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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12 2023

Posted on 23 March 2023 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Open access notables 

The United States experienced some historical low temperature records during the just-concluded winter. It's a reminder that climate and weather are quite noisy; with regard to our warming climate,, as with a road ascending a mountain range we may steadily change our conditions but with lots of variation on our path. Despite what we've just seen, the probability of new low temperature records being set in North America is steadily shrinking. Zhenyuan Cui & Chao He quantify one such measure in their paper Decadal trend of synoptic temperature variability over the Northern Hemisphere in winter. Rapid cooling events or "RCEs" are becoming rarer and of smaller magnitude: "The synoptic-scale standard deviation of temperature decreases significantly with a trend of − 0.15 K/decade (− 0.09 to − 0.21 K/decade among reanalysis datasets) over continental regions in mid-high latitudes. Correspondingly, the rapid cooling events (RCEs), defined based on the day-to-day temperature decrease exceeding 6 K, also show a general decreasing trend in terms of their frequency and intensity."

Meanwhile, the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is accruing energy at a prodigious rate. Zhankun Wang et al. publishing in the AMS Journal of Climate report energy being stuffed into this patch of ocean at a rate of "approximately 1.38 ± 0.41 TW for the entire water column of the GOM between 1970 and 2020. The rate has not been continuous; more lately energy input to the GOM is about 1.76 ± 1.36 TW. The team's entire careful analysis can be read in their article Upper-Oceanic Warming in the Gulf of Mexico between 1950 and 2020.

Simulated carbon cycle and Earth system response to atmospheric CO2 removal by Cao, Jin and Jiang reports on an improvedd, more holistic exploration of CO2 removal at large scale:  "We expanded previous studies by using an Earth system model to examine the response of land and ocean carbon cycle, as well as a set of climate variables to idealized scenarios of atmospheric CO2 removal with different removal rates." The authors thereby identify a range of effects probably obvious for experts but not so much to the rest of us. They conclude: Our study demonstrates that to offset previous positive CO2 emissions by atmospheric CO2 removal does not mean to offset climate consequence of positive CO2 emissions. Rapid and deep reduction in CO2 emissions is key to prevent and limit increasing risks from further warming. 

Looking ahead to more peaceful future in Ukraine and how to deal with the aftermath of Russia's invasion and its accompanying destruction of the built environment on a massive scale, in their perspective piece for PLOSClimate Kateryna Utkina, Ilona Otto & Galina Churkina point out that Ukraine is rich in biomass raw materials. This leads to an opportunity: "Since the construction industry is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and the lifespan of buildings and infrastructure extends beyond 50 years, it is essential to include net-zero climate targets in the post-war reconstruction. One possible step that can be taken to meet the climate policy goals is to use construction materials, where the manufacturing and use have a balancing effect the GHG emissions. These construction materials store carbon, and their manufacturing is associated with low GHG emissions." The authors suggest key steps for making low-impact reconstruction possible, in Rebuild better for a sustainable future

From this week's government/NGO section, "ahem" delivered in An Economist’s Case for Restrictive Supply Side Policies. Ten Policies to Manage the Fossil Fuel Transition: "The authors explain the economic rationale—and climate necessity—of deploying restrictive supply-side policies to actively wind down fossil fuel extraction. Levers like bans, restrictions, or phaseouts are not new; in fact, history shows that products can go quickly from commonplace to banned. In the last four decades, the United States has outlawed lead paint, phased out asbestos, and curtailed tobacco marketing and sales. Similar policies can be used for fossil fuels; indeed, comparable policies are in place in other countries and at the state level."

