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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #32, 2020

Posted on 12 August 2020 by doug_bostrom

Respecting the journal editorial process

Each week we scan between 450 and 650 articles for relevance to Skeptical Science's remit: communication of the science of climate change itself the many affected branches of scientific inquiry by climate change. 

The 100+ journals we cover encompass a galaxy of expertise we cannot hope to replicate, let alone exceed. Our appropriate role is to assess the raw filtrates from our feeds purely for what they may add to public understanding of our central topic. "Does this article connect to climate change?" That's the sole question we ask of each item appearing on the screen.

We also don't bring "an agenda" to this process. The single qualitative metric we employ is "did a team of journal editors and reviewers deem this work worth publishing?" Our raw feed filters are fed directly from journal publishing systems, so the answer to that question is always "yes." 

For these reasons readers from time to time (and all too rarely) will spot articles identifying potential benefits of global warming. Some articles come from academic branches we didn't even know exist, and that have the whiff of scary unfamiliarity. Commonly we see articles identifying and trying to correct insufficient understanding of some particular aspect of global warming or its upshots. These latter are not warts or defects. Iterative progress and refinement is of course the norm in scientific research.

Skeptical Science was founded to combat denial of climate science and New Research is part of that effort. Exposing the torrent of scientific publication around climate science is helpful to grasping climate change as an unavoidable challenge. In doing this work we've learned that the final two stops on the railroad of climate science denial are "The System Isn't Fair" followed shortly down the track by the slightly less populated "They're All Lying In Concert." These destinations are actually figments of denier imagination. Even Brigadoon is more plausible.

In reality we see a process that is not error-free but sometimes does contort itself to be inclusive of outré thinking. A fine example of that is how the Taylor and Francis journal Temperature has squeezed in a paper by Valentina Zharkova claiming (yet again) upcoming global cooling, as an "editorial." Zharkova's work is a redo of a previous publication that was retracted due to a basic misunderstanding on the behavior of the barycenter of the solar system. In an abundance of generosity, here's a second attempt gifted to Zharkova by the only means possible. Unfair? Hardly. 

We publish journal editorials in New Research from time to time, in the section "Informed opinion and nudges." Often these are synthesis of many results suggesting possible or obvious topics for concentrated scrutiny. Zharkova's "editorial" doesn't really fit that standard model. Normally we'd expect such a work to appear as a regular peer-reviewed research result. But we'd rather err on the side of fairness; the last thing we want is to appear to be suppressing research that doesn't "go with the flow." The editors of Temperature chose to publish Zharkova's latest work and we'll take that as enough, perhaps bending over a bit backward to be consistent with our general principles of operation. And after all, links to articles here are reports, not endorsements. 

Look for "Editorial" in the "Other" section if you're interested in Zharkova's take on future climate. Open access and free to read. 

87 Articles

Physical science of global warming & effects

Implications of different aerosol species to direct radiative forcing and atmospheric heating rate

Observations & observational methods of global warming & effects

Large wildfires in the western US exacerbated by tropospheric drying linked to a multi‐decadal trend in the expansion of the Hadley circulation

Current and future global climate impacts resulting from COVID-19 (open access)

Intensification of Near‐Surface Currents and Shear in the Eastern Arctic Ocean

Abrupt freshening since the early Little Ice Age in Lake Sayram of arid central Asia inferred from an alkenone isomer proxy

Evidence of a continent-wide shift of episodic rainfall in Australia

Reflections of global warming in trends of temperature characteristics in the Czech Republic, 1961–2019

Fingerprints of external forcings on Sahel rainfall: aerosols, greenhouse gases, and model-observation discrepancies

Instrumentation of climate & global warming

Calibrating satellite-derived carbon fluxes for retrospective and near real-time assimilation systems (open access)

New insights into radiative transfer in sea ice derived from autonomous ice internal measurements (open access)

Modeling & simulation of global warming & global warming effects

Sea-ice-free Arctic during the Last Interglacial supports fast future loss

On the role of increased CO 2 concentrations in enhancing the temporal clustering of heavy precipitation events across Europe

