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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #5 2022

Posted on 3 February 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

The path to NFT (non-fatal transactions)

The "blockchain economy" seems to be stuck in a phase and possible terminus of mostly pointless and frequently criminal transactions made at enormous expense to our our already too-scanty carbon budget, flying in the face of sensible behavior in a world facing a climate crisis. With their signature style of "solution looking for a problem," blockchain promoters have created a new "need" in the art world, that of "non-fungible tokens" (NFT). In a nutshell, non-fungible tokens are a means of establishing original provenance for things easily and perfectly duplicated, maintaining the identity of a "unique" original in a sea of flawless copies.  NFTs are perhaps the ultimate example of engineered scarcity where there's natural abundance, or at least igniting our propensity to imagine  and then create scarcity where it doesn't exist— in this case with eye-popping external costs. 

While it may be arguable that immateriality is one way to continue safely yet infinitely growing our economy on our factually spherical, bounded and finite planet, the implementation of NFT artwork comes at a catastrophic cost in energy consumption, overwhelmingly fed by fossil fuels. NFTs sit on the same platforms as pure cryptocurrency, significantly adding to an explosion of wasted fossil fuel combustion. 

Even while it would be hard to assign  physical mass or weight to them, NFT artworks and cryptocurrency  alike come at a large physical costs, including dead people in our material world. Jon Truby et al. provide a highly readable soup-to-nuts review of the emergence, evolution, real-world costs and possible future paths of NFT art trading, in Blockchain, climate damage, and death: Policy interventions to reduce the carbon emissions, mortality, and net-zero implications of non-fungible tokens. The paper glows with the distinguishing characteristic of being a reader's express on-ramp to basic grasp of its topic.

After efficiently bringing us up to speed, Truby & team identify and describe means and methods to bring energy sanity to the blockchain scene, ranging from warm and fuzzy to more crisply emphatic and imperative. There's potential for a win-win situation here for the smaller world of art and the larger world we all inhabit, but that seems unlikely to eventuate as a rule-free fantasy libertarian utopia. Human nature is why we need formalized community rules, after all; 2% arrested development in our collective community character is all that's needed to require codified, coerced behavior where better nature is lacking.     

Other notables:

All of the above open access and free to read.

132 articles in 48 journals by 682 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

Transient Influence of the Reduction of Deepwater Formation on Ocean Heat Uptake and Heat Budgets in the Global Climate System
Suzuki et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2021gl095179

Arctic amplification is the main cause of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation weakening under large CO2 increases
Dai Climate Dynamics
10.1007/s00382-021-06096-x

Impact of Anthropogenic Emission Changes on the Occurrence of Equatorial Plasma Bubbles
Zhou et al. Geophysical Research Letters
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021gl097354

Observations of climate change, effects

The recent normalization of historical marine heat extremes
Tanaka & Van Houtan PLOS Climate
Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000007

Increasing frequency of extremely severe cyclonic storms in the north Indian Ocean by anthropogenic warming and southwest monsoon weakening
Swapna et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2021gl094650

The response of the suspended sediment load of the headwaters of the Brahmaputra River to climate change: Quantitative attribution to the effects of hydrological, cryospheric and vegetation controls
Shi et al. Global and Planetary Change
10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103753

Strengthening impacts of spring sea surface temperature in the north tropical Atlantic on Indian Ocean dipole after the mid-1980s
Zhang et al. Climate Dynamics
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-021-06128-6

Arctic precipitation recycling and hydrologic budget changes in response to sea ice loss
Ford & Frauenfeld Global and Planetary Change
10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103752

Changes in mechanisms and characteristics of Western U.S. floods over the last sixty years
Huang et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2021gl097022

Elevation dependent precipitation and temperature changes over Indian Himalayan region
Dimri et al. Climate Dynamics
10.1007/s00382-021-06113-z

The role of climate change and vegetation greening on evapotranspiration variation in the Yellow River Basin, China
Zhao et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.108842

Recent changes in temperature extremes in subtropical climate region and the role of large-scale atmospheric oscillation patterns
Mallick et al. Theoretical and Applied Climatology
Open Access 10.1007/s00704-021-03914-4