105 articles in 47 journals by 657 contributing authors citing 6,026+ prior works

Physical science of climate change, effects

An upper bound for extreme temperatures over midlatitude land
Zhang & Boos Boos Boos, ESS Open Archive, Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10510935.1

Circus Tents, Convective Thresholds, and the Non-Linear Climate Response to Tropical SSTs
Williams et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl101499

Rectified Ocean Heat Uptake from Oscillatory Surface Forcing
Pudig et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0267.1

Observations of climate change, effects

A pitchfork-like relationship between reduced Barents-Kara sea ice and Ural atmospheric circulation
Li et al., Climate Dynamics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-023-06743-5

Attribution of tropical sea surface temperature change on extreme precipitation over the Yangtze River Valley in 2020
Wang et al., Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-023-06752-4

Changes in the mean and extreme temperature in the Yangtze River Basin over the past 120 years
Zhang et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2023.100557

Decadal trend of synoptic temperature variability over the Northern Hemisphere in winter
Cui & He He, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Open Access 10.1007/s00704-023-04423-2

Glacier Surface Heatwaves Over the Tibetan Plateau
Chen et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl101115

North Atlantic patterns of primary production and phenology in two Earth System Models (preprint)
Hieronymus et al., Biogeosciences, Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2023-54

Statistical analysis of extreme temperatures in India in the period 1951–2020
Vieira et al., Biogeosciences, Open Access pdf 10.21203/

Upper-Oceanic Warming in the Gulf of Mexico between 1950 and 2020
Wang et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0409.1

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects

Global Atmospheric Composition Observations: The Heart of Vital Climate and Environmental Action
Carmichael et al., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Open Access pdf 10.1175/bams-d-22-0016.1

Ocean carbon from space: Current status and priorities for the next decade
Brewin et al., Earth, 10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104386

Satellite solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence tracks physiological drought stress development during 2020 southwest US drought
Zhang et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16683

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

21st Century Scenario Forcing Increases More for CMIP6 Than CMIP5 Models
Fredriksen et al., ESS Open Archive, Open Access pdf 10.1002/essoar.10512322.1

Impact of climate change on wind energy across North America under climate change scenario RCP8.5
Li, Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106722

Impacts of a weakened AMOC on precipitation over the Euro-Atlantic region in the EC-Earth3 climate model
Bellomo et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.21203/

Large variability in simulated response of vegetation composition and carbon dynamics to variations in drought-heat occurrence
Tschumi et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 10.1029/2022jg007332

Past to Future Drylands in China: A Multimodel Analysis Using CMIP6 Simulations
Shi et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0720.1

Projected Impacts of Antarctic Meltwater Anomalies over the Twenty-First Century
Purich & England, Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0457.1

Projected West Antarctic Ocean Warming Caused by an Expansion of the Ross Gyre
Gomez-Valdivia et al., ESS Open Archive, Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10511721.1

Projecting the Changes in Multifaceted Characteristics of Heatwave Events Across China
Wei et al., Earth's Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003387

The Occurrence of Near-0°C Surface Air Temperatures in the Current and Pseudo-Global Warming Future over Southern Canada
Stewart et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd037981

Ventilation of the deep Gulf of Mexico and potential insights to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
Amon et al., Science Advances, Open Access pdf 10.1126/sciadv.ade1685

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

Impact of the Deep Chlorophyll Maximum in the Equatorial Pacific as Revealed in a Coupled Ocean GCM-Ecosystem Model
Shi et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 10.1029/2022jc018631

Selecting regional climate models based on their skill could give more credible precipitation projections over the complex Southeast Asia region
Nguyen et al., Climate Dynamics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-023-06751-5

Simulation of the long-term variability of the Hadley circulation in CMIP6 models
Wang et al., Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106716

The Ability of Hydrologic-Land Surface Models to Concurrently Simulate Permafrost and Hydrology (preprint)
Abdelhamed et al., The Cryosphere, Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-2023-20

Variability in Projected North American Mean and Extreme Temperature and Precipitation Trends for the 21st Century: Model-To-Model Differences Versus Internal Variability
Kelleher et al., Earth's Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003161

Cryosphere & climate change

Grounding Zone of Amery Ice Shelf, Antarctica, From Differential Synthetic-Aperture Radar Interferometry
Chen et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl102430

Sea level & climate change

Atmospheric and oceanic circulation altered by global mean sea-level rise
Zhang et al., Nature Geoscience, 10.1038/s41561-023-01153-y

