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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #35 2023

Posted on 31 August 2023 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Open access notables

In this week's government/NGO reports section, another rapid assessment by World Weather Attribution, an outfit dedicated to keeping us informed of the impacts of climate change on weather events happening around us right now. WWA's new report Climate change more than doubled the likelihood of extreme fire weather conditions in Eastern Canada finds:

Climate change made the cumulative severity of Québec’s 2023 fire season to the end of July around 50% more intense, and seasons of this severity at least seven times more likely to occur. Peak fire weather like that experienced this year is at least twice as likely, and the intensity has increased by about 20% due to human-induced climate change.

Even for folks who don't care about others, making sure everybody is taken care of as we deal with the root cause of our burgeoning climate threat is a matter of plain old enlightened self-interest. Creating an angry crowd characterized and differentiated from ourselves by deprivation isn't smart— we can't ask the Romanovs but we can guess what they'd tell us about that. With concentrated reliance on prior research, Net-zero transitions for all? Considering applications in Asia by So-Young Lee and published in Sustainability Science lays out the the history and risks of transition left-behinds, painting a concerning picture but leaving us with a ray of hope founded in a reality created by better choices: 

As the only country to achieve net-zero so far, Bhutan’s invention of the Gross National Happiness Index is a timely reminder that putting people and societies at the heart of the climate narrative can generate positive outcomes for generations to come.

Thinking in averages and means tends to hide important details of individual circumstances. Rapid increase in the risk of heat-related mortalityLüthi et al., Nature Communications:

Current research focuses largely on how heat mortality increases with mean global temperature rise, but it is unclear how much climate change will increase the frequency and severity of extreme summer seasons with high impact on human health. In this probabilistic analysis, we combined empirical heat-mortality relationships for 748 locations from 47 countries with climate model large ensemble data to identify probable past and future highly impactful summer seasons. Across most locations, heat mortality counts of a 1-in-100 year season in the climate of 2000 would be expected once every ten to twenty years in the climate of 2020. These return periods are projected to further shorten under warming levels of 1.5 °C and 2 °C, where heat-mortality extremes of the past climate will eventually become commonplace if no adaptation occurs.

The effectiveness of moderating harmful online content by Phillipp Schneider and Marian-Andrei Rizolu publishing in PNAS finds that social network moderation efforts have a significant positive effect on limiting the what the authors term the "content half-life" of bunk and hate appearing online. With the hashtag "#climatescam" as one of two main test articles, the paper is close to Skeptical Science's home. 

In Earth's FutureYesterday's High Tide Is Today's New Normal by Christopher Piecuch and Benjamin Hamlington makes a simple but thought-provoking point with broad implications: tidal datums employed for many purposes are not keeping up with events we've caused:

Given the rapid pace of sea-level rise in the United States (Sweet et al., 2022), official definitions of tidal heights based on historical observations no longer correspond to the daily water levels typically experienced today. This presents legal and political challenges, but perhaps more basically it illustrates how fundamentally and quickly our collective experience of the coast has changed: coastal elevations that only decades ago were recognized as mean higher high water, inundated only acutely during storms or peak seasonal full- or new-moon tides, are now (or will soon be) experienced as mean sea level, underwater as often as not (Figure 1). This has profound implications for how we live, work, and play by the sea, and provides a stark demonstration of how sea-level rise is redefining the American shore.

From the "decarbonization" section, let's finish up with an excellent review article giving cause for some optimism: Wu et al. in Carbon Neutralization, with Cathode materials for calcium-ion batteries: Current status and prospects and introducing the notion of the "post-lithium-ion-battery era." The authors point out that lithium resources will be exhausted in a very few decades at the rate we're going (let alone being quite problematic in other ways), so a move to other much more abundant light metals is a welcome prospect. The authors lay out a course of solid progress.

