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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #14 2023

Posted on 6 April 2023 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Open access notables

What does intellectual bankruptcy often look like? Trying to switch topics by going ad hominem, that's what. When somebody stops thinking and begins flinging irrelevant insults, threats and accusations at a person, we're seeing a crisply humiliating admission: "I have nothing." Going broke isn't free. In the case of climate science it's climate scientists who bear costs. Global Witness quantifies this, finding that some 50% of climate scientists have found themselves on the receiving end of vitriol hurled by (surrendering, let's remember) abusers in various online venues. Being outsmarted by a woman seems to be particularly enraging for losers, or so disproportionate statistics of degenerate behaviors suggest. The entire sorry and shaming report is available as a PDF: Global Hating. From this week's collection of government and NGO reports.

"Go slow" is our increasingly conventional mantra on geoengineering. Here's yet another paper illustrating why, and and how it's growingly obvious that resort to geoengineering is something akin to depending on airbags as a mitigation for driving while drunk. Artificial Upwelling—A Refined Narrative finds that pushing nutrient matter up from benthic waters to where sunlight is available so that microorganisms can make a meal and thereby fix carbon dioxide may only work in the very worst climate scenarios, while causing the ocean to ventilate CO2 in more moderate RCP cases. 

This week we're treated to two interesting articles on climate change and Russia, one describing Russia's wavering relationship with climate reality, the other concerned with what will happen regardless of  where politicians and latterly kleptocrats may lead the country. Benjamin Beurle covers the human nature aspects in From continuity to change: Soviet and Russian government attitudes on climate change (1989–2009), while  Climate change and challenges to sustainable development in the Russian Arctic is reported by Stepanov, Makarov, Makarova & Smolovik and is notably bluff about policy successes given the authors' location. 

Solar Fuel Production from Hydrogen Sulfide: An Upstream Energy Perspective nicely captures the messy process and heavy baggage of an industrial transition of a type we've never seen before. While the authors point out other sources, the overwhelming majority of H2S we have "on tap" and easily available is a costly byproduct of oil & gas extraction. Hence and unfortunately,  reclaiming and commercializing hydrogen sulfide as a feedstock for for hydrogen fuel production as described by the authors arguably will serve to prolong and aggravate what we already know is an unusustainable system. 

We have abundant solar and other renewable energy sources and as well (at least in many places) ample water, meaning we have almost everything required to obtain hydrogen, useful in hard substitution cases such as long-haul aviation and numerous other "niche" applications adding up to a lot of consumption. But brute-force methods to split water such as vanilla electrolysis are very energy intensive and compete with other urgent energy requirements. That's why the search is on for improved catalysts to help with the cracking process by lowering the energy slope.  A pyrolysis-free Ni/Fe bimetallic electrocatalyst for overall water splitting reported by Yeng Zang et al. in Nature Communications includes not only intellectual tools helpful for improving our fundamental understanding of catalysis in this key application but also possibilities for making the electrochemistry of the cracking process less twitchy and more tolerant of broader ranges of pH. 

"Many climate models suggest the possibility of tipping phenomena in which some gradual forcing on a system induces a strong feedback effect, resulting in an abrupt and often irreversible shift in the equilibrium state [1,2]. The specific conditions under which such an event will occur are difficult to determine, however; the prediction of any given model cannot be concretely validated until it has already come to pass." With hints of potentially ugly surprises in store It's hardly an optimal situation, and this is the nub of the problem Daniel Dylewsky & crew are tackling in Universal early warning signals of phase transitions in climate systems The authors demonstrate success with prognostication of certain types of bifurcations (tipping points) from subtle features of unfamilar observational and simulated data via employment of suitably trained deep neural networks.

