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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #9 2023

Posted on 2 March 2023 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Open Access Notables

From this week's government/NGO section, a welcome report from the United Nations: One Atmosphere: An independent expert review on Solar Radiation Modification research and deployment. For many of us— given the report's provenance— the foreword alone may be enough to form policy conclusions. For those who'd like to know more this is a comprehensive synthesis built on 126 key academic papers on the topic. Has SRM's time arrived? Hardly— the open question book is vast:  "The review finds that there is little information on the risks of SRM and limited literature on the environmental and social impacts of these technologies. Even as a temporary response option, large-scale SRM deployment is fraught with scientific uncertainties and ethical issues. The evidence base is simply not there to make informed decisions."

Continuing with solar geoengineering but more in the nature of a matter of historical interest, Soviet and Russian perspectives on geoengineering and climate management starts with a brief recap of where the world stands with regard to our ambiguous relationship geoengineering especially with concern to solar radiation modfication, then leads us through a fascinating history of the Soviet Union's and latterly the Russian Federation's arc of scientific work in this arena.  Mikhail Budyko and his work feature as what might be termed an intellectual axis of the entire enterprise.

Not a research paper but rather a news item from PNAS richly supported by citations, How to expand solar power without using precious land summarizes research on what's in the title, starting with a sunny lede: "Solar power can be a land-hungry competitor to farming. But deployed in the right way, solar installations can boost crop yields, save water, and protect biodiversity."

What's the cost on international climate mitigation of cargon leakage possibly caused by parochial climate legislation? That's what Eskander & Fankhauser investigate in  The Impact of Climate Legislation on Trade-Related Carbon Emissions 1996–2018. They don't consider their findings to be the last word but do offer this encouraging conclusion:  "We find that the passage of new climate laws has had no significant impact on trade-related carbon emissions and a negative long-term effect on international production emissions."

Practically speaking, public preferences predicate public policy. Here's a trifecta of papers of special use to poilcymakers guiding citizens through what needs to be a rapid process of modernization— at risk of retardation by various factors of human nature— with useful information on public thinking on these topics:

Often heard of in the abstract, loss and damage resolves into specific case histories. Nand, Bardsley & Suh lead us through such a story, in Addressing unavoidable climate change loss and damage: A case study from Fiji’s sugar industry. "Despite implementing climate change adaptation measures, Fiji’s sugar industry has faced devastating L&D from frequent and severe cyclones. Much of the climate change L&D to crops, property, and income was irreversible and unavoidable. Non-economic loss and damage (NELD) was found insurmountable in both field sites, including the loss of homes and places of worship, cascading and flow-on effects as well as the heightening of uncertainty, fear, and trauma."

109 articles in 51 journals by 682 contributing authors

Observations of climate change, effects

A spatiotemporal analysis of precipitation anomalies using rainfall Gini index between 1980 and 2022
Sahbeni et al., Atmospheric Science Letters, Open Access 10.1002/asl.1161

Global evaluation of the “dry gets drier, and wet gets wetter” paradigm from a terrestrial water storage change perspective
Xiong et al., Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Open Access pdf 10.5194/hess-26-6457-2022

Has There Been a Recent Shallowing of Tropical Cyclones?
Lai & Toumi Toumi, Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access 10.1029/2022gl102184

Historical Climate Trends over High Mountain Asia Derived from ERA5 Reanalysis Data
Khanal et al., Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Open Access pdf 10.1175/jamc-d-21-0045.1

Increase in the wave power caused by decreasing sea ice over the Sea of Okhotsk in winter
Iwasaki, Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-023-29692-9

Patterns and drivers of anaerobic sediment nitrogen transformations across thermokarst lakes
Mao et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16654

Remarkable Changes in the Dominant Modes of North Pacific Sea Surface Temperature
Werb & Rudnick, Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl101078

Sedimentation on the Siberian Arctic Shelf as an indicator of the Arctic hydrological cycle
Rusakov & Borisov, Anthropocene, 10.1016/j.ancene.2023.100370

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects

Soil moisture and atmospheric aridity impact spatio-temporal changes in evapotranspiration at a global scale
Zhang et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd038046