Coastal processes modify projections of some climate-driven stressors in the California Current System (open access)

Ocean heat storage rate unaffected by MOC weakening in an idealised climate model

AMOC recovery in a multi‐centennial scenario using a coupled atmosphere‐ocean‐ice sheet model

Contrasting upper and deep ocean oxygen response to protracted global warming

Future warming and intensification of precipitation extremes: A ‘double whammy’ leading to increasing flood risk in California

Vegetation response to elevated CO2 slows down the eastward movement of the 100th meridian

Analyzing Internal Variability and Forced Response of Sub‐daily and Daily Extreme Precipitation over Europe

Warm Arctic, cold Siberia pattern: role of full Arctic amplification versus sea ice loss alone

Heavy Daily Precipitation Events in the CMIP6 Worst-Case Scenario: Projected Twenty-First-Century Changes (open access)

Budgets for Decadal Variability in Pacific Ocean Heat Content

The response of runoff components and glacier mass balance to climate change for a glaciated high-mountainous catchment in the Tianshan Mountains

Sea-level rise projections for Sweden based on the new IPCC special report: The ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate (open access)

Climate model advancement

Comparison of observed borehole temperatures in Antarctica with simulations using a forward model driven by climate model outputs covering the past millennium (open access)

CMIP6/PMIP4 simulations of the mid-Holocene and Last Interglacial using HadGEM3: comparison to the pre-industrial era, previous model versions and proxy data (open access)

New Critical Length for the Onset of Self‐Aggregation of Moist Convection

Intermodel Spread in the Pattern Effect and Its Contribution to Climate Sensitivity in CMIP5 and CMIP6 Models

A Simple Trajectory Model for Climatological Study of Tropical Cyclones (open access)

Cryosphere & climate change

Analysis of the Surface Mass Balance for Deglacial Climate Simulations (open access)

Marine Heatwaves in the Arctic Region: Variation in Different Ice Covers

Permafrost thermal conditions are sensitive to shifts in snow timing

Thawing permafrost: an overlooked source of seeds for Arctic cloud formation

Biology & global warming

Rapid deep ocean deoxygenation and acidification threaten life on Northeast Pacific seamounts

Decreasing snow cover alters functional composition and diversity of Arctic tundra (open access)

Modelling marsh‐forest boundary transgression in response to storms and sea‐level rise

Ecosystem response to earlier ice break‐up date: Climate‐driven changes to water temperature, lake‐habitat‐specific production, and trout habitat and resource use

Climate warming increases spring phenological differences among temperate trees

Vulnerability of global coral reef habitat suitability to ocean warming, acidification and eutrophication

Foraging deeply: depth‐specific plant nitrogen uptake in response to climate‐induced N‐release and permafrost thaw in the High Arctic

Developing in a warming intertidal, negative carry over effects of heatwave conditions in development to the pentameral starfish in Parvulastra exigua

GHG sources & sinks, flux

Soil properties override climate controls on global soil organic carbon stocks (open access)

Carbon storage dynamics in peatlands: Comparing recent‐ and long‐term accumulation histories in southern Patagonia

Environmental controls on ecosystem-scale cold-season methane and carbon dioxide fluxes in an Arctic tundra ecosystem (open access)

Understanding the uncertainty in global forest carbon turnover (open access)

Photoperiod and temperature as dominant environmental drivers triggering secondary growth resumption in Northern Hemisphere conifers (open access)

Large stocks of peatland carbon and nitrogen are vulnerable to permafrost thaw (open access)

Methane mapping, emission quantification and attribution in two European cities; Utrecht, NL and Hamburg, DE (open access)

Mangrove‐derived organic and inorganic carbon exchanges between the Sinnamary estuarine system (French Guiana, South America) and the Atlantic Ocean

The CO2‐equivalent balance of freshwater ecosystems is non‐linearly related to productivity

When will China fulfill its carbon‐related intended nationally determined contributions? An in‐depth environmental Kuznets curve analysis

CO2 removal science & engineering

Mitigation strategies to enhance carbon sink potential in climate vulnerable districts of Eastern India (open access)

Geoengineering climate

Potential of future stratospheric ozone loss in the mid-latitudes under climate change and sulfate geoengineering (open access)

Climate change communications & cognition

How well do people understand the climate impact of individual actions?

