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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #42 2023

Posted on 19 October 2023 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Open access notables

Publishing in the Journal of Hydrometeorology, Rasmus Wuff proposes a new hydrometeorological metric to help track changes in precipitation as we change our climate, "precipitation intensity duration index" or PID. As the title implies,  The World’s Largest Point Rainfall Found Using the Precipitation Intensity Duration Index reveals a rather eye-popping statistic: in 2007 over the course of just 4 days, Réunion Island's Cratère Commerson was drenched with just shy of 5 meters of rainfall- 4.936 meters to be precise. This particular event isn't attributable to climate change, but might be considered as currently known upper brackets on the range of rainfall possibilities. Expanding this range doesn't seem sensible. 

Given that the invisible hand of the market functions by fumbling, Chen et al.'s  Deploying solar photovoltaic energy first in carbon-intensive regions brings gigatons more carbon mitigations to 2060 in Nature Communications Earth & Environment is worth a read. The authors work out that by locating production and deployment most appropriately— with careful consideration to both manufacturing impacts and carbon-displacement yield— photovoltaic energy can be much more useful in decarbonization than otherwise. Given the urgency of collapsing our carbon footprint, the "que sera, sera"  mode of private enterprise  isn't a luxury we can afford, arguably. These authors show how a bit of management and organization can get a better result. Impossible? Not at all. During the Second World War the United States government dictated petroleum pipeline construction paths and schedules to private industry, successfully for all involved; urgent need was met and plenty of money was made by industries involved in this work.

Daniele Fulvi and Josh Wodak deliver a powerhouse article in The Anthropocene Review,  well worth reading even for those not inclined to bet: Gambling on unknown unknowns: Risk ethics for a climate change technofix. The authors' premise is that despite being faced with enormous risks both known and unknown as a result of our breaking Earth's climate, we're strangely risk-averse when it comes to mitigation methods. Our risk ethics and our attitudes to risk are not systematically consistent and we're failing to update our framing of comparative risks. We're fully aware we live in a world we've turned into an accidental casino, yet we're afraid to make consciously considered bets. The article is richly resourced in describing the trajectories of our consciousness and responses to the climate risks we've created, and what might be characterized as weird myopia in choosing paths forward. We stick with Lotto when we might be playing blackjack, so to speak. Our paralysis is aptly captured in the authors' citation of a scene in the 1964 Stanley Kubrick film Dr. Strangelove.  

"All hands on deck," including anthropologists. That's the thrust of Interdisciplinary, but how? Anthropological Perspectives from Collaborative Research on Climate and Environmental Change, by Elixhauser et al. and reported via Environmental Science and Policy. It's becoming increasingly obvious, more widely acknowledged and rapidly being operationalized that human nature lies at the root of our problems with climate. Scientists are humans, and subject to the same foibles as others trying to work to common purpose as organizations and communities. Working more harmoniously makes good sense, and we (anthropologists, that is) have important predictive insights to offer in that respect. The authors illustrate how it stands to reason that leaving the tools of anthropology lying in the box doesn't make sense, and illustrate how some of these may be employed to speed climate progress. 

It's become conventional wisdom that climate change drives conflict. National security policies are built with this consideration. But what's the evidence, and how clearly can we see the impact of climate change on conflict? Evidence is muddled and confounded, and hence we can't very well see the climate component of violent conflict, according to Dahm et al. with their report What climate? The different meaning of climate indicators in violent conflict studies, in Climatic Change. Having identified where we're getting drivers of conflict tangled, the authors suggest not only means to do better but also point out that climate adaptation policy can be crafted as multi-purpose, responsive not only to climate change but also other societal stressors of shorter wavelength.

