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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #45 2022

Posted on 10 November 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Catastrophic reverb

Kemp et al. caused prolonged ripples with their paper Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios. One can't help but think most of the heat is emotional, not intellectual; excited critics of the paper offer little more than "this sounds scary, don't harsh our vibe." Vague and even outlandish concerns over terminology aside, true perception of catastrophe is the province of those living the actual experience. Ask a pastoralist in South Africa or Pakistan who has just had their livelihood wiped out, with no means to rebuild: "Are you living an existential climate catastrophe?"  Quite arguably the climate catastrophe train has already left the station, and abstract objections to the concept are coming from what a we might call "a place of privilege." Discussion continues via Bhowmick et al. in From Climate Endgame to Climate Long Game, with a reply from Kemp et al., Democratic climate action and studying extreme climate risks are not in tension.

Other notables:

ICCI has published its latest comprehensive magnum opus on Earth's ice, State of the Cryosphere 2022: Growing Losses, Global Impacts, included here in our government/NGO section. As the title page suggests and the entire work details, "We cannot negotiate with the melting point of ice." Indeed geophysics is aloof to us but we'd be foolish to reciprocate, unfair though this may be. Meanwhile, ICCI faces a Sisyphean task. Having just dusted their hands of this publication, the authors must carry straight on; our cascade of better information never ceases, as exemplified in a new and concerning paper by Khan et al. just published in PNAS: Extensive inland thinning and speed-up of Northeast Greenland Ice Stream.

Tropical cyclones combine with climate change to begin sending enivronmental regimes beyond healthy tolerance, a form of compound event. Rajeev & Mishra investigate how this is unfolding as actual events as opposed to projections, in Observational evidence of increasing compound tropical cyclone-moist heat extremes in India.

Busy rodent hydrologic engineers can be important allies in counteracting negative effects of warming and associated problems with surface water, and as a bonus have notable positive effects on nitrate loading. Dewey et al. explain, in  Beaver dams overshadow climate extremes in controlling riparian hydrology and water quality.

"Now we know better." We rushed into fossil hydrocarbons without any forethought, but given a second chance to create seeming energy magic we're being more careful. Perovskite photovoltaic cells have huge potential for making solar energy cheaper. That's great but perhaps even more important is how building perovskite cells creates less of a mess, with lower embodied energy requirements and less need for often excruciatingly cumbersome, ethically compromised processes of obtaining rare earth elements. Wang et al. extend conscientious treatment with their investigation into clean chemical engineering for production of perovskite PV cells in Solvent Engineering of Ionic Liquids for Stable and Efficient Perovskite Solar Cells. From our weekly potpourri of research into methods and practices of decarbonization, included as a ray of hope and wherein we can offer only a bare hint of the froth of activity in this climate-crucial arena. 

All of the above open access and free to read. 

126 articles in 64 journals by 968 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

Land-Atmosphere Cascade Fueled the 2020 Siberian Heatwave
Gloege et al., AGU Advances, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021av000619

Observations of climate change, effects

A potential explanation for the global increase in tropical cyclone rapid intensification
Bhatia et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-34321-6

Analyzing the trend and change point in various meteorological variables in Bursa with various statistical and graphical methods
Katipo?lu, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04231-0

Changes in climate extremes in a typical glacierized region in the central part of the Eastern Tianshan Mountains and their relationship with observed glacier mass balance
ZHANG et al., Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2022.10.006

Compound droughts and hot extremes: Characteristics, drivers, changes, and impacts
Hao et al., Earth, 10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.104241

Declining temperature and increasing moisture sensitivity of shrub growth in the Low-Arctic erect dwarf-shrub tundra of western Greenland
Weijers, Ecology and Evolution, Open Access 10.1002/ece3.9419

Early snowmelt and polar jet dynamics co-influence recent extreme Siberian fire seasons
Scholten et al., Science, 10.1126/science.abn4419