Evolution of trends in North Atlantic dynamic sea level in the twenty-first century
Pardaens, Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-023-06659-0

Peak water levels rise less than mean sea level in tidal channels subject to depth convergence by deepening
Leuven et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 10.1029/2022jc019578

Sea level rise from West Antarctic mass loss significantly modified by large snowfall anomalies
Davison et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-36990-3

Paleoclimate & paleogeochemistry

The Effect of Past Saturation Changes on Noble Gas Reconstructions of Mean Ocean Temperature
Pöppelmeier et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl102055

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

A keystone avian predator faces elevated energy expenditure in a warming Arctic
Grunst et al., Ecology, 10.1002/ecy.4034

Characterization of Gelidium corneum’s (Florideophyceae, Rhodophyta) vegetative propagation process under increasing levels of temperature and irradiance
Sainz-Villegas et al., Marine Environmental Research, 10.1016/j.marenvres.2023.105966

Coral adaptive capacity insufficient to halt global transition of coral reefs into net erosion under climate change
Cornwall et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16647

Extensive regional variation in the phenology of insects and their response to temperature across North America
Dunn et al., Ecology, 10.1002/ecy.4036

Extreme shifts in habitat suitability under contemporary climate change for a high-Arctic herbivore
van Beest et al., Climatic Change, 10.1007/s10584-023-03510-7

Identifying climate change refugia for South American biodiversity
Sales & Pires, Conservation Biology, 10.1111/cobi.14087

Increasing hypoxia on global coral reefs under ocean warming
Pezner et al., Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-023-01619-2

Is climate change pushing gymnosperms against the wall in the northwestern Himalayas?
Dad et al., Regional Environmental Change, 10.1007/s10113-023-02050-1

Larger diurnal temperature range undermined later autumn leaf senescence with warming in Europe
Wang & Liu, Global Ecology and Biogeography, 10.1111/geb.13674

Legacy effects of anthropogenic disturbances modulate dynamics in the world's coral reefs
González?Barrios et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16686

Mutualistic interactions shape global spatial congruence and climatic niche evolution in Neotropical mimetic butterflies
Doré et al., Ecology Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1111/ele.14198

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

Annual biomass spatial data for southern California (2001-2021): Above- and belowground, standing dead, and litter
Schrader?Patton et al., Ecology, Open Access pdf 10.1002/ecy.4031

Autumn cooling paused increased CO2 release in central Eurasia
Kondo et al., Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-023-01625-4

Contrasting the biophysical and radiative effects of rising CO2 concentrations on ozone dry deposition fluxes
Silva et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd037668

Current and future global lake methane emissions: A process-based modeling analysis
Zhuang et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 10.1029/2022jg007137

Integrating terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to constrain estimates of land-atmosphere carbon exchange
Casas-Ruiz et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37232-2

Microbial necromass under global change and implications for soil organic matter
Hu et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16676

Quantifying an overlooked deciduous-needleleaf carbon sink at the southern margin of the central-Siberian permafrost zone
Liu et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 10.1029/2022jg006845

Radiocarbon constraints on carbon release from the Antarctic ice sheet into the Amundsen Sea Embayment
Fang & Kim, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 10.1029/2022jg007053

Source attribution of nitrogen dioxide over the Indian subcontinent using WRF-chem
Mukherjee et al., Journal of Atmospheric and Solar, 10.1016/j.jastp.2023.106051

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Carbon stock and sequestration of planted and natural forests along climate gradient in water-limited area: A synthesis in the China's Loess plateau
Li et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109419

Simulated carbon cycle and Earth system response to atmospheric CO2 removal
Cao et al., Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2023.03.001

Techno-economic evaluation of buffered accelerated weathering of limestone as a CO2 capture and storage option
De Marco et al., Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11027-023-10052-x


A many-objective optimization strategy for unified optimal operation of pumped storage hydropower station under multiple load rejection conditions
Liu et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2023.03.011

Beyond costs: How urban form could limit the uptake of residential solar PV systems in low-income neighborhoods in Ghana
Akrofi & Okitasari, Energy for Sustainable Development, Open Access 10.1016/j.esd.2023.03.004