112 articles in 55 journals by 684 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

Contemporary oceanic radiocarbon response to ocean circulation changes, Pookkandy et al., Climate Dynamics Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-023-06737-3

Dynamics of localized extreme heatwaves in the mid-latitude atmosphere: A conceptual examination, Rostami et al., Atmospheric Science Letters Open Access pdf 10.1002/asl.1188

Joint optimization of land carbon uptake and albedo can help achieve moderate instantaneous and long-term cooling effects, Graf et al., Communications Earth & Environment Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-00958-4

Marine heatwave as a supercharger for the strongest typhoon in the East China Sea, Pun et al., npj Climate and Atmospheric Science Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41612-023-00449-5

On the recent increase in Atlantic Ocean hurricane activity and influencing factors, Moharana & Swain, Natural Hazards 10.1007/s11069-023-06061-3 

Potential intensification of hourly precipitation extremes in Western Canada: A comprehensive understanding of precipitation-temperature scaling, Li & Li, Atmospheric Research 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106979

The possible links between the Barents–Kara sea-ice area, Ural blocking, and the North Atlantic Oscillation, Ahmadi & Alizadeh, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society Open Access pdf 10.1002/qj.4560

Observations of climate change, effects

Climate change amplified the 2009 extreme landslide event in Austria, Mishra et al., Climatic Change Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-023-03593-2

Climate-Induced Decadal Ocean Wave Height Variability From Microseisms: 1931–2021, Bromirski, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023jc019722

Contribution of sea surface temperature anomalies in the Barents and Yellow-Japan Seas to summer high temperature anomalies over the eastern Tibetan Plateau, Zhang et al., Atmospheric Research 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106986

Drivers of California’s changing wildfires: a state-of-the-knowledge synthesis, MacDonald et al., International Journal of Wildland Fire Open Access pdf 10.1071/wf22155

LONG-TERM CHANGES IN CONCENTRATION AND YIELD OF RIVERINE DISSOLVED SILICON FROM THE POLES TO THE TROPICS, Jankowski et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles 10.1029/2022gb007678

Marine Heatwaves in the Gulf of Mexico: Long-term Statistics, Recent Intensifications, and Threats on Coral Reefs, Feng et al., Advances in Climate Change Research Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2023.08.006

Multi-decadal analysis of past winter temperature, precipitation and snow cover data in the European Alps from reanalyses, climate models and observational datasets, Monteiro & Morin, The Cryosphere Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-17-3617-2023

Outer Size Distribution of Landfalling Tropical Cyclones over China Changes in the Recent Decades, Shen et al., Journal of Climate 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0922.1

Rapid increase in the risk of heat-related mortality, Lüthi et al., Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-40599-x

Recent increases in tropical cyclone rapid intensification events in global offshore regions, Li et al., Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-40605-2

Spatiotemporal variation characteristics of global fires and their emissions, Fan et al., Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-23-7781-2023

Temperature change in the Tianshan Mountains and its external drivers, Ling et al., Atmospheric Research 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106972

Unprecedented July rainfall in North China in 2021: Combined effect of Atlantic warming and Arctic sea-ice loss, Liu et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2022jd038068

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects

Analysis, characterization, prediction, and attribution of extreme atmospheric events with machine learning and deep learning techniques: a review, Salcedo-Sanz et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00704-023-04571-5

Can We Estimate the Uncertainty Level of Satellite Long-Term Precipitation Records?, Petkovic et al., Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 10.1175/jamc-d-22-0179.1

Constraining the Nineteenth-Century Temperature Baseline for Global Warming, Schneider et al., Journal of Climate 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0806.1

Development of non-stationary temperature duration frequency curves for Indian mainland, Mohan & S., Theoretical and Applied Climatology 10.1007/s00704-023-04606-x

Evidence of Urban Blending in Homogenized Temperature Records in Japan and in the United States: Implications for the Reliability of Global Land Surface Air Temperature Data, Katata et al., Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 10.1175/jamc-d-22-0122.1

Meridional Connectivity of a 25-Year Observational AMOC Record at 47°N, Wett et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl103284

The Effect of a Short Observational Record on the Statistics of Temperature Extremes, Zeder et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl104090