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

Hadley circulation dynamics in the IITM-Earth System Model simulations: evaluation and future projections
Mathew & Kumar, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-023-04397-1

Historical Changes in Wind-Driven Ocean Circulation Can Accelerate Global Warming
McMonigal et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access 10.1029/2023gl102846

Increasing sequential tropical cyclone hazards along the US East and Gulf coasts
Xi et al., Nature Climate Change, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-023-01595-7

Rapid 21st Century Weakening of the Agulhas Current in a Warming Climate
Zhang et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access 10.1029/2022gl102070

Soil moisture-evaporation coupling shifts into new gears under increasing CO2
Hsu & Dirmeyer, [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.21203/

The impacts of global warming on arid climate and drought features
Kim et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04348-2

The Role of the Circulation Patterns in Projected Changes in Spring and Summer Precipitation Extremes in the U.S. Midwest
Chen et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0245.1

Two Distinct Phases of North Atlantic Eastern Subpolar Gyre and Warming Hole Evolution under Global Warming
Ghosh et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0222.1

Weakened interannual Tropical Atlantic variability in CMIP6 historical simulations
Sobral Verona et al., Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-023-06696-9

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

A statistical perspective on the signal–to–noise paradox
Bröcker et al., Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 10.1002/qj.4440

Assessment of Large-Scale Indices of Surface Temperature during the Historical Period in the CMIP6 Ensemble
Bodas-Salcedo et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0398.1

Biophysical Impact of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change on Subgrid Temperature in CMIP6 Models
Tang et al., Journal of Hydrometeorology, 10.1175/jhm-d-22-0073.1

Cloud transition across the daily cycle illuminates model responses of trade cumuli to warming
Vial et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2209805120

Evaluation of CLM5.0 for simulating surface energy budget and soil hydrothermal regime in permafrost regions of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
Ma et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109380

Temperature and precipitation biases in CORDEX RCM simulations over South America: possible origin and impacts on the regional climate change signal
Blázquez & Solman, [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.21203/

Understanding and Reducing Warm and Dry Summer Biases in the Central United States: Improving Cumulus Parameterization
Sun & Liang, Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0254.1

Understanding Models' Global Sea Surface Temperature Bias in Mean State: From CMIP5 to CMIP6
Zhang et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl100888

Cryosphere & climate change

Drying of tundra landscapes will limit subsidence-induced acceleration of permafrost thaw
Painter et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2212171120

Sea level & climate change

Reducing the uncertainty in the satellite altimetry estimates of global mean sea level trends using highly stable water vapour climate data records
Barnoud et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 10.1029/2022jc019378

Sensitivity of MPI-ESM Sea Level Projections to Its Ocean Spatial Resolution
Wickramage et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0418.1

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

A review of factors controlling Southern Hemisphere treelines and the implications of climate change on future treeline dynamics
Hansson et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109375

Aquatic ecosystem response to climate, fire, and the demise of montane rainforest, Tasmania, Australia
Beck et al., Global and Planetary Change, 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2023.104077

Climate change as a global amplifier of human–wildlife conflict
Abrahms et al., Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-023-01608-5

Compound droughts slow down the greening of the Earth
Xianfeng et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16657

Concordant and opposing effects of climate and land-use change on avian assemblages in California’s most transformed landscapes
Beissinger et al., Science Advances, Open Access pdf 10.1126/sciadv.abn0250

Current and future distribution of a parasite with complex life cycle under global change scenarios: Echinococcus multilocularis in Europe
Cenni et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16616

Distinct responses and range shifts of lizards populations across an elevational gradient under climate change
Jiang et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16656

Effects of warming on the structure of aquatic communities in tropical bromeliad microecosystems
Progênio et al., Ecology and Evolution, 10.1002/ece3.9824

Environmental conditions and marine heatwaves influence blue whale foraging and reproductive effort
Barlow et al., Ecology and Evolution, Open Access 10.1002/ece3.9770

Extremely low seasonal prey capture efficiency in a deep-diving whale, the narwhal
Chambault et al., Biology Letters, Open Access 10.1098/rsbl.2022.0423

Increased dominance of heat-tolerant symbionts creates resilient coral reefs in near-term ocean warming
Palacio-Castro et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2202388120