97 articles in 56 journals by 498 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

Future Drying Subtropical East Asia in Winter: Mechanism and Observational Constraint, He, Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0347.1

The Cycle of Large-Scale Aggregation in Tropical Radiative Convective Equilibrium, Dygert & Hartmann, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd037302

Observations of climate change, effects

Climate change is leading to rapid shifts in seasonality in the himalaya, Ingty et al., International Journal of Biometeorology, 10.1007/s00484-023-02465-9

Elevation-dependent changes in the trend of reference evapotranspiration in the Tibetan Plateau during 1960–2017, Chang et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7964

Elevation-dependent intensification of fire danger in the western United States, Alizadeh et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37311-4

Long-term changes in the frequency of exceptionally cold and warm months in Europe (1831–2020), Skrzy?ska & Twardosz, International Journal of Climatology, Open Access 10.1002/joc.7978

Modulation Effect of the Annual Cycle on Interdecadal Warming Trends over the Tibetan Plateau during 1998–2020, Qin & Zou, Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0517.1

Persistent and nonpersistent regional extreme total, daytime, and night-time precipitation events over southwest China (1961–2019), Cheng et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7968

Quantifying spatiotemporal variations and driving factors of the energy budget in the Loess Plateau, Fen et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7963

Regime shift increase in East Asia's summer extreme hot day frequency across the late 1990s, Lee et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7976

Spatial and temporal characteristics of various cold surges over China during 1962-2018, Ma et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7896

Spatio-temporal changes in the mean and extreme temperature indices for Serbia, Toši? et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7981

Trends in soil moisture content and water deficits in Argentina and the role of climate contribution, Peretti et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-023-04428-x

Will extreme temperature events emerge earlier under global warming?, Sun et al., Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106745

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects

Universal early warning signals of phase transitions in climate systems, Dylewsky et al., Journal of The Royal Society Interface, Open Access 10.1098/rsif.2022.0562

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

Future Indian Ocean warming patterns, Sharma et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37435-7

Seasonal and regional contrasts of future trends in interannual arctic climate variability, Kolbe et al., Climate Dynamics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-023-06766-y

The Climate Response to the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption Does Not Constrain Climate Sensitivity, Pauling et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2023gl102946

The relationship between African easterly waves and tropical cyclones in historical and future climates in the HighResMIP-PRIMAVERA simulations, Bercos?Hickey et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd037471

Warming Overwhelms the Efficacy of Wet Conditions to Moderate Extreme Heat and Atmospheric Aridity Across the Central Plains, Chiang et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl102939

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

Changes of Extreme Precipitation in CMIP6 Projections: Should We Use Stationary or Nonstationary Models?, , SpringerReference, Open Access 10.1007/springerreference_2054

Estimating the potential evapotranspiration of Bulgaria using a high-resolution regional climate model, Anwar et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-023-04438-9

Intraseasonal-to-seasonal evolution of soil moisture-based droughts and floods in observation-based datasets and Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 models, Wei et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7965

Northwestward advance of the northern boundary of the East Asian summer monsoon over the 21st century in CMIP6 projections, Wu et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.8062

Cryosphere & climate change

Increased warm water intrusions could cause mass loss in East Antarctica during the next 200 years, Jordan et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37553-2

Rapid, buoyancy-driven ice-sheet retreat of hundreds of metres per day, Batchelor et al., Nature Communications, 10.1038/s41467-023-37553-2

Sea level & climate change

Sources and sinks of interannual steric sea level variability, Hochet et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022jc019335

Paleoclimate & paleogeochemistry

High-Resolution Records of Millennial-Scale East Asian Winter Monsoon in the Shelf Sea of Eastern China, Shi et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl102302

Long-term trajectories of mountain agro-ecosystems in the North-Western Alps, Giguet-Covex et al., [journal not provided], 10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6072

Multi-proxy constraints on Atlantic circulation dynamics since the last ice age, Pöppelmeier et al., Nature Geoscience, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41561-023-01140-3

PALEO-PGEM-Series: A spatial time series of the global climate over the last 5 million years (Plio-Pleistocene), Barreto et al., Global Ecology and Biogeography, 10.1111/geb.13683

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Additive and interactive effects of anthropogenic stressors on an insect herbivore, Halsch et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 10.1098/rspb.2022.2431

Contrasting environmental conditions precluded lower availability of Antarctic krill affecting breeding chinstrap penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula, Salmerón et al., Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-023-32352-7

Does competitive asymmetry confer polyploid advantage under changing environments?, Guo et al., Journal of Ecology, 10.1111/1365-2745.14100

Effects of Snow Cover on Spring Vegetation Phenology Vary with Temperature Gradient across the Pan-Arctic, Wu et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 10.1029/2022jg007183

Elevated nest temperature has opposing effects on host species infested with parasitic nest flies, Albert et al., Oecologia, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00442-023-05343-8