Biogas yield using single and two stage anaerobic digestion: An experimental approach
Paranjpe et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2023.03.005

From a promising technological niche to an established market niche: Solar photovoltaic niche formation in Iran
Fartash & Ghorbani, Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2023.03.007

Potential global warming impact of 1 kW polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell system for residential buildings on operation phase
Kim et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, Open Access 10.1016/j.esd.2023.03.001

Product stewardship considerations for solar photovoltaic panels
Majewski et al., AIMS Energy, Open Access 10.3934/energy.2023008

Selection of renewable energy sources: a novel VIKOR approach in an intuitionistic fuzzy linguistic environment
Gupta et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-022-02172-2

Spatial Trade-Offs in National Land-Based Wind Power Production in Times of Biodiversity and Climate Crises
Grimsrud et al., Environmental and Resource Economics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10640-023-00764-8

Strong synergy between gold nanoparticles and cobalt porphyrin induces highly efficient photocatalytic hydrogen evolution
Sheng et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37271-9

Surface in situ reconstruction of inorganic perovskite films enabling long carrier lifetimes and solar cells with 21% efficiency
Chu et al., Nature Energy, 10.1038/s41560-023-01220-z

Geoengineering climate

Comparison of the carbon cycle and climate response to artificial ocean alkalinization and solar radiation modification
Jin & Cao Cao, Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2023.03.002

Black carbon

Monsoon precipitation decrease due to black carbon also causes glacier mass decline over the southeastern Tibetan Plateau
Yang et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2301016120

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Adapting nomadic pastoralism to climate change
Tugjamba et al., Climatic Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-023-03509-0

An empirical exploration into the determinants of rice farmers’ decisions to adopt low-carbon agricultural technologies in Hubei Province, China
Jiang et al., Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 10.1007/s11027-023-10054-9

Can the Middle East-North Africa region mitigate the rise of its food import dependency under climate change?
Le Mouël et al., Regional Environmental Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10113-023-02045-y

Climate Change Adaptation Measures by Farm Households in Gedeo Zone, Ethiopia: An Application of Multivariate Analysis Approach
Tesfaye & Nayak, Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-022-02185-x

Coping with and adapting to climate and non-climate stressors within the small-scale farming, fishing and seaweed growing sectors, Zanzibar
Makame et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.21203/

Quantifying the Safe Operating Space for Land-System SDG Achievement via Machine Learning and Scenario Discovery
Khan et al., Earth's Future, Open Access 10.1029/2022ef003083

Seasonal variability in the effect of temperature on key phenological stages of four table grapes cultivars
Rafique et al., International Journal of Biometeorology, 10.1007/s00484-023-02452-0

The dispersion of climate change impacts from viticulture in Ticino, Switzerland
Bardsley et al., Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11027-023-10051-y

Understanding Farmers’ Perception of Extreme Weather Events and Adaptive Measures
Etumnu et al., Climate Risk Management, Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100494

Hydrology, hydrometeorology & climate change

Evaluating Enhanced Reservoir Evaporation Losses From CMIP6-Based Future Projections in the Contiguous United States
Zhao et al., Earth's Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef002961

Extreme rainfall events in Morocco: Spatial dependence and climate drivers
Chaqdid et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2023.100556

Quantification of uncertainties in streamflow extremes in the Chaliyar river basin, India under climate change
Ansa Thasneem et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-023-04410-7

Simulating the Hydrologic Response to Climate Change in Three New Zealand Headwater Basins Using CMIP6 Datasets
Risley & Zammit, Earth Interactions, Open Access pdf 10.1175/ei-d-22-0018.1

The Impacts of Interannual Climate Variability on the Declining Trend in Terrestrial Water Storage over the Tigris–Euphrates River Basin
Chang & Niu, Journal of Hydrometeorology, 10.1175/jhm-d-22-0026.1

To dam or not to dam? Actionable socio-hydrology modeling to inform robust adaptation to water scarcity and water extremes
, Dictionary Geotechnical Engineering/Wörterbuch GeoTechnik, Open Access 10.1007/978-3-642-41714-6_40035