In this week's government/NGO section, a UNICEF report: Children Displaced in a Changing Climate: Preparing for a Future Already Underway. It's heavy going. We're not painting a pretty picture. We're creating harsh, inhospitable landscapes. For those of us sitting on the "right" side of various borders, let's remember: no normal parent will just sit in a place of burgeoning disaster and watch their children die or grow into a doomed future.  A responsible parent in such circumstances will up stakes and move, quite possibly to our own particular border, with the intention of crossing. Picayune, precious legalities don't trump "my kid is dying." We can't reasonably demand otherwise, unless we ourselves would be prepared to do otherwise. For our own part it seems we have limited choices for taking ethically sound responsibility: either accept these people into our fold, or make sure we create circumstances meaning it's not necessary for them to flee. Why and how is it our ethical problem, anyway? It's worth remembering that the places most attractive as destinations of flight also tend to be those most creating the need to leave. 

100 articles in 48 journals by 600 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

Controls of thermal response of temperate lakes to atmospheric warming, Zhou et al., Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-42262-x

Enhanced Intensity of Interannual Variability of May Drought in Northeast China After 2000 and Its Connection With the Barents Sea Ice, Hu et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023jd039617

Future precipitation increase constrained by climatological pattern of cloud effect, Zhou et al., Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-42181-x

Positive Low Cloud Feedback Primarily Caused by Increasing Longwave Radiation From the Sea Surface in Two Versions of a Climate Model, Ogura et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl104786

Quantifying Formative Processes in River- and Tide-Dominated Deltas for Accurate Prediction of Future Change, Xu & Plink?Björklund, Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl104434

Warming proportional to cumulative carbon emissions not explained by heat and carbon sharing mixing processes, Gillett, Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-42111-x

Observations of climate change, effects

Environmental challenges and concurrent trend of weather extremes over Uttarakhand Himalaya, Kumar et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology Open Access 10.1007/s00704-023-04690-z

Extreme warm and cold waves derived from multiple high-resolution gridded datasets in Egypt, Aboelkhair & Morsy, Theoretical and Applied Climatology Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00704-023-04692-x

Human influences on spatially compounding flooding and heatwave events in China and future increasing risks, Qian et al., Weather and Climate Extremes Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2023.100616

Long-term coupled variability of temperature and precipitation in eastern China and the underlying mechanisms, Zhang et al., Climate Dynamics 10.1007/s00382-023-06963-9

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects

A dense station-based long-term and high-accuracy dataset of daily surface solar radiation in China, Tang et al., Earth System Science Data Open Access pdf 10.5194/essd-15-4537-2023

A statistical review on the optimal fingerprinting approach in climate change studies, Chen et al., Climate Dynamics 10.1007/s00382-023-06975-5

Human influences on spatially compounding flooding and heatwave events in China and future increasing risks, Qian et al., Weather and Climate Extremes Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2023.100616

Long-term changes in solar activity and irradiance, Chatzistergos et al., Journal of Atmospheric and Solar Open Access pdf 10.1016/j.jastp.2023.106150

The World’s Largest Point Rainfall Found Using the Precipitation Intensity Duration Index, Wiuff, Journal of Hydrometeorology Open Access pdf 10.1175/jhm-d-23-0012.1

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

A hybrid model to predict the hydrological drought in the Tarim River Basin based on CMIP6, Zhu, Climate Dynamics 10.1007/s00382-023-06791-x

Emergent Constrained Projections of Mean and Extreme Warming in China, Chen et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl102124

Enhanced joint impact of western hemispheric precursors increases extreme El Niño frequency under greenhouse warming, Jo & Ham, Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-42115-7

High resolution heat stress over a Sahelian city: Present and future impact assessment and urban green effectiveness, Souverijns et al., International Journal of Climatology 10.1002/joc.8268

Moisture control of tropical cyclones in high-resolution simulations of paleoclimate and future climate, Raavi et al., Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-42033-8

Positive Low Cloud Feedback Primarily Caused by Increasing Longwave Radiation From the Sea Surface in Two Versions of a Climate Model, Ogura et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl104786

Projected changes in atmospheric moisture transport contributions associated with climate warming in the North Atlantic, Fernández-Alvarez et al., Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-41915-1