Evaluating the onset, end, and length of seasons in selected stations in Iran
Doostan & Alijani, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04259-2

Observational evidence of increasing compound tropical cyclone-moist heat extremes in India
Rajeev & Mishra, Earth's Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef002992

Unprecedented fire activity above the Arctic Circle linked to rising temperatures
Descals et al., Science, 10.1126/science.abn9768

Using the snow-day fraction to measure climatic change in southern Ontario (Canada): historical trends in winter season precipitation phase
Hewer & Gough, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00704-022-04267-2

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects

An integrated index of cryospheric change in the Northern Hemisphere
Peng et al., Global and Planetary Change, 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103984

Simulated signatures of Greenland melting in the North Atlantic: A model comparison with Argo floats, satellite observations, and ocean reanalysis
Stolzenberger et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 10.1029/2022jc018528

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

A probabilistic climate change assessment for Europe
Moghim et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7604

Daily snowfall events on the Eurasian continent: CMIP6 models evaluation and projection
Lin & Chen, International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7618

Evaluation and projection of precipitation in Pakistan using the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 model simulations
Abbas et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7602

Impacts of Greenhouse Gases and Anthropogenic Aerosols Changes on Surface Air Temperature in East Asia under Different Post-pandemic Period Emission Scenarios
HE et al., Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2022.10.004

Model projections of increased severity of heat waves in Eastern Europe
Turnau et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl100183

Projecting extreme climate events in China’s Loess Plateau: multiple RCMs and emission scenarios corrected by a trend-preserving method
Ren et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04254-7

The influence of recent and future climate change on spring Arctic cyclones
Parker et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-34126-7

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

A hybrid regional climate downscaling for the southern Brazil coastal region
de Souza et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7607

Changes in extreme precipitation events in the Zambezi River basins based on CORDEX-CORE models: Part I—Evaluation of historical simulation
Samuel et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7612

Comprehensive assessment of CMIP5 and CMIP6 models in simulating and projecting precipitation over the global land
Du et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7616

Constraining extreme precipitation projections using past precipitation variability
Zhang et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-34006-0

Effectiveness of causality-based predictor selection for statistical downscaling: a case study of rainfall in an Ecuadorian Andes basin
Vázquez-Patiño et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04205-2

Evaluating two diagnostic schemes of cloud-fraction parameterization using the CloudSat data
Wang et al., Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106510

High-resolution downscaling with interpretable deep learning: Rainfall extremes over New Zealand
Rampal et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100525

Harris, [journal not provided], Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10511957.1

Probabilistic simulation of big climate data for robust quantification of changes in compound hazard events
Economou & Garry, Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100522

Cryosphere & climate change

Extensive inland thinning and speed-up of Northeast Greenland Ice Stream
Khan et al., Nature, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41586-022-05301-z

Sea level & climate change

Non-stationary Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Assessments Compounding Tides and Sea Level Rise
Sepúlveda et al., Earth's Future, 10.1029/2022ef002965


Sea ice fluctuations in the Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea during glacial abrupt climate changes
Scoto et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2203468119

The 1757–62 Temperature Observed in Beijing
Ren et al., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 10.1175/bams-d-21-0245.1

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Biophysical impacts of vegetation dynamics largely contribute to climate mitigation in High Mountain Asia
Liu et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109233

Decadal migration phenology of a long-lived Arctic icon keeps pace with climate change
Shuert et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2121092119

Effective conservation planning of Iberian amphibians based on a regionalization of climate driven range shifts
ALAGADOR, Conservation Biology, 10.1111/cobi.14026

Growth portfolios buffer climate-linked environmental change in marine systems
Campana et al., Ecology, 10.1002/ecy.3918

Meltwater discharge from marine-terminating glaciers drives biogeochemical conditions in a Greenlandic fjord
Kanna et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 10.1029/2022gb007411

Phosphate limitation intensifies negative effects of ocean acidification on globally important nitrogen fixing cyanobacterium
Zhang et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-34586-x