Reconstructing Arctic Sea Ice over the Common Era Using Data Assimilation
Brennan & Hakim Journal of Climate
10.1175/jcli-d-21-0099.1

Increased extreme warming events and the differences in the observed hydrothermal responses of the active layer to these events in China’s permafrost regions
Zhu et al. Climate Dynamics
10.1007/s00382-022-06155-x

Precipitation dependence of temperature trends across the contiguous US
Abatzoglou et al. Geophysical Research Letters
Open Access 10.1029/2021gl095414

(provisional link) A Comparison of Factors That Led to the Extreme Sea Ice Minima in the Twenty-First Century in the Arctic Ocean
10.1175/JCLI-D-21-0199.1

(provisional link) Contrasting changes in precipitation events during active and break spells of Indian summer monsoon in recent decades

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, contributors, effects

Trends in surface equivalent potential temperature: A more comprehensive metric for global warming and weather extremes
Song et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Open Access pdf 10.1073/pnas.2117832119

Explicit calculations of Wet Bulb Globe Temperature compared with approximations and why it matters for labor productivity
Kong & Huber Huber
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10507637.1

Carbon dioxide atmospheric concentration and hydrometeorological disasters
Fortunato et al. Natural Hazards
Open Access 10.1007/s11069-021-05172-z

A Comparison of Global Surface Temperature Variability, Extremes and Warming Trend using Reanalysis Data Sets and CMST-Interim
Yang et al. International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7551

Improving the interpretation of SPI estimates to capture drought characteristics in changing climate conditions
Blain et al. International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7550

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

Short and long-term projections of Rossby wave packets and blocking events with particular attention to the northern hemisphere
Trevisiol et al. Global and Planetary Change
Open Access 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103750

The response of Northern Hemisphere polar lows to climate change in a 25 km high-resolution global climate model
Bresson et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
10.1029/2021jd035610

Increased ENSO sea surface temperature variability under four IPCC emission scenarios
Cai et al. Nature Climate Change
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-022-01282-z

Projections of Snow Water Equivalent Using a Process-Based Energy Balance Snow Model in Southwestern British Columbia
Sobie & Murdock Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Open Access pdf 10.1175/jamc-d-20-0260.1

Contributions of anthropogenic aerosol forcing and multidecadal internal variability to mid-20th century Arctic coolingX02014;CMIP6/DAMIP multimodel analysis
Aizawa et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2021gl097093

Diversity of ENSO-related surface temperature response in future projection in CMIP6 climate models: climate change scenario versus ENSO intensity
Yeh et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2021gl096135

Historical and future runoff changes in the Yangtze River Basin from CMIP6 models constrained by a weighting strategy
Zhao et al. Environmental Research Letters
Open Access 10.1088/1748-9326/ac3f61

Climate change penalty and benefit on surface ozone: a global perspective based on CMIP6 earth system models
Zanis et al. Environmental Research Letters
Open Access 10.1088/1748-9326/ac4a34

Assessing the modern multi-decadal scale aridification over the Northern China from a historical perspective
Qin et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
10.1029/2021jd035622

Evaluating the joint effects of climate and land use change on runoff and pollutant loading in a rapidly developing watershed
Alamdari et al. Journal of Cleaner Production
Open Access pdf 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.129953

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection GCMA

Advances and challenges in climate modeling
Alizadeh Climatic Change
Open Access 10.1007/s10584-021-03298-4

Evaluation of a reanalysis-driven configuration of WRF4 over the Western United States from 1980-2020
Rahimi et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021jd035699

Potential link between ice nucleation and climate model spread in Arctic amplification
Tan et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2021gl097373

Differences in radiative forcing, not sensitivity, explain differences in summertime land temperature variance change between CMIP5 and CMIP6
Chan et al. Earth's Future
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021ef002402

Simulation of Regional Climate over the Indian subcontinent through dynamical downscaling using WRF-ARW model
Sivaramakrishna et al. Theoretical and Applied Climatology
10.1007/s00704-021-03905-5

Climate Modeling in Low Precision: Effects of Both Deterministic and Stochastic Rounding
Paxton et al. Journal of Climate
Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0343.1

Snow Depth Trends from CMIP6 Models Conflict with Observational Evidence
Journal of Climate
10.1175/jcli-d-21-0177.1