Juvenile Atlantic sea scallop, Placopecten magellanicus, energetic response to increased carbon dioxide and temperature changes
Pousse et al., PLOS Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000142

Long-term adaptation to elevated temperature but not CO2 alleviates the negative effects of ultraviolet-B radiation in a marine diatom
Jin et al., Marine Environmental Research, 10.1016/j.marenvres.2023.105929

Loss of functionally important and regionally endemic species from streams forced into intermittency by global warming
Carey et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16650

Modeling present and future distribution of plankton populations in a coastal upwelling zone: the copepod Calanus chilensis as a study case
Rivera et al., Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-023-29541-9

More warm-adapted species in soil seed banks than in herb layer plant communities across Europe
Auffret et al., Journal of Ecology, 10.1111/1365-2745.14074

Seasonal variability in resilience of a coral reef fish to marine heatwaves and hypoxia
Tran & Johansen, Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16624

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

Climate warming has direct and indirect effects on microbes associated with carbon cycling in northern lakes
Winder et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16655

Drivers of marine CO2-carbonate chemistry in the northern Antarctic Peninsula
Santos?Andrade et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 10.1029/2022gb007518

Forecasting CO2 emissions using a novel fractional discrete grey Bernoulli model: A case of Shaanxi in China
Wang & Wang, Urban Climate, 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101452

Gap-filling carbon dioxide, water, energy, and methane fluxes in challenging ecosystems: Comparing between methods, drivers, and gap-lengths
Zhu et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109365

High carbon emissions from thermokarst lakes and their determinants in the Tibet Plateau
Mu et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16658

Microbial methane cycling in sediments of Arctic thermokarst lagoons
Yang et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16649

New estimate of organic carbon export from optical measurements reveals the role of particle size distribution and export horizon
Clements et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 10.1029/2022gb007633

Robust probabilities of detection and quantification uncertainty for aerial methane detection: Examples for three airborne technologies
Conrad et al., Remote Sensing of Environment, Open Access 10.1016/j.rse.2023.113499

Sodium as a subsidy in the spring: evidence for a phenology of sodium limitation
Clay et al., Oecologia, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00442-023-05336-7

Soil carbon stocks in stable tropical landforms are dominated by geochemical controls and not by land use
Reichenbach et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access 10.1111/gcb.16622

Submesoscale effects on changes to export production under global warming
Brett et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.1002/essoar.10512865.1

Temperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon respiration along a forested elevation gradient in the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda
Okello et al., Biogeosciences, Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-20-719-2023

Urbanization can accelerate climate change by increasing soil N2O emission while reducing CH4 uptake
Zhan et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16652

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Designing covalent organic frameworks with Co-O4 atomic sites for efficient CO2 photoreduction
Zhang et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-36779-4

Evenness of soil organic carbon chemical components changes with tree species richness, composition and functional diversity across forests in China
Wang et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16653

Growth response, climate sensitivity and carbon storage vary with wood porosity in a southern Appalachian mixed hardwood forest
Grover et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109358

Public evaluations of four approaches to ocean-based carbon dioxide removal
Nawaz et al., Climate Policy, Open Access 10.1080/14693062.2023.2179589


A search for new back contacts for CdTe solar cells
Gorai et al., Science Advances, Open Access 10.1126/sciadv.ade3761

Challenges in speeding up solid-state battery development
Janek & Zeier, Nature Energy, 10.1038/s41560-023-01208-9

Climate ambitions for European aviation: Where can sustainable aviation fuels bring us?
Mayeres et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113502

Comprehensive study on cascade hydropower stations in the lower reaches of Yalong river for power generation and ecology
Ren et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2022.12.013

Intraday markets, wind integration and uplift payments in a regional U.S. power system
Hohl et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113503

L. Michelle Moore. Rural Renaissance; revitalizing America’s hometowns through clean power
Smardon, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 10.1007/s13412-023-00825-w

On the wake deflection of vertical axis wind turbines by pitched blades
Huang et al., Wind Energy, Open Access pdf 10.1002/we.2803

Planet-compatible pathways for transitioning the chemical industry
Meng et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.26434/chemrxiv-2022-hx17h