Productivity and water use efficiency of Pinus tabulaeformis responses to climate change in the temperate monsoon region
Xu et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109188

Simulating the Impacts of Changes in Precipitation Timing and Intensity on Tree Growth
Wise & Dannenberg, Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl100863

Species, taxonomic, and functional group diversities of terrestrial mammals at risk under climate change and land-use/cover change scenarios in Mexico
Ureta et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16411

The direct drivers of recent global anthropogenic biodiversity loss
Jaureguiberry et al., Science Advances, 10.1126/sciadv.abm9982

The weakening of the interannual relationship between the rate of vegetation spring green-up and temperature related to warmer and drier preseason over the northern extratropics
Gong et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109231

Together forever? Hummingbird-plant relationships in the face of climate warming
Remolina-Figueroa et al., Climatic Change, 10.1007/s10584-022-03447-3

Trophic provisioning and parental trade-offs lead to successful reproductive performance in corals after a bleaching event
Rodrigues & Padilla-Gamiño, Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-022-21998-4

What is the role of disturbance in catalyzing spatial shifts in forest composition and tree species biomass under climate change?
Liang et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16517

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

Climate and socioeconomic drivers of biomass burning and carbon emissions from fires in tropical dry forests: a Pantropical analysis
Corona-Núñez & Campo, Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16516

Climate Warming Alters Nutrient Storage in Seasonally Dry Forests: Insights from a 2300 m Elevation Gradient
Yang et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 10.1029/2022gb007429

Decadal trends in the release of terrigenous organic carbon to the Mackenzie Delta (Canadian Arctic) using satellite ocean color data (1998–2019)
Matsuoka et al., Remote Sensing of Environment, Open Access 10.1016/j.rse.2022.113322

Dryland productivity under a changing climate
Wang et al., Nature Climate Change, Open Access 10.1038/s41558-022-01499-y

Improved winter data coverage of the Southern Ocean CO2 sink from extrapolation of summertime observations
Mackay et al., Communications Earth & Environment, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-022-00592-6

Modeling carbon accumulation and permafrost dynamics of northern peatlands since the Holocene
Zhao et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 10.1029/2022jg007009

Recent photosynthates are the primary carbon source for soil microbial respiration in subtropical forests
Yang et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl101147

Spatiotemporal dynamics of CO2 emissions using nighttime light data: a comparative analysis between the Yellow and Yangtze River Basins in China
Wei et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-022-02750-4

The carbon emissions level of China’s service industry: an analysis of characteristics and influencing factors
Sun et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-021-02001-y

Understanding the Role of Terrestrial and Marine Carbon in the Mid-Latitude Fjords of Scotland.
Smeaton & Austin, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 10.1029/2022gb007434

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Atmospheric Removal of Methane by enhancing the natural hydroxyl radical sink
Wang et al., Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, 10.1002/ghg.2191

Estimating biomass production and carbon sequestration of poplar-based agroforestry systems in India
Chavan et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-021-01996-8

Redox-tunable Lewis bases for electrochemical carbon dioxide capture
Li et al., Nature Energy, 10.1038/s41560-022-01137-z


Competitiveness of the value chain of distributed generation of photovoltaic energy in Brazil
Bisognin Garlet et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2022.10.019

Economy-wide evaluation of CO2 and air quality impacts of electrification in the United States
Bistline et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33902-9

Electroreduction of nitrogen with almost 100% current-to-ammonia efficiency
Du et al., Nature, 10.1038/s41586-022-05108-y

High-speed sequential deposition of photoactive layers for organic solar cell manufacturing
Sun et al., Nature Energy, 10.1038/s41560-022-01140-4

Impacts of micromobility on car displacement with evidence from a natural experiment and geofencing policy
Asensio et al., Nature Energy, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41560-022-01135-1