Future Increase in Aridity Drives Abrupt Biodiversity Loss Among Terrestrial Vertebrate Species, Liu et al., Earth's Future, Open Access 10.1029/2022ef003162

Thermal tolerance of tropical and temperate alpine plants suggests that ‘mountain passes are not higher in the tropics’, Sklená? et al., Global Ecology and Biogeography, 10.1111/geb.13678

Upside-down jellyfish as bioindicators of anthropogenic disturbances in coastal ecosystems, López-Figueroa, Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, 10.1038/s43017-023-00415-y

When host populations move north, but disease moves south: Counter-intuitive impacts of climate change on disease spread, Moran et al., Theoretical Ecology, 10.1007/s12080-022-00551-z

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

Convergence of carbon sink magnitude and water table depth in global wetlands, Li et al., Ecology Letters, 10.1111/ele.14199

Moving bedforms control CO2 production and distribution in sandy river sediments, Schulz et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 10.1029/2022jg007156

Nitrous Oxide Fluxes in Permafrost Peatlands remain negligible after Wildfire and Thermokarst Disturbance, Schulze et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 10.1029/2022jg007322

Observed changes in stratospheric circulation: Decreasing lifetime of N2O, 2005–2021, Prather et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-650

Restricted power: Can microorganisms maintain soil organic matter stability under warming exceeding 2 degrees?, Zhou et al., Global Ecology and Biogeography, 10.1111/geb.13672

Seasonal water mass evolution and non-Redfield dynamics enhance CO2 uptake in the Chukchi Sea, Ouyang et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021jc018326

Spatial and temporal variations of gross primary production simulated by land surface model BCC&AVIM2.0, Li et al., Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2023.02.001

Spatial heterogeneity of global forest aboveground carbon stocks and fluxes constrained by spaceborne lidar data and mechanistic modeling, Ma et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16682

Spatio-temporal effects of urbanization on CO2 emissions: Evidences from 268 Chinese cities, Xu et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113569

Using OCO-2 column CO2 retrievals to rapidly detect and estimate biospheric surface carbon flux anomalies, Feldman et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-506

Widespread natural methane and oil leakage from sub-marine Arctic reservoirs, Serov et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37514-9

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

CO2 capture performance of a CaO sorbent modified with fulvic acid for the calcium looping cycle, Jiang et al., Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, 10.1002/ghg.2213


A pyrolysis-free Ni/Fe bimetallic electrocatalyst for overall water splitting, Zang et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37530-9

An electron-hole rich dual-site nickel catalyst for efficient photocatalytic overall water splitting, Yan et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37358-3

Exploring the feasibility of Europe’s renewable expansion plans based on their profitability in the market, Finke et al., SSRN Electronic Journal, 10.2139/ssrn.4336187

From laboratory innovations to materials manufacturing for lithium-based batteries, Xiao et al., Nature Energy, 10.1038/s41560-023-01221-y

Lithium-ion battery cell production in Europe: Scenarios for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions until 2030, Degen, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/jiec.13386

Method to identify an energy class for small wind turbines, Duzdevich & Troviano, Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2023.03.015

Performance evaluation of a ventilated roof desiccant bed by direct use of solar energy for zero-energy buildings, Liu et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2023.03.014

Solar Fuel Production from Hydrogen Sulfide: An Upstream Energy Perspective, Ferree et al., Advanced Energy and Sustainability Research, Open Access pdf 10.1002/aesr.202200201

Transition from fossil fuel propelled transport to electrified mass transit railway system - Experience from Hong Kong, Chan, Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113372

Geoengineering climate

Artificial Upwelling—A Refined Narrative, Jürchott et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl101870

Aerosols Climate change communications & cognition

Leveraging emotional connections for climate change action: the power of solidarity and a common cause, Salhi, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 10.1007/s11027-023-10059-4

Synthesising psychometric evidence for the Climate Anxiety Scale and Hogg Eco-Anxiety Scale, Hogg et al., Journal of Environmental Psychology, 10.1016/j.jenvp.2023.102003

Synthesising psychometric evidence for the Climate Anxiety Scale and Hogg Eco-Anxiety Scale, Hogg et al., Journal of Environmental Psychology, 10.1016/j.jenvp.2023.102003