Delayed Antarctic sea-ice decline in high-resolution climate change simulations
Rackow et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28259-y

Cryosphere & climate change

Antarctica ice sheet basal melting enhanced by high mantle heat
Artemieva Earth
10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.103954

Reconstructing Arctic Sea Ice over the Common Era Using Data Assimilation
Brennan & Hakim Journal of Climate
10.1175/jcli-d-21-0099.1

(provisional link) A Comparison of Factors That Led to the Extreme Sea Ice Minima in the Twenty-First Century in the Arctic Ocean
10.1175/JCLI-D-21-0199.1

Delayed Antarctic sea-ice decline in high-resolution climate change simulations
Rackow et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28259-y

Paleoclimate

Role of the Deglacial Buildup of the Great Barrier Reef for the Global Carbon Cycle
Felis et al. Geophysical Research Letters
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021gl096495

Historical droughts in Irish catchments 1767–2016
O'Connor et al. International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7542

Volcanic Climate Warming through Radiative and Dynamical Feedbacks of SO2 Emissions
Guzewich et al.
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10508306.1

Biology & climate change

Extinction, Climate Change and the Ecology of Homo sapiens
Tilman Journal of Ecology
10.1111/1365-2745.13847

Strong and lasting impacts of past global warming on baleen whales and their prey
Cabrera et al.
Open Access pdf 10.1101/497388

Crowding, climate, and the case for social distancing among trees
Furniss et al. Ecological Applications
10.1002/eap.2507

Climatic and stand drivers of forest resistance to recent bark beetle disturbance in European coniferous forests
Jaime et al. Global Change Biology
10.1111/gcb.16106

Actions to halt biodiversity loss generally benefit the climate
Shin et al. Global Change Biology
Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16109

Vegetation-based climate mitigation in a warmer and greener World
Alkama et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28305-9

Hydroclimatic adaptation critical to the resilience of tropical forests
Singh et al. Global Change Biology
Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16115

Revisiting tolerance to ocean acidification: insights from a new framework combining physiological and molecular tipping points of Pacific oyster
Lutier et al.
Open Access pdf 10.1101/2021.09.21.461261

Insensitivity of ecosystem productivity to predicted changes in fine-scale rainfall variability
Moustakis et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021jg006735

Harvesting can stabilise population fluctuations and buffer the impacts of extreme climatic events
Peeters et al. Ecology Letters
10.1111/ele.13963

Future loss of local-scale thermal refugia in coral reef ecosystems
Dixon et al. PLOS Climate
Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000004

Linking species traits and demography to explain complex temperature responses across levels of organization
Wieczynski et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
10.1073/pnas.2104863118

Large herbivores facilitate the persistence of rare taxa under tundra warming
Post et al. Scientific Reports
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-022-05388-4

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

(provisional link) Emerging Global Ocean Deoxygenation Across the 21st Century

Quantifying the carbon export and sequestration pathways of the ocean's biological carbon pump
Nowicki et al. Global Biogeochemical Cycles
10.1029/2021gb007083

China’s Terrestrial Carbon Sink over 2010–2015 Constrained by Satellite Observations of Atmospheric CO2 and Land Surface Variables
He et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
10.1029/2021jg006644

Simulation of soil CO2 efflux under different hydrothermal conditions based on general regression neural network
Zhang et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.108847

Direct partitioning of eddy-covariance water and carbon dioxide fluxes into ground and plant components
Zahn et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108790

Changes in plant inputs alter soil carbon and microbial communities in forest ecosystems
Feng et al. Global Change Biology
10.1111/gcb.16107

Factors controlling acidification in intermediate and deep/bottom layers of the Japan/East Sea
Li et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
10.1029/2021jc017712

River organic carbon fluxes modulated by hydrodynamic sorting of particulate organic matter
Repasch et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2021gl096343

Large soil carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems of Canada
Sothe et al.
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10507117.1

Methane and NOx Emissions from Natural Gas Stoves, Cooktops, and Ovens in Residential Homes
Lebel et al. Environmental Science & Technology
Open Access pdf 10.1021/acs.est.1c04707