Stability beyond lead
Nie, Nature Energy, Open Access 10.1038/s41560-023-01203-0

Stabilization of 3D/2D perovskite heterostructures via inhibition of ion diffusion by cross-linked polymers for solar cells with improved performance
Luo et al., Nature Energy, 10.1038/s41560-023-01205-y

Sustainable and green energy development to support women's empowerment in rural areas of Indonesia: Case of micro-hydro power implementation
Hermawati et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2023.02.001

Geoengineering climate

Process-Level Experiments and Policy-Relevant Scenarios in Future GeoMIP Iterations
Visioni et al., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Open Access pdf 10.1175/bams-d-22-0281.1

Soviet and Russian perspectives on geoengineering and climate management
Oldfield & Poberezhskaya, WIREs Climate Change, Open Access pdf 10.1002/wcc.829


Distributions and Trends of the Aerosol Direct Radiative Effect in the 21st Century: Aerosol and Environmental Contributions
Yu & Huang, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Open Access 10.1029/2022jd037716

Climate change communications & cognition

Climate change anxiety in China, India, Japan, and the United States
Tam et al., Journal of Environmental Psychology, Open Access 10.1016/j.jenvp.2023.101991

Increasing intention to reduce fossil fuel use: a protection motivation theory-based experimental study
Kothe et al., Climatic Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-023-03489-1

Political divide in climate change opinions is stronger in some countries and some U.S. states than others: Testing the self-expression hypothesis and the fossil fuel reliance hypothesis
Chan & Tam, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 10.1016/j.jenvp.2023.101992

Promoting Behaviors to Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change: Using the Extended Parallel Process Model at the Personal and Collective Level in China
, Journal of Development and Social Sciences, Open Access pdf 10.47205/jdss.2021(2-iv)74

Public opinion on climate change in China—Evidence from two national surveys
Liu, PLOS Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000065

Reducing personal climate risk to reduce personal climate anxiety
Fyke & Weaver , Nature Climate Change, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-023-01617-4

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Towards climate action at farm-level: Distinguishing complements and substitutes among climate-smart agricultural practices (CSAPs) in flood prone areas
Akter et al., Climate Risk Management, 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100491

Water trading as a tool to combat economic losses in agriculture under climate change
Han et al., Sustainability Science, 10.1007/s11625-023-01298-0

Hydrology, hydrometeorology & climate change

A spatiotemporal analysis of precipitation anomalies using rainfall Gini index between 1980 and 2022
Sahbeni et al., Atmospheric Science Letters, Open Access 10.1002/asl.1161

The impacts of global warming on arid climate and drought features
Kim et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04348-2

The role of adaptive capacity in incremental and transformative adaptation in three large U.S. Urban water systems
Dilling et al., Global Environmental Change, Open Access 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2023.102649

Climate change economics

Addressing unavoidable climate change loss and damage: A case study from Fiji’s sugar industry
Nand et al., Climatic Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-023-03482-8

The Impact of Climate Legislation on Trade-Related Carbon Emissions 1996–2018
Eskander & Fankhauser, Environmental and Resource Economics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10640-023-00762-w

Climate change mitigation public policy research

Assessment of local climate strategies in Hungarian cities
Óvári et al., Urban Climate, Open Access 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101465

Breaking the “income-waiting dilemma” to decrease residential building carbon emissions
Ke & Cai, Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113463

Can’t buy me love: billionaire entrepreneurs’ legitimation strategies in transnational climate governance
Papin & Beauregard, Environmental Politics, 10.1080/09644016.2023.2180909

Cross-national analysis of attitudes towards fossil fuel subsidy removal
Harring et al., Nature Climate Change, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-023-01597-5

Fossil fuel divestment and public climate change policy preferences: an experimental test in three countries
Schwartz et al., Environmental Politics, Open Access 10.1080/09644016.2023.2178351

How spatial policies can leverage energy transitions − Finding Pareto-optimal solutions for wind turbine locations with evolutionary multi-objective optimization
Spielhofer et al., Environmental Science & Policy, 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.02.016

Persuasive innovators for environmental policy: green business influence through technology-based arguing
Hofmann, Environmental Politics, Open Access 10.1080/09644016.2023.2178515

