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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #6 2023

Posted on 9 February 2023 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Open access notables

In this week's government/NGO section, a bit of a smack in the face. Hamburg Climate Futures Outlook 2023 comes via the CLICC center at Universität Hamburg, authored by a powerhouse team. With a comprehensive look at our state of natural and human affairs, the report's main payload is quick to read: 

Reaching worldwide deep decarbonization by 2050 is currently not plausible, given the observable trajectories of social drivers. The select physical processes of public interest only moderately, if at all, inhibit the plausibility of attaining the Paris Agreement temperature goals, although they can substantially modify the physical boundary conditions for society. Meeting the 1.5°C Paris Agreement temperature goal is not plausible, but limiting the global temperature rise to well below 2°C can become plausible if ambition, implementation, and knowledge gaps are closed.

Do however note a glimmer of hope: "given the observable trajectories of social drivers."  We have control over the throttle and steering to create our trajectory, levers we're not fully effectively employing. This report's conclusion implies we should grip and use our levers of control harder, waste no capacity. The main methods and locations of our control options are conveniently provided in the report's circumspect, meticulous body. It's our challenge to provide means of falsfication of the authors' projections— here in our world.

Jeremy Moulton reviews a new book built on a premise that is both provocative and unsurprising: The performative state: public scrutiny and environmental governance in China by Iza Ding. As summarized by Moulton: "The Performative State hinges on a simple and effective argument: when there is a high level of public scrutiny and demand for action, but state capacity is simultaneously weak, the state will proceed to act performatively to appear to be meeting public demands." This is not indicative of a lack of sincerity; it's more complicated than "just lying" and is perhaps even arguably reflective of trying too hard with too little. 

Towards more impactful energy research: The salient role of social sciences and humanities makes the case for us not fighting with no legs and only one arm. Eventually it'll sink into our heads: with our success at confronting and solving our climate problem being mostly governed by human nature, ignoring human nature in our effort to do this is remarkably dense.  Gracia Brückmann et al. remind us of this in a more productive and thorough fashion, because the lesson still hasn't been absorbed. The authors are very kind, given obtusely slow uptake on the part of us pupils. 

Climate change vs energy security? The conditional support for energy sources among Western Europeans: Chistoph Arndt does a really nice job of testing three hypotheses, with the third essentially an extension of the first two:  "Higher worries about climate change increase the support for renewable energies and decrease the support for fossil forms of energy," and "Higher worries about energy security decrease the support for renewable energies and increase the support for fossil forms of energy." We may not find the formally derived answers so surprising, but oddly enough these questions have never before been properly tested for predictable conclusions. Not least, this paper features a positive torrent of interesting citations setting up "the state of the art" leading to this new investigation, especially as it includes an explicit literature review in its introductory section. 

Bromley, Khan & Kenyon have instantly elicited some remarkably hysterical reactions with their paper Dust as a solar shield. These astrophysics researchers are conducting what for practical purposes is only a thought experiment given the effectively impossibly insurmountable mountain of deployment challenges entailed in their model. Meanwhile, assuming enough people were so genuinely naive as to imagine there's a plausible chance of living a happy future behind a lunar dust cloud, how are we doing with actual moral hazards down on the ground, in reality? Is it truly the case that we'll form a connection and excuse between this impracticable scheme and our frequently compromised decisions, such as to jaunt to Ibiza, Spain for a weekend via jet? How do we explain our behavior before such putative temptations emerged? Is geoengineering research such dangerous thought crime? Research listed here only a short while ago calls abstract worry over moral hazards posed by work into question.  