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

Dynamically downscaled projection of urban outdoor thermal stress and indoor space cooling during future extreme heat, Jiang et al., Urban Climate 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101648

Evaluating the climate projections for China through the lens of the simulations of planetary boundary layer height, Meng et al., Atmospheric Research 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106975

Evaluation of ENSO in CMIP5 and CMIP6 models and its significance in the rainfall in Northeast Thailand, De Silva et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology 10.1007/s00704-023-04585-z

Geostrophic and Mesoscale Eddy Contributions to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation Decline under CO2 Increase in the GFDL CM2-O Model Suite, Fortin et al., Journal of Climate 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0561.1

Heatwave magnitude impact over Indian cities: CMIP 6 projections, Goyal et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology 10.1007/s00704-023-04599-7

Projected changes in extreme climate events over Africa under 1.5 , 2.0 and 3.0 global warming levels based on CMIP6 projections, Ayugi et al., Atmospheric Research 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106872

Projection on Antarctic Temperature Extremes from the CMIP6 Multimodel Ensemble under Different Scenarios, Zhu et al., Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 10.1175/jamc-d-22-0137.1

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

High-resolution land use and land cover dataset for regional climate modelling: historical and future changes in Europe, Hoffmann et al., Earth System Science Data Open Access pdf 10.5194/essd-15-3819-2023

Observational Constraints on the Cloud Feedback Pattern Effect, Myers et al., Journal of Climate 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0862.1

On the Influence of the Bay of Bengal’s Sea Surface Temperature Gradients on Rainfall of the South Asian Monsoon, Sheehan et al., Journal of Climate Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0288.1

On the role of wave climate temporal variability in bias correction of GCM-RCM wave simulations, Lira Loarca et al., Climate Dynamics Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-023-06756-0

Origins of Southern Ocean warm sea surface temperature bias in CMIP6 models, Luo et al., npj Climate and Atmospheric Science Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41612-023-00456-6

Cryosphere & climate change

CRYO, Wright et al., Microscopy and Microanalysis Open Access pdf 10.1017/s1431927603440518

Direct measurement of warm Atlantic Intermediate Water close to the grounding line of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden (79° N) Glacier, northeast Greenland, Bentley et al., The Cryosphere Open Access 10.5194/tc-17-1821-2023

Disintegration and Buttressing Effect of the Landfast Sea Ice in the Larsen B Embayment, Antarctic Peninsula, Sun et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl104066

Multi-decadal analysis of past winter temperature, precipitation and snow cover data in the European Alps from reanalyses, climate models and observational datasets, Monteiro & Morin, The Cryosphere Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-17-3617-2023

Quantifying the snowfall variations in the Third Pole region from 1980 to 2020, Yang et al., Atmospheric Research 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106985

Sea level & climate change

The Global Drivers of Chronic Coastal Flood Hazards Under Sea-Level Rise, Hague et al., Earth's Future Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023ef003784

Yesterday's High Tide Is Today's New Normal, Piecuch & Hamlington Hamlington, Earth's Future Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023ef003774

Paleoclimate & paleogeochemistry

Deglacial temperature and carbonate saturation state variability in the tropical Atlantic at Antarctic Intermediate Water Depths, Oppo et al., Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology 10.1029/2023pa004674

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Anthropogenic acidification of surface waters drives decreased biogenic calcification in the Mediterranean Sea, Pallacks et al., Communications Earth & Environment Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-00947-7

Beach erosion aggravates the drastic decline in marine turtle populations in French Guiana, Chevallier et al., Regional Environmental Change Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10113-023-02105-3

Changing environmental conditions have altered the feeding ecology of two keystone Arctic marine predators, Anderson et al., Scientific Reports Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-023-39091-9

Compound hot extremes exacerbate forest growth decline in dry areas but not in humid areas in the Northern Hemisphere, Yang et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109663

Deciduous tundra shrubs shift toward more acquisitive light absorption strategy under climate change treatments, Heim et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences Open Access 10.1029/2023jg007657

