a big kick in the climate to feel comfortable with. That uncertainty neatly leads us back to the Wilson Center Polar Institute's workshop recommendations: we urgently need to learn more. And, notably, while the Wilson Center mentions that there are no "direct technical solutions" for stuffing an unleashed Arctic methane genie back into its frozen bottle, Schurr & crew do remind us that indirect means are at our fingertips— we really do need to stop burning fossil fuels. 

Methane clathrates have been a subject of perennial concern amongst climate geeks, waxing and waning with the emergence of new research. Shurr et al. addresses this in conclusions, leaving some comfort: 

The idea of an abrupt “methane bomb” release of overwhelming levels (petagrams) of CH4 emissions occurring over one to a few years is not supported by current observations or projections. At the same time, the recent appearance of methane craters, a new phenomenon associated with elevated CH4 concentrations, is a reminder that Arctic carbon cycle surprises are likely to emerge as the Earth warms.

Other notables: 

The deglacial forest conundrum and The Role of Irrigation Expansion on historical climate change: Insights from CMIP6 together illustrate two ways of arriving at "we don't know enough yet to be confident of our future." As well, the two papers point in the same direction, namely that our mitigation and adaptation planning has good reason to lean in the direction of more caution. As we add features of nature and the human world to models, we're tending to find unanticipated negatives, and these stack up and together may lead to significantly worse outcomes than we might have believed or are planning to handle. As to specifics: the gains in carbon sequestration we're counting on from Arctic greening may arrive far later than we now think, and uncounted effects of irrigation at vast scales as practiced today and in the future may be concealing some significant warming, warming our plans currently don't include. 

Up in smoke: California's greenhouse gas reductions could be wiped out by 2020 wildfires Jarrett, Jina & Marlier: "In this short communication, we estimate that California's wildfire carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions from 2020 are approximately two times higher than California's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions since 2003." Begging the question, do our RCP assumptions include such effects? Because that's one year's emissions from one fairly small part of a much larger, growing global fire.

A Precautionary Assessment of Systemic Projections and Promises From Sunlight Reflection and Carbon Removal Modeling A conundrum: steadily growing expert assessment & consensus suggests we need to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. But just talking about this may tend to cement the very habits and behaviors making CCS necessary. Sean Low and Matthias Honegger explore. 

Modeling authority over a drowning coast "Climate change is political." Denial aside it's still true. Nobody fond of the world of facts disagrees with the need to deal with the reality our accidental, too-rapid influence on climate, but our choices in so dealing may trample people and communities. Including a fascinating exploration of hydrologic modeling of the lower Mississippi  with its delta, author Ned Randolph explores how "seemingly technical instruments can function as political projects," mindlessly helping to cause needless human wreckage in the process.

All of the above open access and free to read. 

152 articles in 71 journals by 919 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

Role of Vertical Mixing in the Upper Ocean in the Seasonal Variation of Arctic Amplification
Dai et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd037467

Observations of climate change, effects

Compound risk dynamics of drought by extreme precipitation and temperature events in a semi-arid watershed
Hu et al., Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106474

Cooling and Contraction of the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere from 2002 to 2021
Mlynczak et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd036767

Decadal Weakening of Abyssal South China Sea Circulation
Zhu et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl100582

Freshwater flux variability lengthens the period of the low-frequency AMOC variability
Liu et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl100136

Globally increasing atmospheric aridity over the 21st century
Fang et al., Earth's Future, 10.1029/2022ef003019

Increasing Hurricane Intensification Rate Near the US Atlantic Coast
Balaguru et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl099793

Multidecadal Variations in East Asian Winter Temperature Since 1880: Internal Variability Versus External Forcing
Miao & Jiang, Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl099597

Notable impact of wildfires in the western United States on weather hazards in the central United States
Zhang et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2207329119

Past and future ocean warming
Cheng et al., Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43017-022-00345-1

Rapid and Gradual Permafrost Thaw: A Tale of Two Sites
Minsley et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl100285

Robust variation trends in cloud vertical structure observed from three-decade radiosonde record at Lindenberg, Germany
Luo et al., Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106469

Tree-ring δ2H records of lignin methoxy indicate spring temperature changes since 20th century in the Qinling Mountains, China
Lu et al., Dendrochronologia, 10.1016/j.dendro.2022.126020

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects

How well do recently reconstructed solar-induced fluorescence datasets model gross primary productivity?
Shekhar et al., Remote Sensing of Environment, Open Access 10.1016/j.rse.2022.113282