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Agroecology as a transformative approach to tackle climatic, food, and ecosystemic crises, Bezner Kerr et al., Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 10.1016/j.cosust.2023.101275

Alternative sources of protein for food and feed, Thornton et al., Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Open Access 10.1016/j.cosust.2023.101277

Climate change and its impacts on banana production: a systematic analysis, Abdoussalami et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-023-03168-2

Climate variability impacts on pasture productivity and pastoral livelihoods in northern Tanzania, Ndesanjo et al., Regional Environmental Change, 10.1007/s10113-023-02047-w

Role of Indigenous and local knowledge in seasonal forecasts and climate adaptation: A case study of smallholder farmers in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe, Zvobgo et al., Environmental Science & Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.03.017

The effects of climate change on food production in India: evidence from the ARDL model, Ahmed et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, Open Access 10.1007/s10668-023-03209-w

Hydrology, hydrometeorology & climate change

Can GRACE and CMIP6 historical data identify groundwater drought in North China Plain?, Yin et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-023-04441-0

Changes in hydrological processes in the Headwater Area of Yellow River, China during 1956–2019 under the influences of climate change, permafrost thaw and dam, Qiang et al., Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2023.03.006

Correlation Analysis between Precipitation and Precipitable Water Vapor over China Based on 1999–2015 Ground-Based GPS Observations, Zhang et al., Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 10.1175/jamc-d-21-0200.1

Drought hazards and stakeholder perception: Unraveling the interlinkages between drought severity, perceived impacts, preparedness, and management, Teutschbein et al., Ambio, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s13280-023-01849-w

Estimation of future extreme rainfall in Barcelona (Spain) under monofractal hypothesis, Monjo et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.8072

MOPREDAS&century database and precipitation trends in mainland Spain, 1916–2020, Gonzalez?Hidalgo et al., International Journal of Climatology, Open Access pdf 10.1002/joc.8060

Persistent and nonpersistent regional extreme total, daytime, and night-time precipitation events over southwest China (1961–2019), Cheng et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7968

Climate change economics

Research agenda for the loss and damage fund, Serdeczny & Lissner, Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-023-01648-x

Climate change mitigation public policy research

Decarbonizing contending industries: policy design and the EU’s CBAM, Shum, Climate Policy, 10.1080/14693062.2023.2194275

Do we need human capital heterogeneity for energy efficiency and innovativeness? Insights from European catching-up territories, Prokop et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113565

Evaluations of policy contagion for new energy vehicle industry in China, Hsiao et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113402

Governing through the nationally determined contribution (NDC): five functions to steer states’ climate conduct, Jernnäs, Environmental Politics, Open Access 10.1080/09644016.2023.2192146

Passenger transport decarbonization in emerging economies: policy lessons from modelling long-term deep decarbonization pathways, Briand et al., Climate Policy, Open Access 10.1080/14693062.2023.2194859

The architecture of procurement in sustainable and zero-emission neighborhood projects—strategic challenges and new realities, Hamdan et al., Environment Systems and Decisions, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10669-023-09908-z

The effects of “machine replacing human” on carbon emissions in the context of population aging – Evidence from China, Wang et al., Urban Climate, 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101519

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Drought hazards and stakeholder perception: Unraveling the interlinkages between drought severity, perceived impacts, preparedness, and management, Teutschbein et al., Ambio, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s13280-023-01849-w

Exploring “big picture” scenarios for resilience in social–ecological systems: transdisciplinary cross-impact balances modeling in the Red River Basin, Lazurko et al., Sustainability Science, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11625-023-01308-1

From local knowledge to decision making in climate change adaptation at basin scale. Application to the Jucar River Basin, Spain, Marcos-Garcia et al., Climatic Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-023-03501-8

What motivates and hinders municipal adaptation policy? Exploring vertical and horizontal diffusion in Hessen and Finland, Schoenefeld et al., Regional Environmental Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10113-023-02048-9

Climate change impacts on human health

Assessing health sector climate vulnerability in 226 local entities of South Korea based on principal component analysis, Kim & Jung Jung, Urban Climate, 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101521

Current and future trends in heat-related mortality in the MENA region: a health impact assessment with bias-adjusted statistically downscaled CMIP6 (SSP-based) data and Bayesian inference, Hajat et al., The Lancet Planetary Health, Open Access 10.1016/s2542-5196(23)00045-1