Promoting Behaviors to Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change: Using the Extended Parallel Process Model at the Personal and Collective Level in China
, Journal of Development and Social Sciences, Open Access pdf 10.47205/jdss.2021(2-iv)74

Public acceptance of fossil fuel subsidy removal can be reinforced with revenue recycling
Harring et al., Nature Climate Change, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-023-01609-4

The Impact of Climate Legislation on Trade-Related Carbon Emissions 1996–2018
Eskander & Fankhauser, Environmental and Resource Economics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10640-023-00762-w

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Coastal Erosion Risk: Population Adaptation to Climate Change—A Case Study of the Pays de la Loire Coastline
Chadenas et al., Weather, Climate, and Society, 10.1175/wcas-d-22-0011.1

Health and wellbeing implications of adaptation to flood risk
Quinn et al., Ambio, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s13280-023-01834-3

Influence of rooftop mitigation strategies on the thermal environment in a subtropical city
Chen et al., Urban Climate, 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101450

Multi-scale climate-sensitive planning framework to mitigate urban heat island effect: A case study in Singapore
Zhang & Yuan, Urban Climate, 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101451

Threatification, riskification, or normal politics? A review of Swedish climate adaptation policy 2005-2022
Englund & Barquet, Climate Risk Management, 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100492

Climate change impacts on human health

Disasters collide at the intersection of extreme weather and infectious diseases
Drake et al., Ecology Letters, Open Access 10.1111/ele.14188

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

How to expand solar power without using precious land
Battersby, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2301355120

Human responses to climate change will likely determine the fate of biodiversity
Brodie & Watson, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2205512120

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

National Transmission Needs Study. Draft for Public Comment, Department of Energy

A robust transmission system is critical to the Nation’s economic, energy, and national security. The electric grid continues to face challenges from aging infrastructure and insufficient transmission capacity. The authors identify needs that could be alleviated by transmission solutions. The findings will inform the Department of Energy as it coordinates the use of its authorities and funding related to electric transmission, including implementing the many grid resilience and technology investment provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act. The authors review publicly available data and over 50 different industry reports published in the past five years that consider current and anticipated future needs to give a range of electricity demand, public policy, and market conditions.

Energy Transition in PJM: Resource Retirements, Replacements & Risks, PJM

Driven by industry trends and their associated challenges, PJM developed the following strategic pillars to ensure an efficient and reliable energy transition: facilitating decarbonization policies reliably and cost-effectively; planning/operating the grid of the future; and fostering innovation. The research highlights four trends below that, in combination, present increasing reliability risks during the transition, due to a potential timing mismatch between resource retirements, load growth, and the pace of new generation entry under a possible “low new entry” scenario. The growth rate of electricity demand is likely to continue to increase from electrification coupled with the proliferation of high-demand data centers in the region. Thermal generators are retiring at a rapid pace due to government and private sector policies as well as economics. Retirements are at risk of outpacing the construction of new resources, due to a combination of industry forces, including siting and supply chain, whose long-term impacts are not fully known. PJM’s interconnection queue is composed primarily of intermittent and limited-duration resources. Given the operating characteristics of these resources, multiple megawatts of these resources are needed to replace 1 MW of thermal generation.

The 7th National Risk Assessment. Worsening Winds, Amodeo et al., First Street Foundation

Properties in the United States have an increased risk of tropical cyclone winds due to climate change. Driving this increased risk is severe hurricanes that are more likely to occur when hurricanes form in the future, increasing the estimated damage to buildings and infrastructure. The authors use a model that combines open data, open science, and engineering expertise to create a new tropical cyclone wind model that assesses hyper-local climate wind risk across the Nation, and can inform actions to address that risk. The model uses high-resolution topography, computer-modeled hurricane tracks, and property data to create tropical cyclone wind hazard information for the contiguous United States, allowing a detailed evaluation of probable wind speeds by return period, and a comparison of this wind risk between the current year and 30 years in the future. When coupled with archetype-specific damage curves, property level losses are also estimated. The model reveals extensive risk along the Gulf and Southeast Atlantic Coasts, with significant growing risk in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the country. Overall, in the next 30 years, the expected Average Annual Loss (AAL) resulting from this risk increases from $18.5 billion to $19.9 billion, and 13.4 million properties are likely to face tropical cyclone wind risk that does not currently face such risk. Most alarming is the economic risk in the state of Florida, where current levels of expected annual losses are already over 4 times the economic risk of the rest of the Gulf Coast and account for approximately 73% of all expected damages nationwide.