On the statistical estimation of asymmetrical relationship between two climate variables
Frankignoul & Kwon, Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl100777

Performance evaluation of raw and bias-corrected ERA5 precipitation data with respect to extreme precipitation analysis: case study in Upper Jhelum Basin, South Asia
Ansari & Grossi, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04239-6

The impact of improved spatial and temporal resolution of reanalysis data on Lagrangian studies of the tropical tropopause layer
Bourguet & Linz Linz Linz, [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-159

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

Influence of internal variability on future changes in extreme wind speed over North America
Li et al., Global and Planetary Change, 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103968

On the ridging of the South Atlantic Anticyclone over South Africa: The impact of Rossby wave breaking and of climate change
Ivanciu et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl099607

Regional Differences in Summertime Extremely High Temperature in Japan due to Global Warming
Ito et al., Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 10.1175/jamc-d-22-0062.1

Soil Carbon Losses Reduce Soil Moisture in Global Climate Model Simulations
McDermid et al., Earth Interactions, Open Access pdf 10.1175/ei-d-22-0003.1

The Role of Irrigation Expansion on historical climate change: Insights from CMIP6
Al?Yaari et al., Earth's Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef002859

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

Assessments on Simulation of Pacific Blocking Frequency during Boreal Winter in CMIP6 Climate Models
Gao et al., Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 10.1016/j.dynatmoce.2022.101333

Consistent and flexible thermodynamics in atmospheric models using internal energy as a thermodynamic potential. Part I: Equilibrium regime
Bowen & Thuburn Thuburn, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 10.1002/qj.4385

Constraining CMIP6 projections of an ice-free Arctic using a weighting scheme
Zhao et al., Earth's Future, 10.1029/2022ef002708

Evaluation of CORDEX-CORE Regional Climate Models in Simulating Rainfall Variability in Rwanda
Safari et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7891

Performance of a regional climate model with interactive vegetation (REMO-iMOVE) over Central Asia
Rai et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00704-022-04233-y

Retraction Statement: Time-Dependent Cryospheric Longwave Surface Emissivity Feedback in the Community Earth System Model
, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Open Access pdf 10.1029/jgrd.58256

Stochastic downscaling of gridded precipitation to spatially coherent subgrid precipitation fields using a transformed Gaussian model
Switanek et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7581

The deglacial forest conundrum
Dallmeyer et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33646-6

Cryosphere & climate change

Monitoring and assessment of glaciers and glacial lakes: climate change impact on the Mago Chu Basin, Eastern Himalayas
Borah et al., Regional Environmental Change, 10.1007/s10113-022-01984-2

Observations of Modified Warm Deep Water beneath Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica, from an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
Davis et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 10.1029/2022jc019103

Permafrost and Climate Change: Carbon Cycle Feedbacks From the Warming Arctic
Schuur et al., Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Open Access 10.1146/annurev-environ-012220-011847

Regimes and Transitions in the Basal Melting of Antarctic Ice Shelves
Rosevear et al., Journal of Physical Oceanography, 10.1175/jpo-d-21-0317.1

Tidewater-glacier response to supraglacial lake drainage
Stevens et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33763-2

Sea level & climate change

Influence of Climate Variability on Sea Level Rise and its Teleconnection with SST Anomalies over the Indo-Pacific Ocean
Kumar et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7893

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Breeding stage and tissue isotopic consistency suggests colony-level flexibility in niche breadth of an Arctic marine bird
Parkinson et al., Oecologia, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00442-022-05267-9

Climate change and commercial fishing practices codetermine survival of a long-lived seabird
Gibson et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16482

Combined effects of warming and drought on plant biomass depend on plant woodiness and community type: a meta-analysis
Wilschut et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Open Access 10.1098/rspb.2022.1178

Combined impacts of future climate-driven vegetation changes and socioeconomic pressures on protected areas in Africa
Martens et al., Conservation Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/cobi.13968

Contemporary tree growth shows altered climate memory
Peltier et al., Ecology Letters, 10.1111/ele.14130

Contrasting life-history responses to climate variability in eastern and western North Pacific sardine populations
Sakamoto et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33019-z

Desert ecosystems in China: Past, present, and future
Wang et al., Earth, 10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.104206

Effects of warming temperatures on germination responses and trade-offs between seed traits in an alpine plant
Notarnicola et al., Journal of Ecology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/1365-2745.14014

Geographic range size, water temperature, and extrinsic threats predict the extinction risk in global cetaceans
Chen et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16385

Global patterns of sea surface climate connectivity for marine species
Petsas et al., Communications Earth & Environment, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-022-00569-5