Projected changes in heat wave characteristics over India, C & Ramesh, Climatic Change 10.1007/s10584-023-03618-w

The decrease in ocean heat transport in response to global warming, Mecking & Drijfhout, Nature Climate Change Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-023-01829-8

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

A novel framework for a multimodel ensemble of GCMs and its application in the analysis of projected extremes, Ganguly & Arya, International Journal of Climatology 10.1002/joc.8266

Application of deep learning algorithms to correct bias in CMIP6 simulations of surface air temperature over the Indian monsoon core region, Sabarinath et al., International Journal of Climatology 10.1002/joc.8276

Assessment and prediction of regional climate based on a multimodel ensemble machine learning method, Fu et al., Climate Dynamics 10.1007/s00382-023-06787-7

Deep Learning for Bias-Correcting CMIP6-Class Earth System Models, Hess et al., Earth's Future Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023ef004002

Estimating Ocean Observation Impacts on Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Models Using Ensemble Forecast Sensitivity to Observation (EFSO), Chang et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl103154

Fast and Slow Responses of Atmospheric Energy Budgets to Perturbed Cloud and Convection Processes in an Atmospheric Global Climate Model, Yang et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl104305

Mass-Conserving Downscaling of Climate Model Precipitation Over Mountainous Terrain for Water Resource Applications, Rugg et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl105326

Uncertainties and sensitivities in the quantification of future tropical cyclone risk, Meiler et al., Communications Earth & Environment Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-00998-w

Cryosphere & climate change

Annual mass budget of Antarctic ice shelves from 1997 to 2021, Davison et al., Science Advances Open Access pdf 10.1126/sciadv.adi0186

Constraining the First Year of Ice-Free Arctic: Importance of Regional Perspective, Paik et al., Earth's Future Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003313

Sea level & climate change

Cause of Substantial Global Mean Sea Level Rise Over 2014–2016, Llovel et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl104709

Paleoclimate & paleogeochemistry

Early sea ice decline off East Antarctica at the last glacial–interglacial climate transition, Sadatzki et al., Science Advances Open Access pdf 10.1126/sciadv.adh9513

Expansion of Ocean Anoxia During Glacial Periods Recorded in the Cobalt Flux to Pelagic Sediments, Hawco & Foreman, Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl105135

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Aridification alters the diversity of airborne bacteria in drylands of China, Qi et al., Atmospheric Environment 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2023.120135

Climate change affects the distribution of diversity across marine food webs, Thompson et al., Global Change Biology Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16881

Climate change does not equally affect temporal patterns of natural selection on reproductive timing across populations in two songbird species, Jantzen & Visser, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 10.1098/rspb.2023.1474

Contrasting Impacts of Climate Warming on Himalayan Hemlock Growth: Seasonal and Elevational Variations, Rai et al., Dendrochronologia 10.1016/j.dendro.2023.126144

Coral reef state influences resilience to acute climate-mediated disturbances, Cresswell et al., Global Ecology and Biogeography Open Access pdf 10.1111/geb.13771

Day-flying lepidoptera larvae have a poorer ability to thermoregulate than adults, Ashe?Jepson et al., Ecology and Evolution Open Access pdf 10.1002/ece3.10623

Ensemble learning model identifies adaptation classification and turning points of river microbial communities in response to heatwaves, Qu et al., Global Change Biology Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16985

Extreme and compound ocean events are key drivers of projected low pelagic fish biomass, Le Grix et al., Global Change Biology Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16968

Herbivory and elevated levels of CO2 and nutrients separately, rather than synergistically, impacted biomass production and allocation in invasive and native plant species, Shan et al., Global Change Biology 10.1111/gcb.16973

Hibernation telomere dynamics in a shifting climate: insights from wild greater horseshoe bats, Power et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 10.1098/rspb.2023.1589

Mesophotic coral bleaching associated with changes in thermocline depth, Diaz et al., Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-42279-2

Ninety years of change, from commercial extinction to recovery, range expansion and decline for Antarctic fur seals at South Georgia, Forcada et al., Global Change Biology Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16947