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

High potential of stable carbon sequestration in phytoliths of China's grasslands
Song et al. Global Change Biology
10.1111/gcb.16092

Increased interception induced by vegetation restoration counters ecosystem carbon and water exchange efficiency in China
Shao et al. Earth's Future
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021ef002464

(provisional link) Boreal forest carbon storage economics can be managed through defined tree-thinning strategies

Optimizing opportunities for oak woodland expansion into upland pastures
Murphy et al. Ecological Solutions and Evidence
Open Access pdf 10.1002/2688-8319.12126

Decarbonization

New ammonia demand: ammonia fuel as a decarbonization tool and a new source of reactive nitrogen
Nishina Environmental Research Letters
Open Access 10.1088/1748-9326/ac4b74

Predicted wind and solar energy expansion has minimal overlap with multiple conservation priorities across global regions
Dunnett et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Open Access pdf 10.1073/pnas.2104764119

Current relationship between coal consumption and the economic development and China's future carbon mitigation policies
Jia et al. Energy Policy
10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112812

Transition coalitions: toward a theory of transformative just transitions
Ciplet Environmental Sociology
10.1080/23251042.2022.2031512

Evolution of clean energy technologies in Mexico: A multi-perspective analysis
Castrejon-Campos Energy for Sustainable Development
10.1016/j.esd.2022.01.003

(provisional link) Effects of a coal phase-out in Europe on reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals

A hopeless pursuit? National efforts to promote small modular nuclear reactors and revive nuclear power
Thomas & Ramana WIREs Energy and Environment
10.1002/wene.429

Land Requirements for Utility-Scale PV: An Empirical Update on Power and Energy Density
Bolinger & Bolinger IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Open Access pdf 10.1109/jphotov.2021.3136805

Climate change communications & cognition

Revisiting the promise of carbon labelling
Taufique et al. Nature Climate Change
10.1038/s41558-021-01271-8

Transformative change in context—stakeholders’ understandings of leverage at the forest–climate nexus
Priebe et al. Sustainability Science
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11625-022-01090-6

Exploring public awareness of the current and future malaria risk zones in South Africa under climate change: a pilot study
Fitchett & Swatton International Journal of Biometeorology
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00484-020-02042-4

Coping profiles in the context of global environmental threats: a person-centered approach
Helm et al. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping
10.1080/10615806.2021.2004132

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Exploring farmers’ perception of climate-induced events and adaptation practices to protect crop production and livestock farming in the Haor area of north-eastern Bangladesh
Fahim & Sikder Theoretical and Applied Climatology
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00704-021-03907-3

Consequences of climate change on flax fiber in Normandy by 2100: prospective bioclimatic simulation based on data from the ALADIN-Climate and WRF regional models
Beauvais et al. Theoretical and Applied Climatology
10.1007/s00704-022-03938-4

A trait-based model ensemble approach to design rice plant types for future climate
Paleari et al. Global Change Biology
10.1111/gcb.16087

Changes in climate suitability for oil-tea (C. oleifera Abel) production in China under historical and future climate conditions
Wu et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.108843

Credit access and perceived climate change resilience of smallholder farmers in semi-arid northern Ghana
Batung et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10668-021-02056-x

The persuasiveness of gain vs. loss framed messages on farmers’ perceptions and decisions to climate change: A case study in coastal communities of Vietnam
Cong Chinh et al. Climate Risk Management
Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100409

(provisional link) Agroforestry and reforestation with the Gold Standard-Decision Analysis of a voluntary carbon offset label

Expected global suitability of coffee, cashew and avocado due to climate change
Grüter et al. PLOS ONE
Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pone.0261976

Hydrology & climate change

Arctic precipitation recycling and hydrologic budget changes in response to sea ice loss
Ford & Frauenfeld Global and Planetary Change
10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103752

Inequitable patterns of US flood risk in the Anthropocene
Wing et al. Nature Climate Change
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-021-01265-6

Changes in mechanisms and characteristics of Western U.S. floods over the last sixty years
Huang et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2021gl097022

Impact of weather regime on projected future changes in streamflow in a heavy snowfall area of Japan
Ohba et al. Climate Dynamics
10.1007/s00382-022-06163-x