Distribution pattern and change prediction of Phellodendron habitat in China under climate change, Zhao et al., Ecology and Evolution Open Access pdf 10.1002/ece3.10374

Identifying bias in self-reported pro-environmental behavior, Koller et al., Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology Open Access 10.1016/j.cresp.2022.100087

Local thermal adaptation and local temperature regimes drive the performance of a parasitic helminth under climate change: The case of Marshallagia marshalli from wild ungulates, Aleuy et al., Global Change Biology 10.1111/gcb.16918

Marine heatwaves are not a dominant driver of change in demersal fishes, Fredston et al., Nature 10.1038/s41586-023-06449-y

Older forests function as energetic and demographic refugia for a climate-sensitive species, McGinn et al., Oecologia 10.1007/s00442-023-05442-6

Record low 2022 Antarctic sea ice led to catastrophic breeding failure of emperor penguins, Fretwell et al., Communications Earth & Environment Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-00927-x

Response of Ecosystem Productivity to High Vapor Pressure Deficit and Low Soil Moisture: Lessons Learned From the Global Eddy-Covariance Observations, Xu et al., Earth's Future Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003252

Sea-ice decline could keep zooplankton deeper for longer, Flores et al., Nature Climate Change Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-023-01779-1

Warmer temperatures reduce the transmission of a virus in a gregarious forest insect, MacDonald et al., Ecology 10.1002/ecy.4159

Widespread changes in Southern Ocean phytoplankton blooms linked to climate drivers, Thomalla et al., Nature Climate Change Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-023-01768-4

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

Assessing methane emissions from tropical wetlands: Uncertainties from natural variability and drivers at the global scale, Murguia?Flores et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles 10.1029/2022gb007601

China's wetland soil organic carbon pool: New estimation on pool size, change, and trajectory, Ren et al., Global Change Biology 10.1111/gcb.16923

Concepts towards a global mechanistic mapping of ocean carbon export, Laurenceau?Cornec et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles 10.1029/2023gb007742

Deterministic and stochastic components of atmospheric CO inside forest canopies and consequences for predicting carbon and water exchange, Muñoz & Sierra, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109624

Developing a spatially explicit global oil and gas infrastructure database for characterizing methane emission sources at high resolution, Omara et al., Earth System Science Data Open Access pdf 10.5194/essd-15-3761-2023

Extensive Accumulation of Nitrous Oxide in the Oxygen Minimum Zone in the Bay of Bengal, Toyoda et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles 10.1029/2022gb007689

Meteorological disasters impact net primary productivity over last 20 years, Zhang et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology 10.1007/s00704-023-04615-w

Physical mechanisms driving enhanced carbon sequestration by the biological pump under climate warming, Dunne, Global Biogeochemical Cycles 10.1029/2023gb007859

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

Time-lag effects of flood stimulation on methane emissions in the Dongting Lake floodplain, China, Wang et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109677

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

A phenazine-based high-capacity and high-stability electrochemical CO2 capture cell with coupled electricity storage, Pang et al., Nature Energy 10.1038/s41560-023-01347-z

Counting (on) blue carbon—Challenges and ways forward for carbon accounting of ecosystem-based carbon removal in marine environments, Mengis et al., PLOS Climate Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000148

Review of carbon dioxide mineralization of magnesium-containing materials, Li et al., Carbon Neutralization Open Access pdf 10.1002/cnl2.80

Decarbonization

Cathode materials for calcium-ion batteries: Current status and prospects, Wu et al., Carbon Neutralization Open Access pdf 10.1002/cnl2.85

Energy and the economic estimation of three SWH systems under the Mediterranean climate conditions, Maraj, Energy for Sustainable Development 10.1016/j.esd.2023.101292

Issues impeding the commercialization of laboratory innovations for energy-dense Si-containing lithium-ion batteries, Kim et al., Nature Energy 10.1038/s41560-023-01333-5