Climate change economics

Finance for fossils – The role of public financing in expanding petrochemicals
Skovgaard et al., Global Environmental Change, Open Access 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2023.102657

Green preferences
Busato et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10668-022-02179-9

Impact of climate and socioeconomic changes on fire carbon emissions in the future: Sustainable economic development might decrease future emissions
Park et al., Global Environmental Change, 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2023.102667

Industrial output, services and carbon emissions: the role of information and communication technologies and economic freedom in Africa
Nwani et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-022-02183-z

Is renewable energy technology trade more or less conflictive than other trade?
Apergi et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113538

Climate change mitigation public policy research

Does tourism have an impact on carbon emissions in Asia? An application of fresh panel methodology
Voumik et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10668-023-03104-4

High-resolution carbon neutrality mapping and a heterogeneity analysis for China's two typical megalopolises
Xia et al., Urban Climate, 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101488

Impacts of energy efficiency projects in developing countries: Evidence from a spatial difference-in-differences analysis in Malawi
Naeher et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, Open Access pdf 10.1016/j.esd.2023.03.010

Planning sustainable carbon neutrality pathways: accounting challenges experienced by organizations and solutions from industrial ecology
de Bortoli et al., The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 10.1007/s11367-023-02147-z

Policy incentives, government subsidies, and technological innovation in new energy vehicle enterprises: Evidence from China
Jiang & Xu, Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113527

Politics of climate change mitigation in Taiwan: International isolation, developmentalism legacy, and civil society responses
Liu & Chao, WIREs Climate Change, 10.1002/wcc.834

The role of shadow economy to determine CO2 emission in Pakistan: evidence from novel dynamic simulated ARDL model and wavelet coherence analysis
Ahad & Imran, Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-022-02164-2

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Can social protection tackle emerging risks from climate change, and how? A framework and a critical review
Costella et al., Climate Risk Management, Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100501

What happens after climate change adaptation projects end: A community-based approach to ex-post assessment of adaptation projects
Mills-Novoa, Global Environmental Change, Open Access 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2023.102655

Climate change impacts on human health

Changes in the temperature-mortality relationship in France: Limited evidence of adaptation to a new climate
Pascal et al., International Journal of Biometeorology, 10.1007/s00484-023-02451-1

Heat exposure and hospitalisation for epileptic seizures: A nationwide case-crossover study in Brazil
Zhang et al., Urban Climate, 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101497

Climate change & geopolitics

New insights into projected Arctic sea road: operational risks, economic values, and policy implications
Li & Lynch, Climatic Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-023-03505-4

Thirty years on: Planetary climate planning and the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee
Kaplan Weinger, Global Environmental Change, Open Access 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2023.102669


Climate Homicide: Prosecuting Big Oil For Climate Deaths
Arkush & Braman, SSRN Electronic Journal, 10.2139/ssrn.4335779

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

On peer review—then, now, and soon to be?
Berenbaum, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2302593120

Post-pandemic lessons for EU energy and climate policy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Introduction to a special issue on EU green recovery in the post-Covid-19 period
Mišík & Nosko, Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113546

Rebuild better for a sustainable future
Utkina et al., PLOS Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000165

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

Evaluating Impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law on the U.S. Power System, Steinberg, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The authors present the methods and results of a study estimating the potential impacts of key provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) on the contiguous U.S. power sector from the present through 2030. The analysis uses an advanced power system planning model, the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS), to evaluate how major provisions from both laws affect investment in and operation of utility-scale generation, storage, and transmission, and, in turn, how those changes impact power system costs, emissions, and climate and health damages. While not exhaustive in capturing every provision, the analysis estimates the possible scale of power sector effects that could result from the modeled provisions in IRA and BI

Innovation at Scale: Supporting Pilot-Scale Demonstrations, Natalie Tham, Bipartisan Policy Center