Implications of intercontinental renewable electricity trade for energy systems and emissions
Guo et al., Nature Energy, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41560-022-01136-0

Implications of large hydro dams for decarbonising Ghana's energy consistent with Paris climate objectives
Kuriakose et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, Open Access 10.1016/j.esd.2022.10.011

Perovskite solar cells based on screen-printed thin films
Chen et al., Nature, 10.1038/s41586-022-05346-0

Refuelling infrastructure requirements for renewable hydrogen road fuel through the energy transition
Low et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113300

Seismic response of floating wind turbines due to seaquakes
Kaynia et al., Wind Energy, Open Access pdf 10.1002/we.2791

Shared electric scooters and electric bikes can reduce traffic in urban centres
, Nature Energy, 10.1038/s41560-022-01139-x

Simultaneous atmospheric water production and 24-hour power generation enabled by moisture-induced energy harvesting
Li et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-34385-4

Solvent Engineering of Ionic Liquids for Stable and Efficient Perovskite Solar Cells
Wang et al., Advanced Energy and Sustainability Research, Open Access pdf 10.1002/aesr.202200140

Sustainable Amylopectin-Derived Miniwindmills for Moisture-Induced Electric Generation
Sun et al., Advanced Energy and Sustainability Research, Open Access 10.1002/aesr.202200084

Sustainable electricity supply for small off-grid communities in Colombia: A system dynamics approach
Garces et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113314

The predicted persistence of cobalt in lithium-ion batteries
Gent et al., Nature Energy, 10.1038/s41560-022-01129-z

Geoengineering climate

Storylines of Geoengineering in the Australian Media: An Analysis of Online Coverage 2006–2018
Burnard & Colvin, Environmental Communication, 10.1080/17524032.2022.2141290

The Shortwave Radiative Flux Response to an Injection of Sea Salt Aerosols in the Gulf of Mexico
Goddard et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd037067


Unmasking the effects of aerosols on greenhouse warming over Europe
Glantz et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2021jd035889

Climate change communications & cognition

Computational methods for the analysis of climate change communication: Towards an integrative and reflexive approach
Schäfer & Hase, WIREs Climate Change, 10.1002/wcc.806

Psychometric properties of the climate change anxiety scale
Cruz & High, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Open Access 10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101905

The impact of teenagers' emotions on their complexity thinking competence related to climate change and its consequences on their future: looking at complex interconnections and implications in climate change education
Oberauer et al., Sustainability Science, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11625-022-01222-y

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Daily timings of sap production in sugar maple in Quebec, Canada
Kurokawa et al., International Journal of Biometeorology, 10.1007/s00484-022-02399-8

Development towards low carbon and sustainable agriculture in Finland is possible with moderate changes in land use and diets
Lehtonen & Rämö, Sustainability Science, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11625-022-01244-6

Living with typhoons and changing weather patterns: Indigenous resilience and the adaptation pathways of smallholder farmers in Taiwan
Bayrak et al., Sustainability Science, 10.1007/s11625-022-01247-3

Site-specific field management adaptation is key to feeding the world in the 21st century
Woo et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109230

The Northern Australia Climate Program: Overview and Selected Highlights
Lavender et al., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Open Access pdf 10.1175/bams-d-21-0309.1

Towards sustainable agriculture in SAARC countries: exploring the long-run impact of GHG emissions on agricultural productivity
Chandio et al., International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 10.1007/s13762-022-04582-1

Hydrology, hydrometeorology & climate change

Aridity and desertification in the Mediterranean under EURO-CORDEX future climate change scenarios
Carvalho et al., Climatic Change, 10.1007/s10584-022-03454-4

Beaver dams overshadow climate extremes in controlling riparian hydrology and water quality
Dewey et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-34022-0

Changing Trends in Drought Patterns over the Northeastern United States Using Multiple Large Ensemble Datasets
Xue & Ullrich, Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0810.1

Diagnostics of observed dry trends in Caribbean precipitation
Zermeño-Díaz, International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7621