113 articles in 52 journals by 715 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

Climate responses under an extreme quiet sun scenario
Liu et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd037626

Controls on Surface Warming by Winter Arctic Moist Intrusions in Idealized Large-Eddy Simulations
Dimitrelos et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0174.1

Effects of Surface Heating on Coastal Upwelling Intensity
Jung & Cho, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 10.1029/2022jc018795

The Late 1970s Shift in ENSO Persistence Barrier Modulated by the Seasonal Amplitude of ENSO Growth Rate
Jiang et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0507.1

Thermohaline patterns of intrinsic Atlantic Multidecadal Variability in MPI-ESM-LR
Zanchettin et al., Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-023-06679-w

Observations of climate change, effects

Arctic warming contributes to increase in Northeast Pacific marine heatwave days over the past decades
Song et al., Communications Earth & Environment, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-00683-y

Frontal collapse of San Quintín glacier (Northern Patagonia Icefield), the last piedmont glacier lobe in the Andes
P?tlicki et al., [journal not provided], Open Access 10.5194/tc-2023-10

Glacial lake outburst floods threaten millions globally
Taylor et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-36033-x

Satellite-based long-term spatiotemporal trends of wildfire in the Himalayan vegetation
Mamgain et al., Natural Hazards, Open Access 10.1007/s11069-023-05835-z

Spatiotemporal Trends in Near-Natural New Zealand River Flow
Queen et al., Journal of Hydrometeorology, 10.1175/jhm-d-22-0037.1

The Hydrometeorology of Extreme Floods in the Lower Mississippi River
Su et al., Journal of Hydrometeorology, 10.1175/jhm-d-22-0024.1

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects

Remote sensing for cost-effective blue carbon accounting
Malerba et al., Earth, Open Access 10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104337

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

Changes in Winter Temperature Extremes From Future Arctic Sea-Ice Loss and Ocean Warming
Lo et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl102542

Data-driven predictions of the time remaining until critical global warming thresholds are reached
Diffenbaugh & Barnes, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 10.1073/pnas.2207183120

Future Simulated Changes in Central U.S. Mesoscale Convective System Rainfall Caused by Changes in Convective and Stratiform Structure
Dougherty et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd037537

Geospatial-based climate variability analysis, in Central Ethiopia Rift Valley
Mekonnen et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-023-04376-6

Multi-model ensemble projection of global dust cycle by the end of 21st century using CMIP6 data
Zhao et al., [journal not provided], Open Access 10.5194/acp-2022-760

Understanding the diversity of the West African monsoon system change projected by CORDEX-CORE regional climate models
Tamoffo et al., Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-023-06690-1

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

Fine-Scale Climate Projections: What Additional Fixed Spatial Detail Is Provided by a Convection-Permitting Model?
Rowell & Berthou, Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0009.1

Light under Arctic sea ice in observations and Earth System Models
Lebrun et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, Open Access 10.1029/2021jc018161

Cryosphere & climate change

Landsystem analysis of a tropical moraine-dammed supraglacial lake, Llaca Lake, Cordillera Blanca, Perú
Narro Pérez et al., Boreas, Open Access 10.1111/bor.12611

More frequent atmospheric rivers slow the seasonal recovery of Arctic sea ice
Zhang et al., Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-023-01599-3

Sea level & climate change

Land loss in the Mississippi River Delta: Role of subsidence, global sea-level rise, and coupled atmospheric and oceanographic processes
Blum et al., Global and Planetary Change, 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2023.104048

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Assessing the role of family level variation and heat shock gene expression in the thermal stress response of the mosquito Aedes aegypti
Ware-Gilmore et al., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 10.1098/rstb.2022.0011

Attributing long-term changes in airborne birch and grass pollen concentrations to climate change and vegetation dynamics
Verstraeten et al., Atmospheric Environment, 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2023.119643

Climate-related range shifts in Arctic-breeding shorebirds
Anderson et al., [journal not provided], Open Access 10.22541/au.165794046.69362127/v1

Coastal Upwelling under Anthropogenic Influence Drives the Community Change, Assembly Process, and Co-Occurrence Pattern of Coral Associated Microorganisms
Zhu et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 10.1029/2022jc019307

Dealing with disjunct populations of vascular plants: implications for assessing the effect of climate change
Varaldo et al., Oecologia, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00442-023-05323-y