The establishment of the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) at the Department of Energy represents an important step toward accelerating American innovation and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. The clean energy and low-emissions solutions required to meet these goals are complex, capital-intensive, and not yet deployed at scale. Promising technologies often fail to move past successful research and development (R&D) into market adoption due to the expensive and risky nature of validating technology at scale. Federal funding provided by OCED is critical to effectively demonstrate and de-risk these technologies so they may be commercially proven and deployed widely. While OCED programs have and likely will continue to focus on very large and complex projects—those at the last step before commercial application or requiring $25 million or more to achieve commercial scale—there is a lack of public and private funding for pilot-scale demonstrations which require less than $25 million. Projects at this stage are larger than typical venture capital investments but not yet sufficiently de-risked for project finance providers. Pilot-scale demonstrations aim to prove that larger investments are worthwhile. OCED is well-positioned to address this funding support gap by creating a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program through existing authority.

The role of climate change in extreme rainfall associated with Cyclone Gabrielle over Aotearoa New Zealand’s East Coast, Harrington et al, World Weather Attribution

n early February 2023, a tropical low-pressure system formed in the Pacific Ocean to the north of Fiji before slowly moving westwards into the Coral Sea. A cyclone subsequently formed in the open oceans to the south of the Solomon Islands where, surrounded by sea surface temperatures much warmer than normal (approaching 30°C), both oceanic and atmospheric conditions were favorable for the system to intensify. Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle was officially named by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology on February 8th, strengthening to its peak Category 3 status on February 10th. Based on extrapolations from weather records that go back to 1979, heavy rain like that recorded over two days was about 30% more intense and four times more likely than in a pre-warming world that is 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit (1.2 degrees Celsius) cooler than now. But there are large uncertainties in those figures because available data are limited.

An Economist’s Case for Restrictive Supply Side Policies. Ten Policies to Manage the Fossil Fuel Transition, Mark Paul and Lina Moe, Climate and Community Project

The authors explain the economic rationale—and climate necessity—of deploying restrictive supply-side policies to actively wind down fossil fuel extraction. Levers like bans, restrictions, or phaseouts are not new; in fact, history shows that products can go quickly from commonplace to banned. In the last four decades, the United States has outlawed lead paint, phased out asbestos, and curtailed tobacco marketing and sales. Similar policies can be used for fossil fuels; indeed, comparable policies are in place in other countries and at the state level. The International Energy Agency has made it clear: If the planet is to remain habitable, fossil fuel extraction must end. Restrictive supply-side interventions can provide crucial support for demand-side policies by guaranteeing emission reductions, stopping international carbon leaks, and alleviating carbon lock-in. Complementary supply-side policy strategies crucial to achieving the United States’ decarbonization goals include ending fossil fuel subsidies, banning new leases and permits for fossil fuel extraction on federal lands and in federal waters, rejecting all new fossil fuel infrastructure, tax windfall profits, ban oil and fossil gas exports, and nationalize the fossil fuel industry.

Our Progress Towards Net Zero, Shell

Reduced Scope 1 and 2 absolute emissions by 30%. Reduced net carbon intensity by 3.8%. Invested $4.3 billion in low-carbon energy solutions, and $3.9 billion in non-energy products. Developing renewable hydrogen. To account for reductions in emissions across full energy value chains it is necessary to build new protocols to include mitigation actions by both energy suppliers and users. Currently, energy suppliers report Scope 3 emissions from the use of their products, which are equivalent to the Scope 1 emissions reported by the users of those products. However, when users of energy products mitigate their Scope 1 emissions by the use of carbon capture and storage or offsets there is no protocol for reflecting a corresponding reduction in Scope 3 emissions reported by the energy supplier. Shell will continue to engage stakeholders on these carbon protocols and will seek to align with new frameworks as they evolve.