Integrating natural gradients, experiments, and statistical modeling in a distributed network experiment: An example from the WaRM Network
Prager et al., Ecology and Evolution, 10.1002/ece3.9396

Marine heatwaves of different magnitudes have contrasting effects on herbivore behaviour
Joyce et al., Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-022-21567-9

Open habitats increase vulnerability of amphibian tadpoles to climate warming across latitude
Cheng et al., Global Ecology and Biogeography, 10.1111/geb.13602

Predicting the distribution of plant associations under climate change: A case study on Larix gmelinii in China
Chen et al., Ecology and Evolution, Open Access pdf 10.1002/ece3.9374

Predicting the effects of climate change on deep-water coral distribution around New Zealand—Will there be suitable refuges for protection at the end of the 21st century?
Anderson et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16389

Resilience of a tropical montane pine forest to fire and severe droughts
Swann et al., Journal of Ecology, 10.1111/1365-2745.14017

Role of Biodiversity in Ecological Calendars and Its Implications for Food Sovereignty: Empirical Assessment of the Resilience of Indicator Species to Anthropogenic Climate Change
Kassam & Bernardo, GeoHealth, 10.1029/2022gh000614

Soil warming alters fine root lifespan, phenology, and architecture in a Cunninghamia lanceolata plantation
Jiang et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109201

Species conflict at Earth’s edges – Contests, climate, and coveted resources
Berger et al., Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Open Access pdf 10.3389/fevo.2022.991714

Species life-history strategies affect population responses to temperature and land-cover changes
Albaladejo?Robles et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16454

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

Above- and belowground biomass and biomass carbon stocks in homegarden agroforestry systems of different age groups at three sites of southern and southwestern Ethiopia
Kassa et al., Carbon Management, Open Access pdf 10.1080/17583004.2022.2133743

Diazotrophs are overlooked contributors to carbon and nitrogen export to the deep ocean
Bonnet et al., The ISME Journal, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41396-022-01319-3

Evolving geographical gross primary productivity patterns in global lake systems and controlling mechanisms of associated phytoplankton communities since the 1950s
Jia et al., Earth, 10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.104221

How does soil water status influence the fate of soil organic matter? A review of processes across scales
Védère et al., Earth, 10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.104214

Land use and land cover changes in coastal and inland wetlands cause soil carbon and nitrogen loss
Tan et al., Global Ecology and Biogeography, 10.1111/geb.13597

Leaf litter breakdown along an elevational gradient in Australian alpine streams
Werry et al., Ecology and Evolution, Open Access pdf 10.1002/ece3.9433

Negligible atmospheric release of methane from decomposing hydrates in mid-latitude oceans
Joung et al., Nature Geoscience, 10.1038/s41561-022-01044-8

Nitrous oxide consumption in oxygenated and anoxic estuarine waters
Tang et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl100657

Three-dimensional mapping of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in soil microbial biomass and their stoichiometry at the global scale
Gao et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16374

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Faster accumulation and greater contribution of glomalin to the soil organic carbon pool than amino sugars do under tropical coastal forest restoration
Li et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16467

Feasibility of enhancing carbon sequestration and stock capacity in temperate and boreal European forests via changes to management regimes
Dalmonech et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Open Access 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109203

High-resolution neutron imaging of salt precipitation and water transport in zero-gap CO2 electrolysis
Disch et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33694-y

Minerals: A missing role for enhanced biochar carbon sequestration from the thermal conversion of biomass to the application in soil
Nan et al., Earth, 10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.104215

The effects of policy subsidy on the investment decisions of carbon capture and storage —A real-options approach
Zhang & Qing, Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, 10.1002/ghg.2186


A new dawn for energy storage: An interdisciplinary legal and techno-economic analysis of the new EU legal framework
Parra & Mauger, Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113262

Alberta's Renewable Electricity Program: Design, results, and lessons learned
Hastings-Simon et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113266

Analysis of the financial viability of high-powered electric roadways: A case study for the state of Indiana
Haddad et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113275

Capturing Solar Energy for Cathodic Protection of Metals: The Life of Photoexcited Charge Carriers
Xing et al., Advanced Energy and Sustainability Research, Open Access pdf 10.1002/aesr.202200134

Comparative review of international approaches to net-zero buildings: Knowledge-sharing initiative to develop design strategies for greenhouse gas emissions reduction
Satola et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, Open Access 10.1016/j.esd.2022.10.005

High Emission Scenario Substantially Damages China's Photovoltaic Potential
Lu et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl100068