Repurposing long-term ecological studies for climate change, Jackson, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2314444120

Unravelling eco-evolutionary dynamics: Understanding adaptation to global change, Thrall & Blanc, Ecology Letters Open Access pdf 10.1111/ele.14292

Warmer ambient temperatures reduce protein intake by a mammalian folivore, Beale et al., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 10.1098/rstb.2022.0543

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

High potential for CH4 emission mitigation from oil infrastructure in one of EU's major production regions, Stavropoulou et al., Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Open Access 10.5194/acp-23-10399-2023

Increased Terrestrial Carbon Export and CO2 Evasion From Global Inland Waters Since the Preindustrial Era, Tian et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gb007776

Riverine Dissolved Inorganic Carbon Export From the Southeast Alaskan Drainage Basin With Implications for Coastal Ocean Processes, Harley et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 10.1029/2023jg007609

Seasonal patterns of carbon and water flux responses to precipitation and solar radiation variability in a subtropical evergreen forest, South China, Wang et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109760

Simulating carbon accumulation and loss in the central Congo peatlands, Young et al., Global Change Biology Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16966

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

The anthropogenic imprint on temperate and boreal forest demography and carbon turnover, Pugh et al., Global Ecology and Biogeography Open Access pdf 10.1111/geb.13773

The climate benefit of seagrass blue carbon is reduced by methane fluxes and enhanced by nitrous oxide fluxes, Eyre et al., Communications Earth & Environment Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-01022-x

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Biochar and Its Potential to Deliver Negative Emissions and Better Soil Quality in Europe, Tisserant et al., Earth's Future Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003246

Coastal surface soil carbon stocks have distinctly increased under extensive ecological restoration in northern China, Chi et al., Communications Earth & Environment Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-01044-5

Forestation at the right time with the right species can generate persistent carbon benefits in China, Xu et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2304988120


Analysis of the socio-economic benefits of on-grid hybrid solar energy system on Bugala island in Uganda, Kayima et al., Energy for Sustainable Development 10.1016/j.esd.2023.101332

Exploring the sustainable growth pathway of wind power in China: Using the semiparametric regression model, Xu, Energy Policy 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113845

Geoengineering climate

Effect of Regional Marine Cloud Brightening Interventions on Climate Tipping Elements, Hirasawa et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl104314

Climate change communications & cognition

Effects of information exposure on risk perception and worry about ocean acidification: Evidence from Norway and the UK, Doran & Ogunbode, Climate Risk Management Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100565

Tweeting the Heat: An Analysis of the National Weather Service’s Approach to Extreme Heat Communication on Twitter, Olson et al., Weather, Climate, and Society 10.1175/wcas-d-23-0033.1

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Agricultural emission reduction targets at country and global levels: a bottom-up analysis, Jensbye & Yu, Climate Policy 10.1080/14693062.2023.2267021

Benefits and trade-offs of optimizing global land use for food, water, and carbon, Bayer et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2220371120

Climate and water balance influence on agricultural productivity over the Northeast Brazil, Vale et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology Open Access 10.1007/s00704-023-04664-1

Climate smart agriculture for sustainable productivity and healthy landscapes, Vishnoi & Goel , Environmental Science & Policy Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.103600

Hydrology, hydrometeorology & climate change

Climate change may cause oasification or desertification both: an analysis based on the spatio-temporal change in aridity across India, Maity et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology 10.1007/s00704-023-04686-9

Extreme Mei-yu in 2020: Characteristics, causes, predictability and perspectives, Liu et al., Earth 10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104597

Future projections of extreme precipitation in Tropical America and Panama under global warming based on 150-year continuous simulations using 20-km and 60-km atmospheric general circulation models, Nakaegawa & Mizuta, International Journal of Climatology 10.1002/joc.8261

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

Multi-perspective view of the 1976 drought-heatwave event and its changing likelihood, Kendon et al., Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 10.1002/qj.4594