Climate change economics

Adaptation to transboundary climate risks in trade: Investigating actors and strategies for an emerging challenge
Bednar?Friedl et al. WIREs Climate Change
Open Access pdf 10.1002/wcc.758

The ‘national turn’ in climate change loss and damage governance research: constructing the L&D policy landscape in Tuvalu
Calliari & Vanhala Climate Policy
Open Access pdf 10.1080/14693062.2022.2027222

Navigating loss and value trade-offs in a changing climate
Karen Paiva et al. Climate Risk Management
Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100405

Climate change mitigation public policy research

Are carbon pricing policies on a path to failure in resource-dependent economies? A willingness-to-pay case study of Canada
Benjamin et al. Energy Policy
10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112805

Beggar thy neighbor? On the competitiveness and welfare impacts of the EU's proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism
Zhong & Pei Energy Policy
10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112802

Unintended consequences of climate change mitigation for African river basins
Giuliani et al. Nature Climate Change
10.1038/s41558-021-01262-9

Challenges to govern a global sustainability science problem: Lessons from a domestic climate change research project
Kuo et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability
10.1007/s10668-021-02067-8

Assessing the regional adaptive capacity to renewable portfolio standard policy in China
Sun et al. Energy Policy
10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112798

Vegetation-based climate mitigation in a warmer and greener World
Alkama et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28305-9

Actions to halt biodiversity loss generally benefit the climate
Shin et al. Global Change Biology
Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16109

Carbon neutrality commitment for China: from vision to action
Dong et al. Sustainability Science
10.1007/s11625-022-01094-2

Current relationship between coal consumption and the economic development and China's future carbon mitigation policies
Jia et al. Energy Policy
10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112812

An analysis of China's energy policy from 1981 to 2020: Transitioning towards to a diversified and low-carbon energy system
Guilhot Energy Policy
10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112806

Investigating subnational success conditions to foster renewable energy community co-operatives
Martens Energy Policy
10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112796

A multi-perspective assessment approach of renewable energy production: policy perspective analysis
Baloch et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability
Open Access 10.1007/s10668-021-01524-8

Structural transformations and conventional energy-based power utilization on carbon emissions: empirical evidence from Pakistan
Ali et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability
10.1007/s10668-022-02133-9

Analysis of indicators used for measuring industrial sustainability: a systematic review
Mengistu & Panizzolo Environment, Development and Sustainability
Open Access 10.1007/s10668-021-02053-0

Environmental regulations as industrial policy: Vehicle emission standards and automotive industry performance
Li & Nam Environmental Science & Policy
10.1016/j.envsci.2022.01.015

Blockchain, climate damage, and death: Policy interventions to reduce the carbon emissions, mortality, and net-zero implications of non-fungible tokens and Bitcoin
Truby et al. Energy Research & Social Science
Open Access 10.1016/j.erss.2022.102499

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Disentangling the concepts of global climate change, adaptation, and human mobility: a political-ecological exploration in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta
Bayrak et al. Climate and Development
10.1080/17565529.2022.2028596

Household External Vulnerability due to Climate Change in Selangor coast of Malaysia
Ehsan et al. Climate Risk Management
Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100408

The application of an environmental performance framework for climate adaptation innovations on two nature-based adaptations
van Loon-Steensma & Goldsworthy Ambio
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s13280-021-01571-5

A multidimensional framework for assessing adaptative justice: a case study of a small island community in the Philippines
See & Wilmsen Climatic Change
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-021-03266-y

Inequities in the distribution of flood risk under floodplain restoration and climate change scenarios
Gourevitch et al. People and Nature
Open Access pdf 10.1002/pan3.10290

Climate change impacts on human health

Increased Radon Exposure from Thawing of Permafrost Due to Climate Change
Glover
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10509999.1

Population exposure projections to intensified summer heat
Park & Jeong Earth's Future
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021ef002602

Exploring public awareness of the current and future malaria risk zones in South Africa under climate change: a pilot study
Fitchett & Swatton International Journal of Biometeorology
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00484-020-02042-4

Other

AMOC modes linked with distinct North Atlantic deep water formation sites
Dima et al. Climate Dynamics
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-022-06156-w