Household energy service and home appliance choices in urban China
Han et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2022.09.021

Mainstreaming graphene in electrochemical energy storage devices: A Delphi-based adaptive priority-setting
Haidar et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, Open Access 10.1016/j.esd.2022.10.004

Photocationic Initiator Induced Synergy for High-Performance Perovskite Solar Cells
Wang et al., Advanced Energy and Sustainability Research, 10.1002/aesr.202200123

Principles of the Battery Data Genome
Ward et al., Joule, Open Access pdf 10.1016/j.joule.2022.08.008

The influence of countries' socioeconomic characteristics on the adoption of electric vehicle
Ruoso & Ribeiro, Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2022.10.003

Geoengineering climate

A Precautionary Assessment of Systemic Projections and Promises From Sunlight Reflection and Carbon Removal Modeling
Low & Honegger, Risk Analysis, Open Access pdf 10.1111/risa.13565


Aerosol-cloud interactions over the Tibetan Plateau: An overview
Liu et al., Earth, 10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.104216

Projecting Stratocumulus Transitions on the Albedo - Cloud Fraction Relationship Reveals Linearity of Albedo to Droplet Concentrations
Goren et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl101169

Climate change communications & cognition

Climate change in contemporary British and Irish poetry and poetic criticism: Literary representation and environmental activism
Xie, WIREs Climate Change, 10.1002/wcc.807

Cripping Environmental Communication: A Review of Eco-Ableism, Eco-Normativity, and Climate Justice Futurities
Cram et al., Environmental Communication, 10.1080/17524032.2022.2126869

Scaling Up Change: A Critical Review and Practical Guide to Harnessing Social Norms for Climate Action
Constantino et al., Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 10.1177/15291006221105279

The effect of environmental versus social framing on pro-environmental behavior
Klein et al., Journal of Environmental Psychology, 10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101897

The reproductive climate concerns of young, educated Chinese: ‘when the nest is upset, no egg is left intact’
Fu et al., Environmental Sociology, 10.1080/23251042.2022.2132629

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Agricultural policies against invasive species generate contrasting outcomes for climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation
Pérez-Méndez et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 10.1098/rspb.2022.1081

Breeding targets for heat-tolerant rice varieties in Japan in a warming climate
Masutomi et al., Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11027-022-10027-4

Contrasting life-history responses to climate variability in eastern and western North Pacific sardine populations
Sakamoto et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33019-z

Ecological sensitivity and vulnerability of fishing fleet landings to climate change across regions
Albo-Puigserver et al., Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-022-21284-3

Effects of land clearing for agriculture on soil organic carbon stocks in drylands: a meta-analysis
Wang et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16481

Impact of climate change on wheat yield and quality in the Yellow River Basin under RCP8.5 during 2020–2050
Long et al., Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2022.02.006

Impacts and economic costs of climate change on Mexican agriculture
Estrada et al., Regional Environmental Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10113-022-01986-0

Influences of climate variability on cocoa health and productivity in agroforestry systems in Ghana
Asitoakor et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Open Access 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109199

Pathways to sustainable land use and food systems in Canada
Zerriffi et al., Sustainability Science, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11625-022-01213-z

Responses of soil greenhouse gas emissions to land use conversion and reversion—A global meta-analysis
Feng et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16370

The impact of flooding on food security across Africa
Reed et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2119399119

Hydrology, hydrometeorology & climate change

Assessment of climate change impacts on glacio-hydrological processes and their variations within critical zone
Shafeeque et al., Natural Hazards, 10.1007/s11069-022-05661-9

Climatology of waterspouts in the Balearic Islands (1989–2020)
Reynés Vega et al., Natural Hazards, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11069-022-05662-8

Compound risk dynamics of drought by extreme precipitation and temperature events in a semi-arid watershed
Hu et al., Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106474

Early spring droughts in Central Europe: Indications for atmospheric and oceanic drivers
Haslinger & Mayer, Atmospheric Science Letters, 10.1002/asl.1136

Exploring spatio-temporal variation of drought characteristics and propagation under climate change using multi-model ensemble projections
Jehanzaib et al., Natural Hazards, 10.1007/s11069-022-05650-y

Flood risk management in Khorramabad watershed using the DPSIR framework
Karimi Sangchini et al., Natural Hazards, 10.1007/s11069-022-05507-4

Local groundwater decline exacerbates response of dryland riparian woodlands to climatic drought
Williams et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16376

On the occurrence of the observed worst flood in Mahanadi River basin under the warming climate
Pandey et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100520

