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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #36, 2020

Posted on 9 September 2020 by Doug Bostrom

Highlighted paper: Heat stored in the Earth system: where does the energy go?

A deep roster of familiar names in climate research headed by Karina von Schuckmann have just published an updated and for the first time comprehensive accounting of energy being stored in the Earth system due to radiative imbalance caused by greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere by "us truly." This is summarized as a single number called "Earth Energy Imbalance" (EEI), at slightly less than 0.5 Watts per square meter of Earth's surface. When penciled out it's an extremely large amount of energy in absolute terms. EEI  provides a simple handle for assessment of "how are we doing?" Schuckmann et al conclude that a reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere to 353 ppm (parts per million) from the present 410 ppm is a goal that will result in restoring an quasi-equilibrium state to the Earth's overall temperature, all other things being equal. A don't-miss publication, open access and free to read: Heat stored in the Earth system: where does the energy go?

Slight tweak to New Research

Articles in NR are categorized by domain, roughly. This introduces the problem of items that don't neatly fit in one slot, or that have significance in more than one discipline (happily becoming more frequent as the powerful multiplier of interdisciplinary cooperation is tapped more frequently). For that reason henceforth in some few cases we'll include an article in more than a single pigeonhole, in case particular readers are inclined to particular areas of interest.  

It remains the case that perfect categorization is an unsolved challenge; some findings defy categorization at the risk of landing in "Other."

96 Articles

Physical science of global warming & effects

Resolving inconsistencies in extreme precipitation?temperature sensitivities

Re?emergence of anthropogenic carbon into the ocean’s mixed layer strongly amplifies transient climate sensitivity

Elevation dependent warming over the Tibetan Plateau: Patterns, mechanisms and perspectives

Observations of global warming & effects

An increase in global trends of tropical cyclone translation speed since 1982 and its physical causes (open access)

Human contribution to the record-breaking June and July 2019 heatwaves in Western Europe

Detecting a forced signal in satellite-era sea-level change

Accelerated rate of vegetation green?up related to warming at northern high latitudes

Detectability of the trend in precipitation characteristics over China from 1961 to 2017

Late 1980s abrupt cold season temperature change in Europe consistent with circulation variability and long-term warming

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate & global warming

Heat stored in the Earth system: where does the energy go? (open access)

Toward an Operational Anthropogenic CO 2 Emissions Monitoring and Verification Support Capacity (open access)

Pervasive diffusion of climate signals recorded in ice-vein ionic impurities (open access)

Resolving inconsistencies in extreme precipitation?temperature sensitivities

OCO-3 early mission operations and initial (vEarly) XCO2 and SIF retrievals

Sensitivity of trends to estimation methods and quantification of subsampling effects in global radiosounding temperature and humidity time series

Anthropogenic CO 2 emissions assessment of Nile Delta using XCO 2 and SIF data from OCO-2 satellite

Modeling & simulation of global warming & global warming effects

CMIP6 climate models imply high committed warming (open access)

Current likelihood and dynamics of hot summers in the UK

On the increase of climate sensitivity and cloud feedback with warming in the Community Atmosphere Models

An integrated approach to project the future urban climate response: Changes to Lisbon's urban heat island and temperature extremes

Drought projection in the Indochina Region based on the optimal ensemble subset of CMIP5 models

Anthropogenic climate change versus internal climate variability: impacts on snow cover in the Swiss Alps (open access)

The evolving distribution of relative humidity conditional upon daily maximum temperature in a warming climate

Plant Physiology Increases the Magnitude and Spread of the Transient Climate Response to CO 2 in CMIP6 Earth System Models

A modeling examination of cloud seeding conditions under the warmer climate in Utah, USA

Refining projected multidecadal hydroclimate uncertainty in East-Central Europe using CMIP5 and single-model large ensemble simulations (open access)

Long-term flood risk assessment of watersheds under climate change based on the game cross-efficiency DEA

Effect of aerosol radiative forcing uncertainty on projected exceedance year of a 1.5 °C global temperature rise

Climate model advancement

Quantifying uncertainties in temperature projections: A factorial-analysis-based multi-ensemble downscaling (FAMED) method

The global dust cycle and uncertainty in CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5) models (open access)

Coupled Climate Model Simulation of Tropical–Extratropical Cloud Bands over Southern Africa (open access)

Regional changes in extreme heat events in China under stabilized 1.5°C and 2.0°C global warming

Future sea level rise along the coast of China and adjacent region under 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C global warming

The performance of regional climate models driven by various general circulation models in reproducing observed rainfall over East Africa

Cryosphere & climate change

A kinematic formalism for tracking ice–ocean mass exchange on the Earth's surface and estimating sea-level change (open access)

A review of black carbon in snow and ice and its impact on the cryosphere

Biology & global warming

Wrong-way migrations of benthic species driven by ocean warming and larval transport

Do bark beetle outbreaks amplify or dampen future bark beetle disturbances in Central Europe?

Dendroecological and genetic insights for future management of an old-planted forest of the endangered Mediterranean fir Abies pinsapo

Does global warming decrease the correlation between cherry blossom flowering date and latitude in Japan?