Interdecadal variation in winter precipitation over non-monsoonal Eurasian regions
Chen et al., Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106503

Long-term variability in atmospheric moisture transport and relationship with heavy precipitation in the eastern USA
Teale & Robinson, Climatic Change, 10.1007/s10584-022-03455-3

Meteorological droughts and water resources: Historical and future perspectives for Rio Grande do Norte state, Northeast Brazil
Medeiros et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7624

Projected future changes in water availability and dry spells in Japan: Dynamic and thermodynamic climate impacts
Ohba et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100523

Temporal and spatial characteristics of drought, future changes and possible drivers over Upper Awash Basin, Ethiopia, using SPI and SPEI
Gebremichael et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-022-02743-3

Understanding precipitation characteristics of Afghanistan at provincial scale
Suryavanshi et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00704-022-04257-4

Climate change economics

Estimates of the Potential Indirect Damage to China by Restricting Energy Increase to Peak Carbon Emissions
Huang et al., Earth's Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef002697

Modeling coal plant stranded costs for decarbonization pathway analyses
Suski et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2022.10.020

Climate change and the circular economy

Coevolution between science and policy: A systematic analysis on circular economy in China and worldwide
He et al., Environmental Science & Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.10.020

Climate change mitigation public policy research

Biophysical impacts of vegetation dynamics largely contribute to climate mitigation in High Mountain Asia
Liu et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109233

Decarbonising Europe – EU citizens’ perception of renewable energy transition amidst the European Green Deal
Panarello & Gatto, Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113272

Don’t stop me now: Incremental capacity growth under subsidy termination risk
Nagy et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113309

Doubling down on DAPL: the contentious politics of pipeline governance in Illinois
Sveinsdóttir & Johnson, Environmental Politics, 10.1080/09644016.2022.2144027

Evaluation of single-phase net metering to meet renewable energy targets: A case study from Pakistan
Tahir et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113311

Evolution of blue carbon management policies in China: review, performance and prospects
Yu & Wang, Climate Policy, 10.1080/14693062.2022.2142493

Industrial linkage of global carbon emissions: A heterogeneous ownership perspective
Ma et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113318

No evidence of counteracting policy effects on European solar power invention and diffusion
Grafström & Poudineh, Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113319

Simulating the effects of offshore wind energy policy on decarbonization and industrial growth in Taiwan: A system dynamics approach
Chen et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2022.10.018

Social justice in the context of climate policy: systematizing the variety of inequality dimensions, social impacts, and justice principles
Heyen, Climate Policy, 10.1080/14693062.2022.2142499

Sustainable pathways towards climate and biodiversity goals in the UK: the importance of managing land-use synergies and trade-offs
Smith et al., Sustainability Science, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11625-022-01242-8

The Promise of Private-Sphere Pro-environmental Behavior as Climate Action
Carrico, Current Climate Change Reports, 10.1007/s40641-022-00188-4

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Assessing flooding and possible adaptation measures using remote sensing data and hydrological modeling in Sweden
Mourad et al., Climate Risk Management, Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100464

Equitable buyouts? Learning from state, county, and local floodplain management programs
Shi et al., Climatic Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-022-03453-5

Nature-based solutions (NbS) and climate change adaptation in Bangladesh: does planning law facilitate NbS for climate change adaptation in Dhaka?
Govind & Alam, Climate and Development, 10.1080/17565529.2022.2140006

Role of community-based conservation and natural resource management in building climate resilience among vulnerable mountain societies
Zafar et al., Climate and Development, 10.1080/17565529.2022.2135365

The Climatic Impact-Driver Framework for assessment of risk-relevant climate information
Ruane et al., Earth's Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef002803

Towards more actionable flood-risk information
Cooper et al., Earth's Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003093

Climate change impacts on human health

Effects of ambient temperatures and extreme weather events on circulatory mortality in a high population density area: Exploring mortality data from Malta
Jahan et al., Climate Risk Management, Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100463