On the recent negative relationship between Arctic Oscillation and Indian summer monsoon
Sandhya & Sridharan, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar, 10.1016/j.jastp.2022.105964

Statistical analysis of long-term precipitation in the Maghreb reveals significant changes in timing and intensity
Salhi et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04236-9

The unprecedented character of California’s 20th century enhanced hydroclimatic variability in a 600-year context
Zamora?Reyes et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl099582

Climate change economics

Alberta's Renewable Electricity Program: Design, results, and lessons learned
Hastings-Simon et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113266

Economic losses from hurricanes cannot be nationally offset under unabated warming
Middelanis et al., Environmental Research Letters, Open Access 10.1088/1748-9326/ac90d8

Mandatory disclosure is key to address climate risks
Carattini et al., Science, 10.1126/science.add0206

The impact of intellectual property rights protection on low-carbon trade and foreign direct investments
Dussaux et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113269

Climate change mitigation public policy research

A new dawn for energy storage: An interdisciplinary legal and techno-economic analysis of the new EU legal framework
Parra & Mauger, Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113262

Alberta's Renewable Electricity Program: Design, results, and lessons learned
Hastings-Simon et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113266

Can nature help limit warming below 1.5°C?
Deng et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16479

Comparison and analysis of mitigation ambitions of Parties’ updated Nationally Determined Contributions
Hai-Lin et al., Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2022.10.001

Constructing practices of engagement with users and communities: Comparing emergent state-led smart local energy systems
Soutar et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113279

Decision-making behavior of power suppliers in the green certificate market: A system dynamics analysis
Zhang et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113296

Energy transition or energy diversification? Critical thoughts from Argentina and Brazil
Kempt, ENVIRONMENT. TECHNOLOGIES. RESOURCES. Proceedings of the International Scientific and Practical Conference, Open Access pdf 10.17770/etr2019vol1.4204

Multinationals, research and development, and carbon emissions: international evidence
Gonenc & Poleska, Climate Policy, Open Access pdf 10.1080/14693062.2022.2135484

Optimizing climate related global development pathways in the global calculator using Monte Carlo Markov chains and genetic algorithms
Garcia et al., Carbon Management, Open Access pdf 10.1080/17583004.2022.2133014

Political signalling and emissions trading schemes in China: Insights from Guangdong Province
Xiang & van Gevelt, Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2022.10.007

Strategic energy and climate policy planning: Lessons learned from European energy efficiency policies
Economidou et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113225

Sustainable Development Goals fail to advance policy integration: A large-n text analysis of 159 international organizations
Bogers et al., Environmental Science & Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.10.002

The contribution of the German building sector to achieve the 1.5 °C target
Kropp et al., Carbon Management, Open Access pdf 10.1080/17583004.2022.2133015

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

A comprehensive risk assessment of Chinese high-speed railways affected by multiple meteorological hazards
Sun et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100519

Cooling access and energy requirements for adaptation to heat stress in megacities
Mastrucci et al., Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11027-022-10032-7

Ecosystem-based adaptation to address urbanization and climate change challenges: the case of China’s sponge city initiative
Ma & Jiang, Climate Policy, Open Access pdf 10.1080/14693062.2022.2131503

Examining the effects of flood damage, federal hazard mitigation assistance, and flood insurance policy on population migration in the conterminous US between 2010 and 2019
Han & Ye, Urban Climate, 10.1016/j.uclim.2022.101321

Geospatiality of sea level rise impacts and communities’ adaptation: a bibliometric analysis and systematic review
Ankrah et al., Natural Hazards, 10.1007/s11069-022-05675-3

Global insect decline is the result of wilful political failure: A battle plan for entomology
Donkersley et al., Ecology and Evolution, Open Access 10.1002/ece3.9417

Importance of assessing outdoor thermal comfort and its use in urban adaptation strategies: a case study of Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Savi? et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04237-8

Indicators and participatory processes: a framework for assessing integrated climate vulnerability and risk as applied in Los Angeles County, California
Fleming et al., Natural Hazards, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11069-022-05628-w

Modeling authority over a drowning coast
Randolph, Environmental Politics, Open Access pdf 10.1080/09644016.2022.2113357

On Some Foundational Issues Concerning the Relationship Between Risk and Resilience
Aven, Risk Analysis, Open Access 10.1111/risa.13848

Realities of bridge resilience in Small Island Developing States
Trigg et al., Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11027-022-10035-4

Systemic Risk: The Threat to Societal Diversity and Coherence
Renn & Lucas, Risk Analysis, Open Access pdf 10.1111/risa.13654