Rapid Communication of Upper-ocean Salinity Anomaly to Deep Waters of the Iceland Basin Indicates an AMOC Short-cut
Chafik & Holliday Geophysical Research Letters
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021gl097570

Moisture sources for precipitation associated with major hurricanes during 2017 in the North Atlantic basin
Pérez?Alarcón et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021jd035554

Bottom-up drivers of future fire regimes in western boreal North America
Foster et al. Environmental Research Letters
Open Access 10.1088/1748-9326/ac4c1e

Unraveling the backbone of climate networks from the analysis of collective dynamics and time reversal
Naghipour et al. International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7547

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Breaking vicious cycles? A systems perspective on Southern leadership in climate and development research programmes
Harvey et al. Climate and Development
Open Access pdf 10.1080/17565529.2021.2020614

Inequitable patterns of US flood risk in the Anthropocene
Wing et al. Nature Climate Change
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-021-01265-6

Flexibility is needed in China’s national carbon market
Liao & Yao Nature Climate Change
10.1038/s41558-021-01273-6

(provisional link) Kevin Reed and Michael Wehner describe how scientific attribution of extreme weather events to climate change can be used to understand loss and damage

(provisional link) Heather Lazrus and colleagues discuss opportunities for collaborations between earth scientists and Indigenous groups for more just and equitable climate science and action

(provisional link) Karen McNamara and colleagues identify lessons for climate change adaptation in the Pacific Islands

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

A Social Cost of Carbon Consistent with a Net-Zero Climate Goal (pdf),Stern et al., Roosevelt Institute

Crucial to the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a sound and strong “shadow price” of carbon—that is, the price the federal government uses internally to carry out cost-benefit analyses and guide climate policy decisions. In the US, this price is estimated using the social cost of carbon (SCC), e.g., the dollar value of the total climate damages incurred from emitting each additional metric ton of carbon dioxide. However, thus far the SCC has been estimated using Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) that do not consider the global cost of reaching any particular temperature or emissions target and rely on assumptions that, when altered, provide widely varied estimates. The output of these models alone cannot be relied upon to produce reliable estimates of the SCC that are in line with international temperature targets or domestic emissions targets. The interim values produced by the Interagency Working Group (IAWG) on the SCC range from $62 by 2030 to $85 in 2050 (assuming an average discount rate of 3 percent)—values far lower than those needed to limit warming to well below 2°C or reach net zero by 2050. To ensure the value of the SCC is in line with internationally set targets a target-consistent approach should be used to produce a price pathway that efficiently moves policy and economic activity toward a given target.

Sustainable boreal forest management – challenges and opportunities for climate change mitigation (pdf),Högberg et al., International Boreal Forest Research Organization

The boreal domain represents about 30 % of the global forest area and is the world’s largest terrestrial carbon pool. Hence, it is a large contributor to the global budgets of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Forests are at risk from the impacts of climate change. At the same time forest management and the use of wood products derived from forests can play important roles in contributing towards national greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. The report contains synthesized information from boreal forests in Alaska (USA), Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia on changes in carbon stock in living tree biomass and a comparative analysis on how these changes are affected by different forest management regimes.

Blackrock 2021 TCFD report. BlackRock’s climate-related disclosures (pdf), Blackrock

BlackRock’s 2021 Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”) Report focuses on climate-related risks and opportunities. BlackRock approaches climate-related risks and opportunities from two main perspectives which are captured across this report: (1) as an asset manager striving to help our clients benefit from investment opportunities arising from the global transition to net zero and with a responsibility to manage material risks to our clients’ portfolios, including climate-related risks, within the bounds of our clients’ guidelines and objectives; and (2) as a corporate entity whose business is affected by climate-related risks and opportunities and whose operations have both direct and indirect impacts on the climate. This TCFD report marks the first time that BlackRock is reporting preliminary estimates reflecting the absolute emissions and the carbon footprint associated with the investments BlackRock makes on behalf of its clients in corporate securities and real estate where data are available. Only about 65% of Blackrock’s investments are included in the analysis because for the remaining 35% data are too poor to include.