Spatiotemporal trends of reference evapotranspiration in Algeria, Bouregaa, Theoretical and Applied Climatology 10.1007/s00704-023-04651-6

Climate change economics

Beyond divest vs. engage: a review of the role of institutional investors in an inclusive fossil fuel phase-out, McDonnell & Gupta, Climate Policy Open Access pdf 10.1080/14693062.2023.2261900

Probabilistic Risk Assessment of the Economy-Wide Impacts From a Changing Wildfire Climate on a Regional Rural Landscape, Monge et al., Earth's Future Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003446

Climate change and the circular economy

The EU policy on climate change, biodiversity and circular economy: Moving towards a Nexus approach, Paleari, Environmental Science & Policy Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.103603

Climate change mitigation public policy research

Carbon emission reduction from the cooling effect of urban greenspace in the three urban agglomerations in China, Qiu & Jia, Regional Environmental Change 10.1007/s10113-023-02128-w

Comparison of carbon management and emissions of universities that did and did not adopt voluntary carbon offsets, Lewis-Brown et al., Climate Policy Open Access pdf 10.1080/14693062.2023.2268070

Contracts-for-Difference: An assessment of social equity considerations in the renewable energy transition, Nelson & Dodd, Energy Policy Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113829

Deploying solar photovoltaic energy first in carbon-intensive regions brings gigatons more carbon mitigations to 2060, Chen et al., Communications Earth & Environment Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-01006-x

Does site selection need to be democratized? A case study of grid-tied microgrids in Australia, Chalaye et al., Energy Policy 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113854

Effects of government subsidies on heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell truck penetration: A scenario-based system dynamics model, Zhu et al., Energy Policy 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113809

Gambling on unknown unknowns: Risk ethics for a climate change technofix, Fulvi & Wodak, The Anthropocene Review Open Access pdf 10.1177/20530196231204324

Indigenous Peoples’ rights in national climate governance: An analysis of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), Carmona et al., Ambio Open Access pdf 10.1007/s13280-023-01922-4

Policy challenges to enhance soil carbon sinks: the dirty part of making contributions to the Paris agreement by the United States, Ogle et al., Carbon Management Open Access pdf 10.1080/17583004.2023.2268071

Social capital and environmentally friendly behaviors, Xu et al., Environmental Science & Policy Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.103612

The importance of organization type: Construction sector perceptions of low-carbon policies and measures, Räihä et al., Environmental Science & Policy Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.103602

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

A global assessment of actors and their roles in climate change adaptation, Petzold et al., Nature Climate Change Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-023-01824-z

Building adaptive capacity to address coastal flooding: The case of a small Texas City, Bezboruah et al., Environmental Science & Policy Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.103599

Projecting Diversity Conflicts of Future Land System Pathways in China Under Anthropogenic and Climate Forcing, Lin et al., Earth's Future Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003406

Unpacking the Theory-Practice Gap in Climate Adaptation, Arteaga et al., Climate Risk Management Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100567

What climate? The different meaning of climate indicators in violent conflict studies, Dahm et al., Climatic Change Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-023-03617-x

Working sunset to sunrise: union strategies in three California climate transitions, Brower Brown & Nelson, Environmental Politics 10.1080/09644016.2023.2265279

Climate change impacts on human health

A 43-year of human thermal comfort in Central Africa, Kaissassou et al., International Journal of Biometeorology Open Access 10.1007/s00484-023-02563-8

Spatiotemporal extension of extreme heat stress over East Asia under shared socioeconomic pathways, Kim et al., Weather and Climate Extremes Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2023.100618


Vertical structures of marine heatwaves, Zhang et al., Nature Communications Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-42219-0

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Climate Mitigation and Adaptation: Regional Imbalance in Research Efforts, Ng, Anthropocene Open Access 10.1016/j.ancene.2023.100410

Closer limits to human tolerance of global heat, Sherwood & Ramsay, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2316003120

Gambling on unknown unknowns: Risk ethics for a climate change technofix, Fulvi & Wodak, The Anthropocene Review Open Access pdf 10.1177/20530196231204324