Women and climate change adaptation behaviour: What’s the problem and solution?
Goli et al., Climate and Development, Open Access 10.1080/17565529.2022.2121597

Climate change impacts on human health

Malaria metrics distribution under global warming: assessment of the VECTRI malaria model over Cameroon
Mbouna et al., International Journal of Biometeorology, 10.1007/s00484-022-02388-x

Up in smoke: California's greenhouse gas reductions could be wiped out by 2020 wildfires
Jerrett et al., Environmental Pollution, Open Access 10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119888

Viral spillover risk increases with climate change in High Arctic lake sediments
Lemieux et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Open Access 10.1098/rspb.2022.1073


Challenging the values of the polluter elite: A global consequentialist response to Evensen and Graham's (2022) ‘The irreplaceable virtues of in-person conferences’
Whitmarsh & Kreil, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101881

Soil temperature mitigation due to vegetation biophysical feedbacks
Yu et al., Global and Planetary Change, 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103971

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Running, Earth's Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003113

Opinion: Coordinated development of emission inventories for climate forcers and air pollutants
Smith et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2021-1059

Systemic Risks from Different Perspectives
Renn et al., Risk Analysis, Open Access pdf 10.1111/risa.13657

Theory of Systemic Risks: Insights from Physics and Chemistry
Lucas, Risk Analysis, Open Access pdf 10.1111/risa.13558

Transparent peer review for all
Justman, Cell Systems, Open Access pdf 10.1016/j.cels.2019.07.002

Articles/Reports from Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations Addressing Aspects of Climate Change

Quantitative Comparison of LCAs On The Current State of Advanced Recycling Technologies, Lauren Creadore and Marco Castaldi, The City College of New York

The authors conducted a review of 13 recently completed Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) on the advanced recycling of plastic material. Their main objective was to summarize findings regarding the environmental impacts and assess similarities and differences in the resultant trends from those studies. The LCAs used different methods, but each included global warming potential data from advanced recycling of post-use plastics. The LCAs covered in the report include advanced recycling processes at large scale and high commercial readiness, such as pyrolysis, reforming, and gasification.

Extreme Heat. Preparing for the Heatwaves of the Future, Puley et al., United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

Extreme heat is a silent killer whose impacts are certain to grow, posing huge challenges to sustainable development and creating new emergency needs that will demand a humanitarian response. There is compelling evidence that the world’s lowest-income countries — those least responsible for climate change — are already experiencing disproportionate increases in extreme heat. The combined effects of warming, aging, and urbanization will cause a significant increase in the number of at-risk people in developing countries in the coming decades. Projected future death rates from extreme heat are staggeringly high — comparable in magnitude by the end of the century to all cancers or all infectious diseases — and staggeringly unequal, with people in poorer countries seeing far greater levels of increase. The occurrence of extreme-heat events is unprecedented in the observed record and will grow with increasing global warming, according to the Sixth Assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Every increment of warming matters and the projected increases are greatest for the rarest and most extreme events. An extreme-heat event that would have occurred once in 50 years in a climate without human influence is now nearly five times as likely. Under 2°C of warming, an extreme-heat event is projected to be nearly 14 times as likely and to bring heat and humidity levels that are far more dangerous.

An Assessment of Hydropower Potential at National Conduits, Kao et al., Oak Ridge National Laboratory

For the purposes of the study, a conduit is defined as “any tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar manmade water conveyance that is operated for the distribution of water for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption and not primarily for the generation of electricity.”1 Such conduits include irrigation canals and ditches, pipes in municipal water and wastewater systems, and cooling water discharge pipes at thermoelectric power station stations.

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2022, Schneider et al., Mycle Schneider Consulting

The authors provide the status and trends of the international nuclear industry. They provide a comprehensive overview of nuclear power plant data, including information on operation, production, construction, and decommissioning. They assess the status of new-build programs in existing as well as in potential newcomer nuclear countries. They also compare the development of nuclear power and renewable energy globally.

Casting drought: How climate change is contributing to uncertain weather and how BC Hydro’s generation system is adapting, BC Hydro

British Columbia is experiencing one of its warmest and driest late summer and early fall seasons on record so far. Daily high temperatures in September and early October were well into the mid-70s-to-mid-80s, and dozens of daily temperature records have been broken across the province every week. The unusually dry weather is posing challenges for B.C. rivers and watersheds, where water levels are near record lows in some areas, posing a threat to fish habitats. With little precipitation in the near-term forecast, BC Hydro is helping by managing its system and maintaining downstream water flows to protect the environment while continuing to supply safe and reliable power to its customers.