Revolutionizing Low-Cost Solar Cells with Machine Learning: A Systematic Review of Optimization Techniques, Bhatti et al., Advanced Energy and Sustainability Research Open Access pdf 10.1002/aesr.202300004

Weather-Driven Complementarity between Daily Energy Demand at One Location and Renewable Supply at Another, Fabry et al., Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 10.1175/jamc-d-22-0153.1

Geoengineering climate

The Choice of Baseline Period Influences the Assessments of the Outcomes of Stratospheric Aerosol Injection, Visioni et al., Earth's Future Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023ef003851

Black carbon Aerosols

Aerosol Optical Properties of Extreme Global Wildfires and Estimated Radiative Forcing with GCOM-C SGLI, Tanada et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres Open Access 10.1029/2022jd037914

Climate change communications & cognition

Climate labels and the restaurant industry: a qualitative study, Gay et al., Environment Systems and Decisions Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10669-023-09919-w

Is there a generational shift in preferences for forest carbon sequestration vs. preservation of agricultural landscapes?, Liu et al., Climatic Change Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-023-03588-z

The effectiveness of moderating harmful online content, Schneider & Rizoiu, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2307360120

Time to talk about values, time to say no: What drives public participation in decision-making on abstract versus concrete energy projects?, Perlaviciute & Squintani, PLOS Climate Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000228

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Adoption of climate-resilient groundnut varieties increases agricultural production, consumption, and smallholder commercialization in West Africa, Tabe-Ojong et al., Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-40781-1

Application of statistical models in the detection of grapevine phenology changes, Omazi? et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109682

Cover crops do not increase soil organic carbon stocks as much as has been claimed: What is the way forward?, Chaplot & Smith, Global Change Biology 10.1111/gcb.16917

Global warming increases risk from compound dry-hot events to human and agricultural systems, Zhang et al., International Journal of Climatology 10.1002/joc.8229

Measuring the farmers’ vulnerability to climate change in Tashk and Bakhtegan Lakes in Iran, Masoumi Jashni et al., Climate and Development 10.1080/17565529.2023.2209551

Photosynthetic capacity, canopy size and rooting depth mediate response to heat and water stress of annual and perennial grain crops, Vico et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Open Access 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109666

The linkage between methane fluxes and gross primary productivity at diurnal and seasonal scales on a rice paddy field in Eastern China, Zhu et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 10.1029/2023jg007632

Hydrology, hydrometeorology & climate change

Changes in design precipitation over the Nordic-Baltic region as given by convection-permitting climate simulations, Dyrrdal et al., Weather and Climate Extremes Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2023.100604

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

Revisiting the Potential to Narrow Model Uncertainty in the Projections of Arctic Runoff, Dutot & Douville Douville, Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl104039

Urban stormwater management using low-impact development control measures considering climate change, Dougaheh et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology 10.1007/s00704-023-04604-z

Water quality, governance issues, people's perception and water distribution network management through integrated techniques under changing climate, Ahmed et al., Urban Climate 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101661

Climate change economics

Who believes in green growth? Strategic framing and technology leadership in the UNFCCC negotiations, Schmidt et al., Climate Policy 10.1080/14693062.2023.2248061

Climate change mitigation public policy research

A framework for measuring and modelling low-carbon lifestyles, Pettifor et al., Global Environmental Change Open Access 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2023.102739

Metro Manila households’ willingness to pay for renewable energy as a climate change mitigation measure: a CVM study, Palanca-Tan et al., Sustainability Science 10.1007/s11625-023-01403-3

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Exploring the role of transdisciplinary learning for navigating climate risks in African cities: The case of Lusaka, Zambia, McClure et al., Environmental Science & Policy 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.103571

Models and methods for quantifying the benefits of engineered heat mitigation initiatives: A critical review, Assaf & Assaad, Urban Climate 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101654

Satellite Monitoring for Coastal Dynamic Adaptation Policy Pathways, Hamlington et al., Climate Risk Management Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100555