Observational evidence of increasing compound tropical cyclone-moist heat extremes in India
Rajeev & Mishra, Earth's Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef002992

Climate change impacts on human culture

“When the Wild Roses Bloom”: Indigenous Knowledge and Environmental Change in Northwestern North America
Turner & Reid, GeoHealth, 10.1029/2022gh000612


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

Developing positional awareness in sustainability science: four archetypes for early career scientists working in an SDG world
Schrage et al., Sustainability Science, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11625-022-01239-3

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

From Climate Endgame to Climate Long Game
Bhowmik et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2214975119

Leaking the IPCC: A question of responsibility?
Hartz, WIREs Climate Change, 10.1002/wcc.814

Reply to Bhowmik et al.: Democratic climate action and studying extreme climate risks are not in tension
Kemp et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2216034119

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

Indicators of Climate Change in California, Milanes et a., California Environmental Protection Agency Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

California is experiencing a climate crisis that is increasingly taking a toll on the health and well-being of its people and on its unique and diverse ecosystems. Every Californian has suffered from the effects of record-high temperatures, dry winters, prolonged drought, and proliferating wildfires in recent years. California’s biodiversity is threatened as alterations to habitat conditions brought about by a changing climate are occurring at a pace that could overwhelm the ability of plant and animal species to adapt. The report continues to track changes in the state’s climate and its impacts on the state. Indicators are scientific measurements that track trends and conditions relating to climate change. Collectively, the indicators portray a statewide picture of how climate change has been impacting the environment and the people of California. Through these indicators, the report tells the state’s climate change story, starting with the human influences on climate, or “drivers,” followed by the changes in climate Californians have been experiencing, and then their consequences on the physical environment, on plant and animal species, and on human health.

Leaders or Laggards. Analyzing US banks’ net-zero commitments, Adele Shraiman and Ben Cushing, Sierra Club

All six major US banks — JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs — have now committed to reaching net-zero financed emissions by 2050. All six of the major US banks have published interim targets for reducing emissions in two key sectors by 2030: oil and gas and power generation. It is commendable that the banks have published these targets and begun disclosing important information about the methods, scientific scenarios, and key assumptions used to design these targets. In addition to 2030 targets, the US majors have also set some policies to guide their financing activities for key sub-sectors and high-risk geographies, including Arctic drilling, coal mining, and coal-fired power generation. However, the 2030 targets and sectoral policies of the US majors fall short of what is required in order to meet our global climate goals.

How companies are — and are not — leading on U.S. climate policy, Ketu et al., Ceres

Half of the S&P 100 companies the authors analyzed advocated for climate policies over the past three years that align with the Paris Agreement. The number is a meaningful touchstone, indicating that companies are increasingly prioritizing smart climate lobbying, even if it lags behind other internal corporate efforts to acknowledge climate risk and act to address it. And this promising data has seemed to come to life in the headlines, as corporate support for climate policies at the federal and state levels continues to grow. However, the analysis still finds some glaring points of weakness. Just 11 of the S&P 100 companies assessed publicly supported the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the largest and most significant climate legislation in U.S. history, as it was passed into law. At least 19 additional S&P 100 companies publicly urged Congress to pass ambitious federal climate legislation in 2021 and 2022 as part of the process that ultimately yielded the historic package and many companies not listed in this assessment strongly supported it. However, the relatively low level of support for such important legislation among America's largest companies indicate that there is still much room for improvement in this area. Moreover, powerful trade organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, while claiming to speak for the U.S. business community still sought to block several critical policies that many of their members supported. And many of the companies that support ambitious climate policies neglect to hold their trade associations accountable for their obstructive lobbying on climate issues, in direct contradiction of their own climate targets and advocacy efforts.