Arctic Methane — Situational Awareness, Assessment & Policy Directions, Goodman et al., Wilson Center Polar Institute

The authors summarize the results of an Arctic methane science and policy virtual workshop, held on June 23rd, 2022. The workshop brought together a diverse group of high-level science and policy expertise for a workshop focusing on a stocktake of current and planned Arctic methane measurement, monitoring and modeling capabilities, and the challenges of bringing these components together in an integrated system that is positioned to inform future policy decisions and action.

The 5 Cs of Agrivoltaic Success Factors in the United States: Lessons From the InSPIRE Research Study, Macknick et al., National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The concept of agrivoltaics (combining agriculture and solar photovoltaic technologies on the same land in novel configurations) has emerged as an approach to mitigate conflicts between solar and agricultural activities by providing mutual benefits and added value to each sector. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has supported agrivoltaics research since 2015 through its Innovative Solar Practices Integrated with Rural Economies and Ecosystems (InSPIRE) research project. The InSPIRE project is the most comprehensive coordinated research effort on agrivoltaics in the United States. The project has examined opportunities and trade-offs at over 25 sites across the country that span crop production, pollinator habitat, ecosystem services, and livestock production. Integrating research activities with active commercial agricultural operations can introduce unique challenges for both researchers and site operators. The authors highlight both technical and nontechnical insights from the InSPIRE agrivoltaic field research sites from 2015– 2021 to support (i) appropriate deployment of agrivoltaic projects, (ii) more successful agrivoltaics research, and (iii) more effective partnerships on agrivoltaic projects. The lessons discussed are focused less on specific case study outcomes (i.e., the percent change in crop yield in an agrivoltaics configuration) and more on the elements that enable agrivoltaics projects to be installed and operated and the factors that facilitate research at those sites.

Cybersecurity Considerations for Distributed Energy Resources on the U.S. Electric Grid, Department of Energy

To address the impacts of climate change, the U.S. electric grid will be undergoing significant changes by integrating clean energy resources such as solar and wind. These efforts will be accelerated with the recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Furthermore, electric customers will continue to adopt intelligent energy devices, including smart lighting and thermostats, which will be able to communicate with rooftop solar, electric vehicles, and more. These efforts will be critical for combating climate change and providing resilience benefits before, during, and after major events. However, as the U.S. electric grid undergoes these changes, it will be important to ensure that cybersecurity is incorporated into new devices, systems, and infrastructure and that “security by design” is a core component of these systems. The authors provide an overview of cybersecurity considerations that should be considered by the electric sector, including utilities and distributed energy resources (DER) operators, providers, integrators, developers, and vendors (collectively, “the DER industry”).

Economic, Reliability, and Resiliency Benefits of Interregional Transmission Capacity. Case Study Focusing on the Eastern United States in 2035, Tandon Manz et al., Natural Resources Defense Council

The United States electric grid is in a state of transition. The country is shifting towards lower carbon sources while facing more frequent extreme weather events that challenge the ability to keep the lights on. Greater grid flexibility is the key to reliable decarbonization in the face of uncertainty. One of the most cost-efficient forms of flexibility while maintaining resiliency is greater reliance on interregional imports and exports of electricity. In this study, the authors modeled generation differences between a transmission-constrained and an unconstrained transmission grid to estimate the resiliency, economic, and stability benefits. The authors found that fully unconstraining the transmission system in the Eastern Interconnection (EI) would result in limited to no loss of load during extreme weather events and $12 billion in net benefits.

Energy Transition Outlook 2022. A global and regional forecast to 2050, DNV

The author's forecast considers the demand shock of the pandemic and the supply shock that came with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concludes that those developments exert little long-term influence over a transition that will be rapid and extensive. The present turbulence in energy markets is not inconsequential, however. Europe will transition to a renewables-dominated power system more rapidly, but higher energy prices may dampen investment in clean energy elsewhere. These two effects tend to offset each other globally over time. Supply-chain disruptions will continue in the shorter term, delaying the global EV ‘milestone’ (when the EV share of new vehicle sales surpasses 50%) by one year in our forecast — to 2033. But here too there are compensatory developments, where high prices will encourage energy-saving behavior among power consumers. For aviation, the author's also forecast a permanent reduction of 7% in annual passenger trips due to pandemic-related changes in work habits.