Shaping spaces: governance and climate-related mobility in Ethiopia, Webster, Climate and Development 10.1080/17565529.2023.2227148

Strategic Land Acquisition for Efficient and Equitable Flood Risk Reduction in the United States, Zhang et al., Climate Risk Management Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100554

Climate change impacts on human health

Dynamically downscaled projection of urban outdoor thermal stress and indoor space cooling during future extreme heat, Jiang et al., Urban Climate 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101648

Experimental research in environmentally induced hyperthermic older persons: A systematic quantitative literature review mapping the available evidence, Bach et al., Temperature 10.1080/23328940.2023.2242062

Heat, heatwaves, and ambulance service use: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological evidence, Xu et al., International Journal of Biometeorology Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00484-023-02525-0

Rapid increase in the risk of heat-related mortality, Lüthi et al., Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-40599-x

The exposure-response of air pollution and climate change to chronic respiratory diseases: Does residential energy efficiency matter?, Shiau et al., Urban Climate Open Access 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101649

Climate change impacts on human culture

Climate change exacerbates snow-water-energy challenges for European ski tourism, François et al., Nature Climate Change 10.1038/s41558-023-01759-5

Human comfort analysis for Turkey’s coastal tourism in a changing climate, Bilgin et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology 10.1007/s00704-023-04613-y

Other

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

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Cover crops do not increase soil organic carbon stocks as much as has been claimed: What is the way forward?, Chaplot & Smith, Global Change Biology 10.1111/gcb.16917

Net-zero transitions for all? Considering applications in Asia, Lee, Sustainability Science Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11625-023-01409-x

 


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

Sustain Delco, A Sustainability Plan for Delaware County, Locke et al., Delaware County, Pennsylvania

The authors' vision is to create a sustainable and resilient Delaware County that protects the most vulnerable residents from the effects of climate change. In alignment with the pillars of sustainability, the plan also supports a robust green economy while protecting and preserving natural resources. Four guiding principles were identified as the central values of the plan including economic sustainability, education, governance, equity, inclusion, and justice. The plan has six sections discussing topics of sustainability, including climate resiliency, natural resources, energy and efficiencies, transportation, Zero Waste, and health and wellness. There are over 200 actions that align with the targets and goals for each focus area.

Climate change more than doubled the likelihood of extreme fire weather conditions in Eastern Canada, Barnes et al., World Weather Attribution

In this study, the authors focus on the fires in eastern Canada, which experienced a particularly unusually active fire season in 2023 and are most directly linked with the very large-scale effects on air quality. In order to identify the role of human-induced climate change they focus on fire-weather indices rather than on fire regime variables such as area burned, in order to identify whether and to what extent climate change altered fire-prone weather conditions. Fire weather is one important condition driving wildfires, although changes in vegetation (wildfire fuel), ignition factors, and fire management strategies also contribute to future wildfire risk. In today’s climate, intense fire weather like that observed in May-July 2023 is a moderately extreme event, expected to occur once every 20-25 years. This means in any given year such an event is expected with 4-5% probability. Climate change made the cumulative severity of Québec’s 2023 fire season to the end of July around 50% more intense, and seasons of this severity at least seven times more likely to occur. Peak fire weather like that experienced this year is at least twice as likely, and the intensity has increased by about 20% due to human-induced climate change.

WUI Fire Evacuation and Sheltering Considerations Assessment, Planning, and Execution (ESCAPE), Alexander Maranghides & Eric Link, National Institute of Standards and Technology

The authors use the lessons learned from the NIST Camp Fire case study to present methods and other considerations about wild-urban interface (WUI) fire incidents that can be used by small and intermediate-sized WUI communities to help develop notification and evacuation plans. The proposed methods consider the spatial and temporal components of fire spread and the resulting effects of fire on evacuation to develop an evacuation triangle that can be used as the foundation for notification and evacuation decisions by emergency managers. The report provides communities a path forward for assessing, planning, and implementing a notification/evacuation plan that leverages pre-fire conditions, local knowledge, and during-event information to enhance the life safety of civilians and first responders.