Climate change impacts on human culture

Understanding non-economic loss and damage due to climate change in Ghana, Boafo et al., Climate and Development, 10.1080/17565529.2023.2183074


A research agenda for the science of actionable knowledge: Drawing from a review of the most misguided to the most enlightened claims in the science-policy interface literature, Jagannathan et al., SSRN Electronic Journal, Open Access 10.2139/ssrn.4244579

Climate change and challenges to sustainable development in the Russian Arctic, Stepanov et al., Climatic Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-023-03512-5

Climate, flood, and attitudes toward violence: micro-level evidence from Karamoja, Uganda, von Uexkull et al., Regional Environmental Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10113-023-02054-x

Comparing the Contributions of Temperature and Salinity Changes to the AMOC Decline at 26.5°N, Lu et al., Journal of Physical Oceanography, 10.1175/jpo-d-22-0087.1

From continuity to change: Soviet and Russian government attitudes on climate change (1989–2009), Beuerle, Climatic Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-023-03488-2

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Marine heatwaves need clear definitions so coastal communities can adapt, Amaya et al., Nature, Open Access pdf 10.1038/d41586-023-00924-2

Research needs for a food system transition, , Journal of Development and Social Sciences, Open Access pdf 10.47205/jdss.2021(2-iv)74

What a 190-year-old equation says about rainstorms in a changing climate, Adam, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2304077120

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

Advancing Offshore Wind Energy in the United States, Department of Energy

This offshore wind energy strategy outlines the Department of Energy’s approach to accelerating the development of U.S. offshore wind to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and establish a pathway to deploying 110 GW or more by 2050. As a critical part of this pathway, this strategy seeks to also support the deployment of 15 GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035, as announced by the Biden administration in September 2022.

Can Hydrogen Fuel Reduce Aviation’s Climate Impact?, Joseph Webster, Atlantic Council

Reducing the aviation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions will require a transition to new energy resources. Liquid hydrogen fuel (H2) has emerged as a promising alternative to conventional jet fuel. Alternative clean energy options for aviation, such as batteries and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), exist but have limitations. Several analysts have identified clean ammonia, which is produced from hydrogen and nitrogen via clean electricity, as a potential alternative to liquid hydrogen. However, the author assumes that the latter will prevail in the fuel competition, as the overwhelming majority of technical aviation experts interviewed by the author believe that liquid H2 will ultimately be adopted by the industry. With few alternative technologies available for systematic decarbonization of the aviation sector, it is imperative that policymakers closely examine hydrogen’s role in aviation decarbonization.

Conflict Prevention, Climate Change, and Why Ghana Matters Now, Strouboulis et al., Center for Strategic and International Studies

Underlying structural, economic, and security-related challenges in Ghana mean that its status as a paragon of stability in a turbulent region should not be taken for granted. Significant challenges in the economy, politics and governance, and climate change are contributing to growing levels of violent conflict, particularly outside of Accra, the national capital. Ghana benefits from innovative domestic and regional conflict prevention and response systems; however, successful maintenance of Ghana’s peace requires concerted focus at the district, national, and regional levels.

Decarbonising maritime bunkering in the Netherlands and the embargo on Russian oil, Patrahau et al., The Hague Center for Strategic Studies

The European Union’s (EU) sanctions on the import of Russian oil have far-reaching consequences for the global oil market and European security of supply. At the same time, Fit-for-55 (FF55) plans for decarbonizing maritime shipping are under development and the various legislative proposals are expected to start being implemented around 2025. Sanctions could have an effect on the international position and decarbonization trajectory of the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region, an important energy trade hub and the second-largest bunkering port in the world. The authors develop qualitative storylines that focus on the impacts of the sanctions on Russian oil on bunkering in ARA and the implementation of FF55 plans.

Innovation for Resilience. A Focused Study on Workforce, Climate, Supply Chain, and Cyber Resilience, Ali et al., Center for Strategic and International Studies

In the broadest sense, resilience measures how well an individual, institution, or society can prepare for and respond to shocks to the system and endure, perhaps even thrive, under prolonged periods of stress. For the federal government, this definition then raises questions about the essential processes and operations that should be prioritized during a comprehensive recovery and the tools at the government’s disposal needed to actively create greater resilience. For the past year, the authors studied how the U.S. government can better position itself to promote resilience across four connected focus areas: the workforce, climate security, supply chains, and cybersecurity. Through independent research and a series of roundtables and expert interviews with current and former government officials, academics, think tank practitioners, and industry leaders, the authors investigated the current capacity for resilience within each focus area, barriers to creating greater resilience, and opportunities for enhancing overall resilience between the focus areas.