An Unexpected Success for Czech Climate Litigation, Eva Balounová, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

On June 15, 2022, the Prague Municipal Court, a first instance administrative court, decided in favor of the plaintiffs in the first Czech strategic climate case (Klimatická žaloba ?R v. Czech Republic) and ordered the Czech Republic’s ministries to take specific measures to reach a 55% GHG emissions reduction by 2030 (in comparison with the 1990 level). The court ruled that the failure to set specific mitigation measures to slow climate change, in accordance with the state’s obligations under European and international law, is unlawful and infringes the plaintiffs’ right to a favorable environment. Although the defendant ministries and the plaintiffs already appealed on points of law to the Supreme Administrative Court, this landmark decision will have significant implications for future climate claims in the Czech Republic. Moreover, with this strategic litigation, the Czech Republic joins the list of countries where citizens are challenging governments’ overall responses to climate change.

Policy Assessment 2022. Is Your Money Destroying Rainforests or Violating Rights?, Forests & Finance

Climate change and biodiversity loss are high on the global agenda with urgent action needed to prevent ecological breakdown. Addressing these issues requires rapid decarbonization and the protection and restoration of natural ecosystems. While the world is experiencing climate shocks and increasingly frequent and severe weather events including floods, droughts, fires and heatwaves, business-as-usual continues. Despite the finance-focused climate COP26 in Glasgow last year, which ushered in a suite of net-zero pledges under the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ), it remains unclear how and when the financial sector will decarbonize. There are significant gaps in the monitoring, verification, and evaluation of the pledged climate action, which risks it becoming a mechanism for climate delay. Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, banks have provided USD 267 billion in credit (2016-2022 September) to just 300 forest-risk commodity companies operating in the world’s three largest tropical forest regions. Investors are facilitating the expansion of agribusiness with USD 40 billion in bond holdings and shareholdings in September 2022.

Florida Climate Resilience Survey - September 2022, Florida Atlantic University

92% of Floridians believe that climate change is happening, but only 58% think it is caused by human impacts. This value is higher than the national average of Americans that believe climate change is greatly caused by human activity (46%). Over half of Floridians support solar energy production for the future (62%) but less than 10% currently have solar as their primary source of energy right now. About half of the respondents were unsure of their primary energy source. The total overall support for teaching about the impacts of climate change in schools K-12 is at 71%. Over three-quarters of Floridians under the age of 50 exhibited the greatest amount of support (77%), whereas two-thirds of older generations (50 years and older) showed support for climate education (66%). The belief that the Florida government is doing enough to address climate change has hit an all-time low for the Florida Climate Resilience Survey, with less than a quarter of Floridians agreeing that the state government is doing enough (23%). This trend is also apparent by political party, with Democrats dropping to 16% and Republicans at 36% in agreement that Florida is doing enough.

Obtaining articles without journal subscriptions

We know it's frustrating that many articles we cite here are not free to read. One-off paid access fees are generally astronomically priced, suitable for such as "On a Heuristic Point of View Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light but not as a gamble on unknowns. With a median world income of US$ 9,373, for most of us US$ 42 is significant money to wager on an article's relevance and importance. 

  • Unpaywall offers a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that automatically indicates when an article is freely accessible and provides immediate access without further trouble. Unpaywall is also unscammy, works well, is itself offered free to use. The organizers (a legitimate nonprofit) report about a 50% success rate
  • The weekly New Research catch is checked against the Unpaywall database with accessible items being flagged. Especially for just-published articles this mechansim may fail. If you're interested in an article title and it is not listed here as "open access," be sure to check the link anyway. 

How is New Research assembled?

Most articles appearing here are found via  RSS feeds from journal publishers, filtered by search terms to produce raw output for assessment of relevance. 

Relevant articles are then queried against the Unpaywall database, to identify open access articles and expose useful metadata for articles appearing in the database. 

The objective of New Research isn't to cast a tinge on scientific results, to color readers' impressions. Hence candidate articles are assessed via two metrics only:

  • Was an article deemed of sufficient merit by a team of journal editors and peer reviewers? The fact of journal RSS output assigns a "yes" to this automatically. 
  • Is an article relevant to the topic of anthropogenic climate change? Due to filter overlap with other publication topics of inquiry, of a typical week's 550 or so input articles about 1/4 of RSS output makes the cut.

The section "Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives" includes some items that are not scientific research per se but fall instead into the category of "perspectives," observations of implications of research findings, areas needing attention, etc.


Please let us know if you're aware of an article you think may be of interest for Skeptical Science research news, or if we've missed something that may be important. Send your input to Skeptical Science via our contact form.

Journals covered

A list of journals we cover may be found here. We welcome pointers to omissions, new journals etc.

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