Deeper habitats and cooler temperatures moderate a climate-driven seagrass disease
Graham et al., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 10.1098/rstb.2022.0016

Differential effects of ocean acidification and warming on biological functioning of a predator and prey species may alter future trophic interactions
Greatorex & Knights, Marine Environmental Research, 10.1016/j.marenvres.2023.105903

Effects of thermal fluctuations on biological processes: a meta-analysis of experiments manipulating thermal variability
Slein et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 10.1098/rspb.2022.2225

Functional substitutability of native herbivores by livestock for soil carbon stock is mediated by microbial decomposers
Roy et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16600

Heat stress does not induce wasting symptoms in the giant California sea cucumber (Apostichopus californicus)
Taylor et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.1101/2022.06.02.494586

Imprints of climate stress on tree growth (the past as harbinger of the future): ecological stress memory in Tibetan Plateau juniper forests
Julio Camarero, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 10.1098/rspb.2022.2241

Infection burdens and virulence under heat stress: ecological and evolutionary considerations
Hector et al., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 10.1098/rstb.2022.0018

Is the future female for turtles? Climate change and wetland configuration predict sex ratios of a freshwater species
Roberts et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16625

Local-scale impacts of extreme events drive demographic asynchrony in neighbouring top predator populations
Ventura et al., Biology Letters, 10.1098/rsbl.2022.0408

Mechanistic models to meet the challenge of climate change in plant–pathogen systems
Jiranek et al., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 10.1098/rstb.2022.0017

Rising temperature drives tipping points in mutualistic networks
Bhandary et al., Royal Society Open Science, Open Access 10.1098/rsos.221363

Shrinking body size and climate warming: Many freshwater salmonids do not follow the rule
Solokas et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16626

Speed it up: How temperature drives toxicokinetics of organic contaminants in freshwater amphipods
Raths et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16542

Temperature modifies trait-mediated infection outcomes in a Daphnia–fungal parasite system
Sun et al., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Open Access 10.1098/rstb.2022.0009

Transgenerational plasticity in a zooplankton in response to elevated temperature and parasitism
Sun et al., Ecology and Evolution, Open Access 10.1002/ece3.9767

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

A spatially integrated dissolved inorganic carbon (SiDIC) model for aquatic ecosystems considering submerged vegetation
Nagatomo et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 10.1029/2022jg007032

Meridional Variability in Multi-decadal Trends of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon in Surface Seawater of the Western North Pacific along the 165°E Line
Ono et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 10.1029/2022jc018842

Microbial sensitivity to temperature and sulfate deposition modulates greenhouse gas emissions from peat soils
AminiTabrizi et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16614

Microbial sensitivity to temperature and sulfate deposition modulates greenhouse gas emissions from peat soils
AminiTabrizi et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16614

Net loss of biomass predicted for tropical biomes in a changing climate
Uribe et al., Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-023-01600-z

Nitrogen availability mediates soil carbon cycling response to climate warming: a meta-analysis
Bai et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16627

Processes Controlling Methane Emissions from a Tropical Peatland Drainage Canal
Somers et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 10.1029/2022jg007194

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Strategy to Enhance Geological CO2 Storage Capacity in Saline Aquifer
Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl101431


High-throughput Li plating quantification for fast-charging battery design
Konz et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.21203/

How does falling incumbent profitability affect energy policy discourse? The discursive construction of nuclear phaseouts and insufficient capacity as a threat in Sweden
Faber, Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113432

Parametric assessment of a Pelton turbine within a rainwater harvesting system for micro hydro-power generation in urban zones
Zamora-Juárez et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2023.01.015

Unveiling the mysteries of operating voltages of lithium-carbon dioxide batteries
Xiao et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 10.1073/pnas.2217454120

Geoengineering climate

Dust as a solar shield
Benjamin C. Bromley et al., PLOS Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000133