Interdisciplinary, but how? Anthropological Perspectives from Collaborative Research on Climate and Environmental Change, Elixhauser et al., Environmental Science & Policy Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.103586

Three decades of EU climate policy: Racing toward climate neutrality?, Dupont et al., WIREs Climate Change Open Access pdf 10.1002/wcc.863

Three scientists on the front line of climate and conservation research, Ong & Tay, Nature 10.1038/d41586-023-03089-0

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

Children Displaced in a Changing Climate: Preparing for a Future Already Underway, United Nations Children’s Fund

All children have a right to grow up in a safe and secure home. Yet, today, far too many children are denied that right. Floods, storms, droughts, and wildfires are increasingly severe and prolonged due to climate change, forcing millions of children to flee home. The authors link weather-related disasters to 43 million children displaced over the last six years. Floods and storms drove 95 percent. Fast-moving storms or rapidly spreading wildfires suddenly wrenching children from home are traumatic. But knowing it is only a matter of time before home is unlivable can be just as bad for children in places where climate shocks grow more severe. In the Horn of Africa, years of back-to-back failed rainy seasons have created one of the worst emergencies of the past four decades. The scale of the displacement is immense – and growing rapidly. But, because families’ decisions to leave home are not always linked to a specific event, drought displacement is difficult to track. Decisions to move can occur over time as livelihoods erode, communities shrink and hope dwindles, exerting untold pressures on children.

Con Edison Climate Change Vulnerability Study, Consolidated Edison Company of New York

The authors present the latest projected changes in climate based on recent studies, an enhanced prioritization of which climate hazards may impact the electric system, and a suite of potential adaptation strategies that will be further evaluated and considered in the forthcoming Climate Change Resilience Plan. The result is an updated understanding of Con Edison’s physical and operational vulnerabilities to climate change hazards over the next 20 years.

The Impact of Climate Change On American Household Finances, US. Department of the Treasury

The authors seek to deepen our understanding of the relationship between climate hazards and household finances. Already, over half of U.S. counties – home to millions of Americans – face heightened future exposure to at least one of the three climate hazards flooding, wildfire, or extreme heat. While climate hazards impose financial challenges for households across income and wealth spectrums, financial burdens are not distributed evenly. For vulnerable households, the financial costs and losses associated with climate hazards have the potential to compound existing inequities and cause disproportionate financial strain. Approximately one-fifth of all U.S. counties face both elevated vulnerability and elevated future exposure to climate hazards. These counties rank in the top 25 percent for both vulnerability and future exposure to at least one of the three climate hazards. The authors bring together existing information and research to provide a focused exploration of the various pathways through which climate hazards impact household finances and to identify people and places that may face heightened impacts. The authors suggest how households and policymakers might mitigate the negative financial consequences of climate hazards for households.

The Imperative of Cutting Methane from Fossil Fuels. An assessment of the benefits for the climate and health, The International Energy Agency

Rapid cuts in methane emissions from fossil fuels through targeted abatement measures alongside deep cuts in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are essential to achieve global climate targets. Without targeted action on methane, even with deep reductions in fossil fuel use, the increase in the global average surface temperature will likely exceed 1.6 °C by 2050. More than 75% of methane emissions from oil and gas operations and half of emissions from coal today can be abated with existing technology, often at low cost. The oil and gas sector has the greatest share of ready-to-implement and cost-effective technical opportunities to reduce methane emissions. Cuts in methane emissions from fossil fuel operations will likely need to provide half of the reduction in total methane emissions from human activities needed by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5 °C.

ResilientMass Plan: 2023 Massachusetts State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan, Eastern Research Group, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

ResilientMass is the umbrella initiative for the state’s climate adaptation and resilience programs, policies, and initiatives. The authors provide a blueprint that identifies the risks to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the actions that state agencies and partners will take to reduce those risks over the next five years.

Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Children and Youth Report 2023, Clayton et al., American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica

The authors document the effects of climate change on children’s mental health, the structural inequities that lead to some populations bearing greater impacts, and solutions to support the mental health of children and youth on the individual and community levels. The impacts of climate change intersect with and compound other factors that threaten youth mental health, which is already precarious. These factors include child development, parental health, rates of depression and suicide, anxiety, racism, poverty, housing security, adequate nutrition, and access to medical care. The acute impacts of climate change, such as weather disasters, can cause trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder in the short term, and many longer-term mental health challenges in the absence of proper interventions. Children are more vulnerable because of their dependence on parents and other caregivers for support.

Using the Inflation Reduction Act to Combat Urban Heat, Daniel Metzger, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia University

By opening up new tax credits for tax-exempt entities, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides a vehicle to fund smart surface projects while increasing solar electricity generation. Smart surfaces are ones that combat the effects of excessive sunlight, rainfall, and heat, especially in the urban heat islands, that pose particular public health dangers for vulnerable populations. They include for example, reflective pavements and roofing, porous pavements, green roofs, and solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Replacing or covering dark-colored, non-permeable surfaces with smart ones at a large scale can achieve enormous benefits for a city. Thanks to the IRA, many cities are looking to use the direct pay provisions to fund city-owned clean energy projects that incorporate smart surfaces. Critically for cities looking to fund smart surface projects, the IRA offers significant flexibility in how a project can be designed.

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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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Comments 1 to 7:

  1. I didn't see a shout out to the National Academies Consensus Study Report released on Tuesday - Acclerating Decarbonization in the United States .

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  2. Just Dean:

    The methodology in assembling the New Research report is discussed near the bottom of the post. I don't think it typcailly covers general government or organization publications. There is also a link to the page that describes which journals are included. That page includes the following text:

    Journals we cover

    Skeptical Science New Research is driven primarily by RSS feeds from the journals listed below.

    New journals appear frequently and as well it's not always obvious where articles related to climate change may be found. If you notice an omission you believe may be significant, please let us know via our contact link.

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  3. Bob:

    What about this section, "Articles/Reports from Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations Addressing Aspects of Climate Change?"

    It seems to me it fits there. 

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  4. Just Dean:

    A lot of the process is automated, so it all depends on where the information is available. Skeptical Science is a volunteer organization.

    It also may take time for new reports to make their way into the automatic feeds that are scanned.

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  5. Bob,

    Thanks. I understand. I'm not being critical, I'm just trying to help. It seems like an important report that has gotten very little attention in the media or among climate change sites/blogs.

    I try to follow experts in energy systems transitions, e.g. Dr. John Bistline, Net-Zero America at Princeton, and was glad to see that they are referenced heavily in the 653 page report.

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  6. JUst Dean:

    Understood. Keep i mind that if you want to post a link to something of interest, it helps to provide a summary and some indication of why you think it is relevant.

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  7. Thank you for the steer, Dean! The NAS report is of exactly the type we like to include. 

    The "purpose and methods" boilerplate could use some updating. Especially it doesn't mention at all our "government/NGO" section, added a couple of years ago. Marc Kodack handles that part of the weekly compilation and it's entirely manual. With "final assembly" happening on Wednesdays, a Tuesday release date ends up as a bit of a squeaker as to whether an item will get in the same week's review. 

    As well, it's possible to have a clean miss; a glance at Marc's bio shows how well suited he is for this work, but it's a big world emitting a constant Niagara of material for consideration. It's undoubtedly the case that more eyes would help, if they can be harnessed properly. We have the UI parts in place to widen our net by soliciting community input but that will need process methods and additional labor to support without descending into chaos. Fingers crossed, we may arrive there.

    In the meantime, we're delighted to accept suggestions here and in the case of the NAS report we'll make sure it's in next week's edition even if it doesn't surface directly for Marc. 

    (The academic portion has evolved as eyeball review/select/categorize from a torrent of jounal RSS feeds, typically about 700 items per week, with automated metadata collection and formatting.)

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