Rotterdam, Netherlands: An Integrated Approach to Decarbonization, Joseph Webster and Peter Engelke, The Atlantic Council

Given Rotterdam’s centrality to Europe and the sheer scale of its port, decarbonizing the city will require a strategic effort involving multiple levels of government, from the Port of Rotterdam all the way to the European Union.

Valencia, Spain: Decarbonization Through Innovative Partnerships, Peter Engelke and Joseph Webster, The Atlantic Council

Valencia has unique characteristics that shape its efforts to lower its carbon footprint. The city has capitalized on the opportunities afforded by the compactness of its five-kilometer radius, and by a port with limited reach into the Spanish hinterland. To decarbonize, Valencia is attempting to limit the use of personal cars; incentivize public transportation; improve energy efficiency in buildings; and use key technologies, such as hydrogen or ammonia, to reduce emissions of certain industrial sectors. Similar to other cities that are working toward emissions reductions, Valencia faces obstacles to decarbonization that must be overcome. The primary challenges are related to measuring emissions, assigning responsibility for them, and incentivizing market actors to deploy capital for decarbonization. While every locale is unique, lessons learned from Valencia are likely to have great relevance for other cities looking to reduce emissions.

Rural Climate Innovation Vision External Report, Environmental Defense Fund

Rural communities across the United States are extraordinarily diverse, all experiencing a wide variety of landscapes, cultural identities, and ways of life. But many express common concerns — they are watching their populations deplete as the country urbanizes, their economic systems are becoming more perilous, and there is a feeling of being left behind as the rest of the country moves towards new solutions that are not designed for their reality — including climate solutions. Despite being essential stakeholders in climate solutions, rural communities are often excluded from the conversation around their deployment. Contrary to the common perception among many climate advocates, there is a growing recognition of the impacts of climate change among rural communities; however, language can often be a barrier. These communities describe the problem of climate change using language that can be very distinct from the language used by climate and environmental advocates. Rural Americans describe their climate challenges in terms of short-term weather changes that affect their day-to-day lives. While rural communities realize that climate change is a threat to their way of life, they are looking for solutions that would address today’s problems first. Rural Americans want to see how technology will address problems such as wildfires, floods, droughts, and habitat loss. While most clean energy solutions may not provide an immediate reprieve from exposure to these climate impacts, efforts must be made to make the connection between those technologies and how they might address those challenges in the near future.

U.S. on Track to Close Half of Coal Capacity by 2026, Seth Feaster, Institue for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

The U.S. is on track to close half of its coal-fired generation capacity by 2026, just 15 years after its 2011 peak. Roughly 40%, about 80.6 gigawatts, of the remaining U.S. coal-fired capacity is set to close by the end of 2030. Fewer than 200 large-scale coal- fired units (50 MW or more) remain without announced retirement dates, and 118 of those are at least 40 years old. Coal use by U.S. electric-power producers is falling quickly again after a short-lived post-pandemic recovery, possibly falling to only 400 million tons in 2023—less than half of what was used just 10 years ago.

Global Hating, Global Witness

Imagine that you’ve spent years studying glacial retreat in the Arctic. You believe you have a duty to share your findings that reveal how our world is changing with a wider public. But you remember having trouble sleeping after getting hateful messages on Twitter the last time you published your work there, and the death threat your colleague received after talking about her work online. Do you hold off from posting? For decades, scientists have been documenting changes in the earth’s climate and warning of the effects. Their findings underpin government declarations of climate emergency and policy responses. But a new investigation reveals that online harassment and abuse against climate scientists imperils their work and ways of communicating. In a survey of 468 scientists around the world working on climate topics, the authors found online abuse is common, and for many takes a mental and physical toll that inhibits climate discourse. Yet there are ways to stem it. Most abuse took place on Twitter and Facebook, platforms that can instead make reforms to protect scientists and enable informed publics and responsive climate action.

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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