Climate change communications & cognition

An Assessment of Attitudes and Perceptions of International University Students on Climate Change
, Journal of Development and Social Sciences, Open Access pdf 10.47205/jdss.2021(2-iv)74

Climate change vs energy security? The conditional support for energy sources among Western Europeans
Arndt, Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113471

Using self-affirmation to increase intellectual humility in debate
Hanel et al., Royal Society Open Science, Open Access 10.1098/rsos.220958

Value attributed to text-based archives generated by artificial intelligence
Darda et al., [journal not provided], 10.31234/

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

A climate-driven compartmental model for fungal diseases in fruit orchards: The impacts of climate change on a brown rot-peach system
Bevacqua et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Open Access 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109293

Adaptation Strategy Can Ensure Seed and Food Production With Improving Water and Nitrogen Use Efficiency Under Climate Change
Chen et al., Earth's Future, 10.1029/2022ef002879

Agricultural diversification for crop yield stability: a smallholder adaptation strategy to climate variability in Ethiopia
Menesch et al., Regional Environmental Change, 10.1007/s10113-022-02021-y

Early–maturing cultivar of winter wheat is more adaptable to elevated [CO2] and rising temperature in the eastern Loess Plateau
Zhang et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109356

Functional substitutability of native herbivores by livestock for soil carbon stock is mediated by microbial decomposers
Roy et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16600

Impacts of climate change on regional cattle trade in the central corridor of Africa
Amin et al., Regional Environmental Change, 10.1007/s10113-022-02017-8

Implications for the global tuna fishing industry of climate change-driven alterations in productivity and body sizes
Erauskin-Extramiana et al., SSRN Electronic Journal, 10.2139/ssrn.4059543

Prospects for Enhancing Climate Services in Agriculture
Kim et al., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Open Access pdf 10.1175/bams-d-22-0123.1

Research priorities for seafood-dependent livelihoods under ocean climate change extreme events
Ojea et al., Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Open Access 10.1016/j.cosust.2023.101264

The contribution of livestock to climate change mitigation: a perspective from a low-income country
Bateki et al., Carbon Management, Open Access 10.1080/17583004.2023.2173655

World forests, global change, and emerging pests and pathogens
Guégan et al., Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Open Access 10.1016/j.cosust.2023.101266

Hydrology, hydrometeorology & climate change

Cost-effective adaptation strategies to rising river flood risk in Europe
Dottori et al., Nature Climate Change, Open Access 10.1038/s41558-022-01540-0

Spatiotemporal Trends in Near-Natural New Zealand River Flow
Queen et al., Journal of Hydrometeorology, 10.1175/jhm-d-22-0037.1

The Hydrometeorology of Extreme Floods in the Lower Mississippi River
Su et al., Journal of Hydrometeorology, 10.1175/jhm-d-22-0024.1

Climate change economics

For whom the bell tolls: Climate change and income inequality
Cevik & Jalles, Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113475

How to Support Residential Energy Conservation Cost-Effectively? An analysis of Public Financial Schemes in France
Chlond et al., Environmental and Resource Economics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10640-022-00754-2

Quantifying GHG emissions enabled by capital and labor: Economic and gender inequalities in France
Pottier & Le Treut, Journal of Industrial Ecology, 10.1111/jiec.13383

Tracking the drivers of global greenhouse gas emissions with spillover effects in the post-financial crisis era
Li et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113464

Climate change and the circular economy

At the intersection of life cycle assessment and indirect greenhouse gas emissions accounting
Agyei Boakye et al., The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 10.1007/s11367-023-02137-1

Climate change mitigation public policy research

A way forward for climate technology transfer and sustainable development goals
Kim et al., Environmental Science & Policy, 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.01.009

Adoption of Renewable Energy Systems in common properties of multi-owned buildings: Introduction of ‘Energy Entitlement’
Poshnath et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113465

Auctions to phase out coal power: Lessons learned from Germany
Tiedemann & Müller-Hansen, Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113387