Triple Threat. How disease, climate risks, and unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene create a deadly combination for children, United Nations Children’s Fund

Globally, 600 million children still lack safely managed drinking water, 1.1 billion lack safely managed sanitation and 689 million lack basic hygiene services, 149 million children still face the indignity of practicing open defecation and unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are still responsible for the deaths of around 1,000 children under 5 every day. The authors examine the “triple burden” of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)-related threats facing children at the intersection of access to WASH services, the burden of WASH-related diseases, and climate threats. By examining the burden of disease from unsafe WASH, people can see where the problem is greatest. Through examining access to water and sanitation services, people can see where investment is the lowest. Through examining climate threats, people can see which countries face the greatest risk to both health and services for children. Ten countries alone – with a combined population of over 190 million children and all in sub-Saharan Africa – face this triple burden. Around 2 out of 5 deaths from unsafe WASH are concentrated in these countries.

Cover Image Review of the Draft Fifth National Climate Assessment, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

The US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is mandated to develop an assessment of global change every four years or less. The Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) is the latest in a series of sustained assessments that evaluate the state of global change science and analyze the wide range of impacts of climate change in the United States. The assessments represent a consensus-based view of the state of knowledge, relevant for policy and decision making.

Review of the Draft Fifth National Climate Assessment, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is mandated to develop an assessment of global change every four years or less. The Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) is the latest in a series of sustained assessments that evaluate the state of global change science and analyze the wide range of impacts of climate change in the United States. The assessments represent a consensus-based view of the state of knowledge, relevant for policy and decision-making. The draft NCA5 report reviewed here addresses a wide range of topics of high importance to the United States and society more broadly, extending from human health and community well-being to the built environment, to businesses and economies, and to ecosystems and water resources.

The Future of Gas in New York State, Michael Walsh and Michael Bloomberg, Building Decarbonization Coalition

The authors provide information to assist the Public Service Commission and other stakeholders at this critical, early moment in gas distribution system transition planning. They use existing research and add new data and analysis on several key topics, such as the costs of the gas distribution system, the fragility of gas utility business models to competition from new electric technologies, the hurdles to substituting fuels like renewable natural gas (RNG) or hydrogen for fossil methane gas, and the benefits and pitfalls of pathways studies. The authors offer a synthesis of these and other factors in a scenario-based discussion of potential approaches to gas distribution system transition.

Zero Emission Long-Haul Heavy-Duty Trucking, Thomas Walker III, Clean Air Task Force

The author compared the operational performance of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV), identifying key advantages to FCEVs in efforts to decarbonize long–haul heavy-duty trucking. The author used a novel approach to analyzing questions of cost by comparing the operational performance of BEV and FCEV drive trains and infrastructure as alternatives to diesel trucking on a popular long-haul route in the U.S. The author found that FCEVs outperform BEVs in terms of the number of stops required (three vs. eight), total time spent refueling (1.4 hours vs. 43.8 hours), and available room for cargo (accounting for the size of equipment). While building charging and refueling infrastructure for BEVs and FCEVs could prove equally challenging, FCEV refueling technology has the comparative advantage of being similar to existing diesel refueling technology, making for fewer barriers to transition.

The Impact of Resource Inflexibility on Capacity Accreditation in New England, Frost et al., Synapse Energy Economics

The authors analyze the operational limitations of several electrical generation resources in New England. They examined the risk of unpredicted scarcity events that could be impacted by unplanned outages and forecast errors. They found that electrical generation resources can take long amounts of time to start up in New England and that within these long start-up periods, there is a considerable risk of forecast error or forced outages that push the electrical system into shortage before long start-up time units can respond. While the analysis focused on several specific resources, the problems that were identified are widespread.

Chapter 9, Opportunities for Better Managing Weather Risk in the Changing Climate, Economic Report of the President, The Council of Economic Advisers

The risks that climate change poses are multidimensional, regionally specific, and vary based on underlying socioeconomic vulnerabilities. Adaptation policies need to be targeted to particular settings and therefore will need to be both varied and complex. The authors proposes four overarching objectives for structuring further Federal adaptation efforts including producing and disseminating knowledge about climate risk; long-term planning for the climate transition; ensuring accurate pricing of climate risks; and protecting the vulnerable.

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.

A few journals offer public access to "preprint" versions of articles for which the review process is not yet complete. For some key journals this all the mention we'll see in RSS feeds, so we include such items in New Research. These are flagged as "preprint."

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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