Out of Control, The Deadly Impact of Coal Pollution, Daniel Prull, Sierra Club

The author explores the extent and impact of particulate pollution from the country’s remaining coal-fired power plants to understand where that pollution is felt, which plants and parent companies are the most responsible, and what authority and responsibility resides with the Environmental Protection Agency to fully implement the Clean Air Act’s protections to ensure all communities have access to clean air. The author estimates that the remaining fleet of coal-fired power plants is still responsible for 3,800 premature deaths per year due to particulate pollution. 10% of plants are super-polluters responsible for over 50% of these deaths. The author focuses on premature mortality as a proxy for the relative burden attributable to particulate pollution from each coal-fired power plant. This burden is a function of the total emissions from a given plant as well as wind patterns and population density downwind. On average only 4% of premature deaths from remaining coal-fired power plants occur in the same county where the plant is located. Alleghany County in Pennsylvania and Cook County in Illinois roughly tie for the most premature deaths from coal. Yet Cook County is hundreds of miles away from any large coal-fired power plants — an example of how particulate pollution from coal blankets the country. In fact, particulate pollution from the remaining coal fleet causes an estimated 234 premature deaths per year in New York, despite the state having retired all of its own coal plants.

One Atmosphere: An independent expert review on Solar Radiation Modification research and deployment, Bala et al., United Nations Environment Programme

Since the beginning of the industrial era, carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) have been accumulating in the atmosphere due to fossil fuel burning and changes in land use such as deforestation. As a result, anthropogenic climate change is now affecting every region across the globe. The consequences of continued GHG emissions will be severe and long-lasting, including exceedance of temperature targets; increases in the frequency, intensity and persistence of extreme weather and climate events; reductions in sea and land ice, snow cover, and permafrost; and sea level rise. Through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other processes, the international community has been working to reduce GHG emissions. However, action and current commitments are not yet sufficient to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals. This situation has led to increased interest in understanding whether an operational large-scale Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) or sometimes called ‘solar geoengineering’ deployment might be able to help protect humans and the ecosystems upon which humanity depends. An operational SRM deployment would introduce new risks to people and ecosystems. With many unknowns and risks, there is a strong need to establish an international scientific review process to identify scenarios, consequences, uncertainties, and knowledge gaps.

Resolving Key Uncertainties of Seabird Flight and Avoidance Behaviours at Offshore Wind Farms, Tjørnløv et al., DHI

Research using pioneering radar and artificial intelligence technology to track bird flight at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) at Aberdeen has revealed remarkable insights into the flight behaviour of seabird species. The radar tracked birds flying towards Vattenfall’s Aberdeen offshore wind farm which then activated cameras and generated 3-dimensional flight tracks and video footage. This was used to identify the species of birds as they moved through the wind farm, as well as monitor whether they altered their flight path around the turbines. The study produced invaluable data about the flying patterns of kittiwakes, herring gulls, black-backed gulls and gannets around the wind farm. No collisions or even narrow escapes were recorded in over 10,000 bird videos. Nearly all species of tracked seabirds avoided the zone of the turbine blades by adjusting their flight paths to fly in between the turbines. This pattern was similar for all three species of large gulls. Of those birds that came within 10 m of the zone swept by the blades, more than 96% adjusted their flight paths to avoid a collision, often by flying parallel to the plane of the rotor. The research also revealed different patterns of behaviour for different species of birds. Kittiwakes displayed avoidance behaviour from around 150m from the rotors, commuting herring gulls from around 100m and feeding herring gulls from 70m. In general, gannets and small and large gulls showed a strong tendency to avoid flying into the area swept by the turbine blades.