Future winters present a complex energetic landscape of decreased costs and reduced risk for a freeze?tolerant amphibian, the Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

Rapid genomic and phenotypic change in response to climate warming in a widespread plant invader

Projected expansion of Trichodesmium’s geographical distribution and increase of growth potential in response to climate change

Learning from the past: impact of the Arctic Oscillation on sea ice and marine productivity off northwest Greenland over the last 9000 years

Current and future impacts of drought and ozone stress on Northern Hemisphere forests

Resilience of Spanish forests to recent droughts and climate change

Inflection point in climatic suitability of insect pest species in Europe suggests non?linear responses to climate change

Changing spring snow cover dynamics and early season forage availability affect the behavior of a large carnivore

Both day and night warming reduce tree growth in extremely dry soils

Stand age and climate influence forest ecosystem service delivery and multifunctionality

GHG sources & sinks, flux

Changing climate reallocates the carbon debt of frequent?fire forests

Assessing the Potential for Mobilization of Old Soil Carbon after Permafrost Thaw: A Synthesis of 14C Measurements from the Northern Permafrost Region

Embodied carbon emissions in the supply chains of multinational enterprises

Revised estimates of ocean-atmosphere CO2 flux are consistent with ocean carbon inventory (open access)

Warming increases soil respiration in a carbon-rich soil without changing microbial respiratory potential (open access)

Examining the link between vegetation leaf area and land–atmosphere exchange of water, energy, and carbon fluxes using FLUXNET data (open access)

Greenhouse gas exchange over a conventionally managed highbush blueberry field in the Lower Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada

Environmental and anthropogenic drivers of soil methane fluxes in forests: global patterns and among?biomes differences

A Bornean peat swamp forest is a net source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere

Asymmetric response of soil methane uptake rate to land degradation and restoration: Data synthesis

Cities as carbon sinks—classification of wooden buildings

CO2 removal & climate change mitigation science & engineering

Robust paths to net greenhouse gas mitigation and negative emissions via advanced biofuels (open access)

Climate change mitigation in cities: a systematic scoping of case studies

Black carbon

Enhancement of snow albedo reduction and radiative forcing due to coated black carbon in snow (open access)

A review of black carbon in snow and ice and its impact on the cryosphere

Climate change communications & cognition

A Research Agenda for Climate Change Communication and Public Opinion: The Role of Scientific Consensus Messaging and Beyond (open access)

Can the Issuance of Hazardous-Weather Warnings Inform the Attribution of Extreme Events to Climate Change? (open access)

Alternative inclusive approaches for improving climate information services and decision-making in Harare, Zimbabwe

Looking to future perceptions about climate change in Brazil: What children’s teachers think, learn and teach about?

Climate change, risk perception, and protection motivation among high-altitude residents of the Mt. Everest region in Nepal

Agronomy & climate change

Increased greenhouse gas emissions intensity of major croplands in China: Implications for food security and climate change mitigation

Could crop albedo modification reduce regional warming over Australia?

Vietnamese smallholders’ perspectives on causes, indicators and determinants of climate change: implication for adaptation strategies

The rising productivity of alpine grassland under warming, drought and N-deposition treatments (open access)

Smallholder oil palm farmers’ pro-adaptation behaviour under climate impact scenario: application of Protection Motivation Theory (open access)

Greenhouse gas exchange over a conventionally managed highbush blueberry field in the Lower Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada

Light grazing facilitates carbon accumulation in subsoil in Chinese grasslands: A meta?analysis

Animal Agriculture and Climate Change in the US and UK Elite Media: Volume, Responsibilities, Causes and Solutions (open access)

Impact of climate change on crop suitability in sub-Saharan Africa in parameterized and convection-permitting regional climate models

Maximising climate mitigation potential by carbon and radiative agricultural land management with cover crops

Economics & finance of climate change & mitigation

Each 0.5°C of Warming Increases Annual Flood Losses in China by More than US$60 Billion (open access)

Curbing fossil fuel supply to achieve climate goals (open access)

Climate change mitigation & adaptation public policy research

Integrating political and technological uncertainty into robust climate policy (open access)

Four approaches to anticipatory climate governance: Different conceptions of the future and implications for the present

Climate change adaptation

Assessment of coastal risk reduction and adaptation-labelled responses in Mauritius Island (Indian Ocean)

Humans dealing with our global warming

The Influence of Extreme Heat on Police and Fire Department Services in 23 U.S. Cities (open access)

Projected impacts of climate change on tourism in the Coachella Valley, California

The evolving distribution of relative humidity conditional upon daily maximum temperature in a warming climate


Land use and climate change impacts on global soil erosion by water (2015-2070) (open access)

The contribution of global aviation to anthropogenic climate forcing for 2000 to 2018

Proxy evidence for state-dependence of climate sensitivity in the Eocene greenhouse (open access)

Global spatio?temporal assessment of changes in multiple ecosystem services under four IPCC SRES land?use scenarios (open access)

Learning the lessons of Climategate: A cosmopolitan moment in the public life of climate science

Informed opinion & nudges

Focus on leakage and spillovers: informing land-use governance in a tele-coupled world

Rethinking climate context dependencies in biological terms (open access)

Rethinking Reef Island Stability in Relation to Anthropogenic Sea Level Rise (open access)

Challenges for drought assessment in the Mediterranean region under future climate scenarios

Can N2O emissions offset the benefits from soil organic carbon storage?

Pollution for Sale: Firms’ Characteristics and Lobbying Outcome


Obtaining articles wihout 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 9,3733, 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. 

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. The gross product of this is about 450-650 papers per week. These are then scanned by eye, necessarily with a fair degree of rapidity. Some are obvious by title, many require a careful read of the abstract, and finally a fair number require skimming or even quickly reading (!) the actual article. 

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 derived entirely from publications employing the peer-review process  assigns a "yes" to this automatically. We make no local judgement on merit, because others generally know better.
  • Is an article relevant to the topic of anthropogenic climate change? Due to filter overlap with other publication topics of inquiry about 1/4 of RSS output makes the final cut.


Please let us know if you're aware of an article you think may be of interest for Skeptical Science New Research, 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 2:

  1. Thanks Doug! Would be cool to see the 'highlighted paper' feature every week. 

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  2. Duly noted, Dawei. :-)

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