Assessment of ERCOT Market Structural Changes, Milligan et al., ICF Resources

A detailed analysis of the costs and reliability impacts of current and proposed changes to the ERCOT market produced the following findings: currently, Texans should expect, on average, approximately five outages every 10 years, or a 0.5 Loss of Load Expectation (LoLE). Reliability is forecasted to further deteriorate by 2030 if no further policy measures are taken; none of the current proposals, by themselves, would improve reliability enough to yield one outage every 10 years (0.1 LoLE, a generally accepted industry standard) but the Backstop Reliability Service (BRS) shows the greatest reliability improvements, yielding less than two outages per decade by 2030 (0.17 LoLE); Both the Load Serving Entity Obligation (LSEO) and the Dispatchable Energy Credit (DEC) proposals would improve reliability compared to Phase 0 but still result in between 4-5 outages per decade.

A Playbook for Screenwriting in the Age of Climate Change, Good Energy

An open-source digital guide to portraying climate change on-screen, including story inspiration, cheat sheets, character profiles, solutions, and projections into the future.

Farming for the future: how agroforestry can deliver for nature and climate, Woodland Trust

The authors assess the benefits of agroforestry on a large scale on farmland in England. It considers how agroforestry systems are already being deployed, and sets out recommendations on how to increase the number of trees in the agricultural environment and make changes in land use a reality.

Inaugural Boston Climate Progress Report, Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University

The report is the first that will evaluate Boston’s ongoing progress toward its goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and its' goals for becoming climate ready. The report seeks to create an ongoing practice of data-informed assessment of climate progress. Improved reporting and assessment are urgently needed to better understand both progress and equity implications. The report's content can start a conversation on how Boston can work to overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers and collectively build a better city by accomplishing its big, comprehensive climate goals.

Distributed Energy Resource Strategy, North American Electric Reliability Corporation

Distributed energy resource (DER) levels are growing rapidly across many areas of North America and are altering how the bulk power system is planned, designed, and operated. While DERs present a number of benefits, they also create challenges to grid reliability, resilience, and flexibility. The strategy identifies current and future strategic actions necessary to ensure the reliable operation of the bulk power system. The core tenets of the current DER risk mitigation strategy focus on DER modeling capabilities, studies incorporating DERs, operational impacts of DERs, and regulatory considerations related to DERs.

The Land Gap Report 2022, Dooley et al., Land Gap

The authors examine the area of land required to meet projected biological carbon removal in national climate pledges and commitments. They found that almost 1.2 billion hectares (ha) of land– close to the extent of current global cropland – are required to meet these pledges. Countries’ climate pledges rely on unrealistic amounts of land-based carbon removal. More than half of the total land area pledged for carbon removal – 633 million hectares – involves reforestation, putting potential pressure on ecosystems, food security, and indigenous peoples’ rights. Restoring degraded lands and ecosystems account for 551 million hectares pledged.

State of the Cryosphere 2022 Growing Losses, Global Impacts, International Cryosphere Climate Initiative

The authors detail how a combination of melting polar ice sheets, vanishing glaciers, and thawing permafrost will have rapid, irreversible, and disastrous effects on the Earth’s population. The authors emphasize that the global impacts of these changes are spreading and worsening. The authors annually take the pulse of the cryosphere. The cryosphere is the name given to Earth’s snow and ice regions and ranges from ice sheets, glaciers, and permafrost to sea ice and the polar oceans – which are acidifying far more rapidly than warmer waters.