Hydropower’s Contributions to Grid Resilience (pdf), Somani et al., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Given that the U.S. power system is continuing to evolve both in terms of system composition and the attributes related to reliability and resilience of operations, understanding hydropower’s contributions will support the appropriate valuation of resources and help justify investments in hydropower facilities to provide or increase reliability services. The authors developed a framework to evaluate contributions to grid resilience that a) classifies and categorizes the extreme events a power system may experience; b) describes hydropower’s characteristics that enable resources to respond to system resilience needs; c) documents the historical role and performance of hydropower based on a literature survey and analysis of collected data; and d) identifies methods, tools, models, and datasets to carry out analyses across different timescales spanning seconds-hours-days-weeks. The methods were used to analyze the role of hydropower in maintaining system resilience using a set of scenarios representing events of different types. The framework and tools can be used by system operators, regulators, and policy analysts to assess the role of hydropower under different combinations of events and future grid states.

Total Cost of Ownership Analysis. Comparison between four of the most popular gasoline-powered models in the country and an EV equivalent for purchase in 202(pdf), Tom Taylor and Josh Rosenberg, Atlas Public Policy

The authors analyzed four vehicle categories to understand the total cost of ownership for some of the most popular internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and similarly costed electric vehicles (EV) available for purchase in 2022. The four selected EVs total cost of ownership was less than the comparable ICEs.


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Comments

Comments 1 to 4:

  1. I read through the linked paper:

    Each single Ethereum transaction is estimated to cause 85.47 kgCO2 (29) resulting from the mining devices involved in verifying the transaction, and there were 942,812 NFT sales in the month preceding October 10, 2021. (30) Assuming that NFT transactions on the Ethereum blockchain have the same carbon footprint as other transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, and based on the assumption that 4434 metric tonnes could kill a person unnecessarily, the mining devices needed to verify 51,877 transactions would produce enough emissions to kill a person between 2020 and 2100.

    Essentially, in ref 29, they use the transaction cost in Ethereum as a proxy for energy use by estimating the portion of the mining earnings used to purchase energy.  Ethereum's own estimate is 84 kWh per transaction https://ethereum.org/en/energy-consumption/ which means about 35 kg CO2 per transaction with natural gas: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=74&t=11

    They assume there are no other benefits to that expense such as other smart contracts being stored in the Ethereum blockchain rather than on paper.  I think the most important shortcoming of the paper is the assumption that the marketplace will fail at energy reduction because:

    Blockchain developers are, however, cautious to move away from a tried-and-tested blockchain model with its security advantages [12] and acceptable ability to maintain Byzantine fault tolerance [13].

    That does not appear to be correct: https://pixelplex.io/blog/top-ten-blockchains-for-nft-development/  With price as a proxy for energy use, there are many orders of magnitude of savings with ethereum competitors.  The bottom line is that blockchain tech evolution is not just proof that proof-of-work works, it's proof that marketplace innovation works.

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  2. Thank you for your comment, Eric.

    My thought is that the authors are pointing to  a likely outcome of synthesis of a kind.  Market forces in combination with regulation, regulation being our backstop for when human nature fails us and we need to agree to create a virtual "adult in the room" to check our worst impulses. 

    But mostly I'm here to say that it's great to see somebody reading a paper, tackling a primary source, thinking about implications. That's a major reason for being of NR. You've added energy and impetus to our enterprise— thank you!.  :-)

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  3. HI, i read always many of the studies and i write a book on all the changes in the Earth system - so your site is one of my important trackers ;)

    And funny so that it's the critical blockchain paper that steered interest.

    Just let's say to invent a money that uses up energy when used is in our times one of the stupidest things to do ever :D

    If the road to extinction of humanity would not be so said it would be hilarious...

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  4. The Guardian had an interesting article where they determined how much the temperature had increased since 1895 and since 1970 in different counties in the USA.  They determined that the temperature has increased more than 1.5C since 1895 for more than a third of the population.  In the southern states many counties have had a decrease in temperature since 1895.  The greatest increases were in Alaska where records only go back to 1925.  Ventura County in California increased 2.6 C since 1895 (4.7F).

    It is expected that warming will not be the same everywhere.  The increase in temperatures over land worldwide are greater than the increases over the ocean.  The average increase in the USA is about 1 C, which is close to the global average.

    It would be interesting to see a similar calculation for places worldwide.

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