Agrivoltaic Leading Practices, Electric Power Research Institute, New York Power Authority

To evaluate land use potential for solar development and help New York achieve its ambitious clean energy goals, the authors examined the feasibility of “agrivoltaics” (AV) as a dual land-use solution. In the context of this research, agrivoltaics is a technological evolution of solar ecosystem stewardship, looking at agricultural crops, livestock grazing, and wildlife cohabitation as an aspect of solar co-land management to maintain the natural environment and agricultural benefit while generating solar energy. This study uses a compendium of agrivoltaics research to explore ways to optimize both agricultural yield and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy capacity.

The Impact of Climate Change on u.S. Subnational economies, Adam Kamins, Moody’s Analytics

The long-term economic risks associated with climate change have rapidly moved to the forefront for banks and policymakers. From a national perspective, a view for the U.S. is important but regional variation has traditionally gone unaccounted for—until now. Understanding regional nuance is critical in a nation with significant economic and geographic diversity and nearly 100,000 miles of shoreline. This is especially true given the slow pace at which U.S. policymakers are responding to the threat posed by a changing climate, especially in comparison to their European counterparts. The authors account for regional climate change. In early 2023, the first set of U.S. regional climate scenarios based on parameters from the Network for Greening the Financial System was published. The authors summarize key takeaways, with an eye toward which parts of the U.S. will suffer most under a variety of climate change scenarios.

Texas Legislative Issues 2023 Energy, Renée Cross and Mark Jones, Hobby School of Public Affairs, University of Houston

The authors conducted an online survey of Texans ages 18 and older to assess their preferences and opinions regarding legislation that will be considered by the Texas Legislature during the 2023 legislative session. The survey was in January 2023, in English and Spanish, with 1,200 YouGov respondents. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, race/ethnicity, and education and are representative of the population of Texas adults. The survey addressed preferences regarding energy sources in the United States, support for using state funds to provide incentives for the construction of natural gas power plants, support for home solar power-related legislation, and interest in installing solar panels and an energy storage system among homeowners. For example, 64% of Texans favor expanding U.S. reliance on solar power plants as an energy source while 12% favor reducing U.S. reliance on solar power plants. 57% of Texans favor expanding U.S. reliance on wind turbine farms as an energy source while 19% favor reducing U.S. reliance on wind turbine farms.

The Impacts on California of Expanded Regional Cooperation to Operate the Western Grid, Hurlbut et al., National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Changes inside and outside the power sector are making the potential benefits of regional cooperation in operating the electricity grid more compelling than ever before. To keep California policymakers abreast of the most current information, the authors synthesized the studies, policies, and papers on the potential benefits of expanded regional cooperation in California, with a focus on key issues that will most effectively advance the state’s energy and environmental goals. This includes any available studies that reflect the impact of regionalization on transmission costs and reliability for California ratepayers.

All Brands On Deck: Top Furniture, Fashion, Retail & Technology Companies Must Act to Abandon Dirty Ships, Rose et al., Ship IT ZERO

The authors find that Walmart, Target, and Home Depot were the largest ocean import polluters of 2021, as e-commerce demands skyrocketed in the U.S. and globally. The authors take an in-depth look at the nation’s largest major companies that import goods into the U.S. — including Walmart, Home Depot, LG Electronics, Nike, Target, Amazon, and IKEA — and provide new data on ocean shipping emissions generated from the transportation of goods from the technology, furniture, and fashion sectors.

Are Companies Developing Credible Climate Transition Plans?, Sokolowski et al., CDP

The authors present an overview of the current state of climate transition plan information disclosed through CDP's 2022 climate change questionnaire. The data analyzed in this report spans over 18,600 organizations in 13 industries and across 135 countries. The report is an evaluation of whether an organization’s disclosure is sufficient and credible. In 2022, 18,600+ organizations disclosed through CDP’s climate change questionnaire, of which 4,100 of them disclosed that they had already developed a 1.5°C-aligned climate transition plan. Of these 4,100 organizations, 81 of them reported sufficient detail to all 21 key indicators in the climate change questionnaire that align with a credible climate transition plan. These 81 organizations represent 0.4% of the entire disclosure sample in 2022 (18,600+).

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.


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Journals covered

A list of journals we cover may be found here. We welcome pointers to omissions, new journals etc.

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