Los Eco-Ilógicos. A look inside the sprawling online network that spreads climate misinformation to Spanish-speaking communities around the world, Cristina López G. and Santiago Lakatos, Graphika

Ahead of the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, reporters, researchers, and lawmakers have sought to understand the spread of false and misleading information among U.S. Spanish-speaking communities online. These efforts have focused on topics including immigration, COVID-19 vaccines, and electoral fraud, but relatively few have examined how the same dynamics impact Spanish-language conversations about climate change. The authors examined how false and misleading narratives about climate change reach U.S.-based Spanish-speaking communities online. The analysis aimed to understand how these narratives spread through the online ecosystem of Spanish-speaking Internet users, the groups and individuals who seed and disseminate them, and the tactics these actors employ. Through this analysis, the authors identified a sprawling online network of users across Latin America and Spain who consistently amplify climate misinformation narratives in Spanish. While some of these accounts focus specifically on climate-related conversations, the majority promote ideologically right-wing narratives, some of which touch on climate change. Accordingly, the most influential accounts in this network are users with a libertarian or right-wing outlook who command a large, international Spanish-speaking audience across multiple social media platforms.

The cost to Africa. drastic economic damage from climate change, Christian Aid

The authors highlight the major economic impacts of climate change on 50 of the 54 countries across Africa, covering over 99 percent of the continent’s economy to assess how far different levels of global warming are likely to reduce the economic growth rates of countries. The shocking estimates reveal that all of these low and lower-middle-income countries face massive cuts to their economic growth rates because of climate change in the years and decades to come. These growth rates are already under huge short-term pressure due to the effects of Covid, deepening debt crises, rising dollar interest rates, and austerity becoming a condition of more donor funding, including more loans. Even if governments across the world live up to the commitment made in 2015 at the Paris COP23 to limit global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the average hit to GDP per capita across African countries will be 14% up to 2050, growing to 34% by the end of the century. But even these substantial reductions are dwarfed by the impact of current climate policies – which are likely to see global heating reach average temperatures around 2.7C higher than pre-industrial times – which would lead to a 20% reduction in economic growth rates by 2050 and a huge 64% on average by 2100.

Climate change as a threat to health and well-being in Europe: focus on heat and infectious diseases, Ka?mierczak et al., European Environment Agency

The authors focus on the effects high temperatures are having on the population, as well as another emerging threat: the spread of climate-sensitive infectious diseases. The authors also draw attention to social inequalities as drivers of vulnerability and exposure to climate-related health threats. Most of those at risk from heat are older people or those with pre-existing health conditions; in addition, the health of elderly people and young children can be more seriously affected if they contract an infectious disease. Low-income groups tend to be overrepresented in dense, urban environments and poor-quality housing prone to overheating. People on the lowest incomes tend to work in manual jobs that are often performed in hot indoor environments or outside, exposing them to high temperatures or infection risk through contact with vectors.

The Essential Drop to Reach Net-Zero: Unpacking Freshwater's Role in Climate Change Mitigation, Ingemarsson et al, Stockholm International Water Institute

The role of water in climate mitigation is much greater than commonly understood. The authors reviewed available scientific knowledge about the role of water in climate mitigation, including aspects like energy, landscape, food, and wastewater treatment. They show that access to water can be a make-or-break factor in the transformation of for example the food and energy systems. The authors identify knowledge gaps where more research is needed.

Integrity Matters: Net Zero Commitments by Businesses, Financial Institutions, Cities and Regions, United Nations’ High-Level Expert Group on the Net Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities, United Nations

The authors address net zero pledges and commitments from non-state actors including corporations, financial institutions, and local and regional governments. Non-state actors cannot claim to be net zero while continuing to build or invest in new fossil fuel supply. Coal, oil, and gas account for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Net zero is entirely incompatible with continued investment in fossil fuels. Similarly, deforestation and other environmentally destructive activities are disqualifying. Non-state actors cannot buy cheap credits that often lack integrity instead of immediately cutting their own emissions across their value chain. As guidelines emerge for a high-integrity voluntary credit market, credits can be used above and beyond efforts to achieve 1.5°C aligned interim targets to increase financial flows into underinvested areas, including to help decarbonize developing countries. Non-state actors cannot focus on reducing the intensity of their emissions rather than their absolute emissions or tackling only a part of their emissions rather than their full value chain (scopes 1, 2, and 3).

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.

Previous edition

The previous edition of Skeptical Science New Research may be found here.

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