Pay more, fly more? Examining the potential guilt-reducing and flight-encouraging effect of an integrated carbon offset

Agronomy & climate change

Modelling global impacts of climate variability and trend on maize yield during 1980–2010

Net benefits to US soy and maize yields from intensifying hourly rainfall

Iran's Agriculture in the Anthropocene (open access)

Inherent trait differences explain wheat cultivar responses to climate factor interactions: New insights for more robust crop modelling

Economics & finance of climate change, mitigation & adaptation

Revenue use and public support for a carbon tax

Global Socioeconomic Risk of Precipitation Extremes under Climate Change (open access)

Measuring the sustainable development implications of climate change mitigation

The Impact of Renewable Versus Non-renewable Natural Capital on Economic Growth

Progressive supply-side policy under the Paris Agreement to enhance geological carbon storage (open access)

Climate change mitigation & adaptation public policy

Informing UK governance of resilience to climate risks: improving the local evidence-base (open access)

Systemic assessment of urban climate policies worldwide: Decomposing effectiveness into 3 factors

‘For us climate action never dies’: a legislative process analysis of environmental movement tactics in Oregon (open access)

Humans dealing with our global warming

The behavioral response to a corporate carbon offset program: A field experiment on adverse effects and mitigation strategies

Social Capital, carbon dependency, and public response to climate change in 22 European countries

Learning about climate change in, with and through art (open access)

Resilience and transformation of heritage sites to accommodate for loss and learning in a changing climate (open access)

The strength of green ties: Massachusetts cranberry grower social networks and effects on climate change attitudes and action (open access)

Social determinants of adaptive and transformative responses to climate change

Assessing the Operationalization of Cultural Theory through Surveys Investigating the Social Aspects of Climate Change Policy Making

Enhancing Autonomy for Climate Change Adaptation Using Participatory Modeling (open access)

Polarized U.S. publics, Pope Francis, and climate change: Reviewing the studies and data collected around the 2015 Papal Encyclical

Will climate change make Chinese people more comfortable? A scenario analysis based on the weather preference index


Supporting climate proof planning with CLARITY's climate service and modelling of climate adaptation strategies – the Linz use-case

Facility for Weather and Climate Assessments (FACTS): A Community Resource for Assessing Weather and Climate Variability (open access)

Stratospheric aerosol layer perturbation caused by the 2019 Raikoke and Ulawun eruptions and climate impact (open access)

Editorial: Modern Grand Solar Minimum will lead to terrestrial cooling (open access)

Informed opinion & nudges

NEED: The Northern European Enclosure Dam for if Climate Change Mitigation Fails (open access)

Opinion: To understand how migrations affect human securities, look to the past (open access)

The value of initial condition large ensembles to robust adaptation decision‐making (open access)

Privatizing climate adaptation: How insurance weakens solidaristic and collective disaster recovery

Refining national greenhouse gas inventories (open access)


Obtaining articles without a subscription

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 9,3733, for most of us $US 42 is significant money to wager against a small marginal cost. 

Economists of a scientific bent may someday help scientific publishers bring science to their business activities as reflected in rational à la carte article disclosure fees. Meanwhile there are several possible paths to equality of information access short of paying an objectively and crushingly large fee for the unveiling of a single article:

  • Unpaywall offers a browser extension for Chrome 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
  • If you're interested in an article and it is not listed here as "open access," be sure to check the link anyway. Due to time constraints open access articles are identified by us via  imperfect machine analysis. Compared with Unpaywall statistics we successfully  identify roughly 2/3rds of open access articles. There's definitely gold left in the ground. 


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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