A Case Study of the Camp Fire Notification, Evacuation, Traffic, and Temporary Refuge Areas (NETTRA), Maranghides et al., National Institute of Standards and Technology

The 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County, California quickly affected the communities of Concow, Paradise, and Magalia, triggering widespread evacuation of 40,000 people. The fire became the most deadly and destructive fire in California history, resulting in 85 fatalities and more than 18,000 destroyed structures. After a preliminary reconnaissance, it was determined that abundant data were available to support an in-depth case study of this devastating wildland-urban interface (WUI) fire, with the goal of learning and increasing preparedness for future incidents. This portion of the greater case study focuses on the life safety aspects of the Camp Fire incident: notification, evacuation, traffic, temporary refuge areas, rescues, and fatalities (collectively, NETTRA). Over 2,600 NETTRA observations and data points were integrated into a spatiotemporal database. Analysis of these data used the foundation of the previously reconstructed fire progression timeline to provide important context to the NETTRA components. Details and the timeline of requested evacuation notifications are presented with respect to fire progression. The evacuation timeline was assessed via traffic observations throughout the region. The rapid and widespread effect of fire on the communities complicated evacuation efforts due to high traffic volume, road closures due to fire and debris, and direct fire exposures to evacuating civilians in numerous burn over events.

2023 ERO Reliability Risk Priorities Report, North American Electric Reliability Corporation

The authors present the results of the Reliability Issues Steering Committee’s continued work to strategically define and prioritize risks to the reliable operation of the bulk power system and thereby provide recommendations to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation's (NERC) Board of Trustees on the approach that NERC, the Electric Reliability Organization Enterprise and the industry should take to enhance reliability and manage those risks.

Responsible Policy Engagement Benchmarking for Banks, Ceres

The authors assess whether the banking sector’s climate policy engagement is enough to drive effective climate action, or if it is holding back progress. The banks analyzed are among the largest U.S. banks by market capitalization. The authors show that despite banks’ public endorsement of the Paris Agreement's goals and pledges to align their lending and investments with net zero emissions by 2050 or even earlier, the banks' lobbying practices are not as effective as they could be and are contradictory at times. Banks have also been slow to take advantage of recent Paris-aligned advocacy opportunities, such as the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest and most significant climate investment legislation in U.S. history.

Land-Based Wind Market Report, Wiser et al., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The authors provide an updated overview of data and trends in land-based wind energy in the U.S. Wind energy continues to see growth, solid performance, and attractive prices. Though 2022 was a relatively slow year for new wind power deployment compared to the previous two, the Inflation Reduction Act promises new market dynamics in the years ahead. For example, wind comprises a growing share of electricity, turbines continue to get larger and wind energy prices have risen, but remain attractive for purchasers.

Borough of Dunellen Climate Resiliency Plan, DMR Architects, Borough of Dunellen, New Jersey

The authors present a comprehensive, organized approach to preparing for a future characterized by more extreme weather. This includes analyzing current and future threats to, and vulnerabilities of, the municipality associated with climate-change related natural hazards; presenting a build-out analysis of future residential, commercial, industrial, and other developments in the municipality, and an assessment of the threats and vulnerabilities identified above related to that development; identifying critical facilities, utilities, roadway, and other infrastructure that is necessary for evacuation purposes and sustaining quality of life during a natural disaster, to be maintained at all times in an operational state; analyzing the potential effects of natural hazards on relevant components and elements of the master plan; and provides strategies and design standards that may be implemented to reduce or avoid risks associated with natural hazards.

General comment No. 26 (2023) on children’s rights and the environment, with a special focus on climate change, United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child

The Committee emphasizes the urgent need to address the adverse effects of environmental degradation, with a special focus on climate change, on the enjoyment of children’s rights, and clarifies the obligations of States to address environmental harm and climate change. The Committee also explains how children’s rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child apply to environmental protection, and confirms that children have a right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment.

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.

Suggestions

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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