Can renewable energy portfolio standards and carbon tax policies promote carbon emission reduction in China's power industry?
Meng & Yu, Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113461

Cooling is hotting up in the UK
Khosravi et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113456

Energy efficiency in the Indian transportation sector: effect on carbon emissions
Irfan et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-023-02981-z

Energy transition scenarios in the transportation sector in Brazil: Contributions from the electrical mobility
Grangeia et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113434

Implementing the EU renewable energy directive in Norway: from Tailwind to Headwind
Skjærseth & Rosendal, Environmental Politics, 10.1080/09644016.2022.2075153

Krabi's renewable energy transition towards sustainable energy: drivers, barriers, and challenges
Senpong & Wiwattanadate, Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-023-02986-8

Optimal allocation of urban new energy vehicles and traditional energy vehicles considering pollution and cost
Guo et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-023-02948-0

Policy prescriptions to address energy and transport poverty in the United Kingdom
Sovacool et al., Nature Energy, Open Access 10.1038/s41560-023-01196-w

Powering past coal is not enough
Gambhir, Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-022-01574-4

Socio-political feasibility of coal power phase-out and its role in mitigation pathways
Muttitt et al., Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-022-01576-2

The significance of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 on China's energy transition pathway: a multi-model comparison analysis
Kong et al., Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2023.01.010

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Carbon emissions and economic impacts of an EU embargo on Russian fossil fuels
Liu et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.21203/

City-wide, high-resolution mapping of evapotranspiration to guide climate-resilient planning
Vulova et al., Remote Sensing of Environment, Open Access 10.1016/j.rse.2023.113487

Climate change impacts and adaptation strategies in watershed areas in mid-hills of Nepal
Ranabhat et al., Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 10.1007/s13412-023-00817-w

Cost-effective adaptation strategies to rising river flood risk in Europe
Dottori et al., Nature Climate Change, Open Access 10.1038/s41558-022-01540-0

Understanding perceptions of climate vulnerability to inform more effective adaptation in coastal communities
Nelson et al., PLOS Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000103

Upscaling climate change adaptation in small- and medium-sized municipalities: current barriers and future potentials
Fünfgeld et al., Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 10.1016/j.cosust.2023.101263

Climate change impacts on human health

Heatwaves and mortality in Queensland 2010–2019: implications for a homogenous state-wide approach
Franklin et al., International Journal of Biometeorology, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00484-023-02430-6

Infectious disease ecology and evolution in a changing world
King et al., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 10.1098/rstb.2022.0002

Machine learning prediction of climate-induced disaster injuries
Haggag et al., Natural Hazards, 10.1007/s11069-023-05829-x


Climate implications of the sun transition to higher activity mode
Egorova et al., Journal of Atmospheric and Solar, 10.1016/j.jastp.2023.106020

Diffusion of Circumpolar Deep Water towards Antarctica
Yamazaki et al., [journal not provided], Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10512708.1

Foundations as sustainability partners: climate philanthropy finance flows in China
Ni et al., Climate Policy, 10.1080/14693062.2023.2169235

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Financing a greener future
, Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-36036-8

How climate winners may actually help climate justice
Leroux & Mintz-Woo, PLOS Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000127

Improving the relevance of paleontology to climate change policy
Kiessling et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 10.1073/pnas.2201926119

Rapidly evolving global energy transition greatly benefits GHG mitigation
Ke-Jun, Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2023.01.009

Sky views
Ruesch, Subtext, Open Access 10.4324/9781315714851-23

The effect of disaster insurance on community resilience: a research agenda for local policy
French & Kousky, Climate Policy, 10.1080/14693062.2023.2170313

Towards more impactful energy research: The salient role of social sciences and humanities
Brückmann et al., PLOS Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000132

Book reviews

The performative state: public scrutiny and environmental governance in China
Moulton, Environmental Politics, 10.1080/09644016.2023.2172653

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

Hamburg Climate Futures Outlook 2023, Engels et al., Cluster of Excellence Climate, Climate Change, and Society, Universität Hamburg

Among the many possible climatic futures, not all are plausible. The authors systematically assess the plausibility of a climate future in which the Paris Agreement temperature goals are attained, namely holding global warming to well below 2°C and, if possible, to 1.5°C, relative to pre-industrial levels. Assessing plausible climate futures involves addressing a complex combination of social and physical dynamics. The authors analyze the dynamics of 10 dominant social drivers of decarbonization and six select physical processes of public interest.

Charting a Pathway to Maryland’s Equitable Clean Energy Future, Gona et al., EarthJustice

The authors begin by assessing four main sets of housing- and energy-related policies, programs, and opportunities that currently exist in Maryland, and identifies barriers to implementation and openings. They then explain an alternative scenario, where the current disparate programs are streamlined through a one-stop-shop whole-home retrofit program that addresses health and safety repairs, as well as energy and electrification upgrades. The authors then list significant state and federal opportunities for funding such a program—$2 billion in the next decade—and lists specific agencies and departments tentatively responsible for each funding stream. Finally, specific recommendations are presented for each branch of Maryland’s state government in order to create and fund a whole home retrofit program and reduce energy burdens on low-income Maryland households in the long-term.

Global Inequality Report 2023, Chancel et al., World Inequality Lab

The climate crisis has begun to disrupt human societies by severely affecting the very foundations of human livelihood and social organization. Climate impacts are not equally distributed across the world: on average, low- and middle-income countries suffer greater impacts than their richer counterparts. At the same time, the climate crisis is also marked by significant inequalities within countries. Recent research reveals a high concentration of global greenhouse gas emissions among a relatively small fraction of the population, living in emerging and rich countries. In addition, vulnerability to numerous climate impacts is strongly linked to income and wealth, not just between countries but also within them. The authors first shed light on these various dimensions of climate inequality in a systematic and detailed analysis, focusing on low- and middle-income countries in particular. They then suggest pathways to development cooperation, and tax and social policies that tackle climate inequalities at their core.

North Carolina Deep Decarbonization Pathways Analysis, State of North Carolina

Achieving North Carolina’s net-zero vision requires continued partnership across the public and private sectors, evolving research and analysis, and the inclusive engagement of constituencies across the State. While the analysis establishes an important foundation for climate planning, continual and transparent monitoring, reporting, and tracking of progress is necessary to ensure North Carolina remains on a path to achieve its GHG goals. More work is also needed to reduce emissions in an affordable, equitable, and reliable manner. Further research and engagement on topics like environmental justice and economic impacts will complement this analysis and benefit North Carolina businesses and communities across the State. The analysis includes reviewing technologically feasible GHG emission reduction pathways consistent with the State’s climate goals, including sector-specific emissions (e.g., electricity, transportation) and carbon sequestration trends over time; identifying key policy and planning takeaways, drawing from individual pathways and a comparison between pathways to inform near-, mid-, and long-term decarbonization efforts. ; and equipping policymakers and stakeholders with a better understanding of how to achieve deep decarbonization goals both across the economy and within specific sectors, building on existing statewide efforts.

Tennessee Valley Authority. Additional Steps Are Needed to Better Manage Climate-Related Risks, Rusco et al., Government Accountability Office

More frequent extreme weather events and other risks associated with climate change could cost utilities and customers billions of dollars from power outages, disruptions to electricity generation capacity, and infrastructure damage. Enhancing climate resilience means taking action to reduce potential future losses by managing climate-related risks. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federal corporation and the nation’s largest public power provider. TVA provides electricity to about 10 million customers in seven states, including 153 local power companies and about 60 large industrial customers and federal facilities The authors examine (1) climate-related risks to TVA’s operations, and (2) steps TVA has taken to manage climate-related risks and additional steps are needed. The authors recommend that TVA conduct an inventory of assets and operations vulnerable to climate change and develop a resilience plan that identifies and prioritizes resilience measures.

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.

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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