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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020

Posted on 23 September 2020 by Doug Bostrom

Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries 

Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation. 


Human activities are threatening to push the Earth system beyond its planetary boundaries, risking catastrophic and irreversible global environmental change. Action is urgently needed, yet well-intentioned policies designed to reduce pressure on a single boundary can lead, through economic linkages, to aggravation of other pressures. In particular, the potential policy spillovers from an increase in the global carbon price onto other critical Earth system processes has received little attention to date. To this end, we explore the global environmental effects of pricing carbon, beyond its effect on carbon emissions. We find that the case for carbon pricing globally becomes even stronger in a multi-boundary world, since it can ameliorate many other planetary pressures. It does however exacerbate certain planetary pressures, largely by stimulating additional biofuel production. When carbon pricing is allied with a biofuel policy, however, it can alleviate all planetary pressures.

Open access and free to read, and accompanied by a treasure of interesting supporting references. 

88 Articles

Observations of global warming & effects

Increasing concurrence of wildfire drivers tripled megafire critical danger days in Southern California between1982 and 2018

Buoyant calving and ice-contact lake evolution at Pasterze Glacier (Austria) in the period 1998–2019
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-2020-227

Surface melting over the Greenland ice sheet from enhanced resolution passive microwave brightness temperatures (1979–2019)

Driving Forces of Circum-Antarctic Glacier and Ice Shelf Front Retreat over the Last Two Decades

New perspectives on ‘warming-wetting’ trend in Xinjiang, China
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.accre.2020.09.004

Changes in monsoon rainfall distribution of Bangladesh using quantile regression model
DOI: 10.1007/s00704-020-03387-x

Surface mean temperature from the observational stations and multiple reanalyses over the Tibetan Plateau
DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05386-0

Ground observed climatology and trend in snow cover phenology across China with consideration of snow-free breaks
DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05422-z

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate & global warming

Global methane budget and trend, 2010–2017: complementarity of inverse analyses using in situ (GLOBALVIEWplus CH4 ObsPack) and satellite (GOSAT) observations

Characterisation and surface radiative impact of Arctic low clouds from the IAOOS field experiment
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/acp-2020-918

The Vulcan Version 3.0 High?Resolution Fossil Fuel CO2 Emissions for the United States

Modeling & simulation of global warming & global warming effects

Robust Arctic warming caused by projected Antarctic sea ice loss
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abaada

Robust acceleration of stratospheric moistening and its radiative feedback under greenhouse warming

ISMIP6 Antarctica: a multi-model ensemble of the Antarctic ice sheet evolution over the 21st century
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6309

The future sea-level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet: a multi-model ensemble study of ISMIP6
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2682

Projected changes in vertical temperature profiles for Australasia
DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05392-2

Impact of methane and black carbon mitigation on forcing and temperature: a multi-model scenario analysis
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02794-3

Does comprehensive evaluation of hydrological models influence projected changes of mean and high flows in the Godavari River basin?
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02847-7

Consequences of permafrost degradation for Arctic infrastructure – bridging the model gap between regional and engineering scales
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-2020-192

Modelling regional glacier length changes over the last millennium using the Open Global Glacier Model
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-14-3135-2020

The role of history and strength of the oceanic forcing in sea level projections from Antarctica with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-14-3097-2020

Modelling steady states and the transient response of debris-covered glaciers

Climate velocity in inland standing waters
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-020-0889-7

Hotspots of dense water cascading in the Arctic Ocean: implications for the Pacific water pathways

Climate Response to Increasing Antarctic Iceberg and Ice Shelf Melt
DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-19-0881.1

Interactions between Increasing CO 2 and Antarctic Melt Rates

Distinct response of Northern Hemisphere land monsoon precipitation to transient and stablized warming scenarios

Projected drought conditions in Northwest China with CMIP6 models under combined SSPs and RCPs for 2015?2099
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.accre.2020.09.003

Mid-summer surface air temperature and its internal variability over China at 1.5 °C and 2 °C global warming
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.accre.2020.09.005

Evaluation and projection of daily maximum and minimum temperatures over China using the high-resolution NEX-GDDP dataset
DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05404-1

Pseudo-global warming projections of extreme wave storms in complex coastal regions: the case of the Adriatic Sea
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05397-x

Will the wind associated with the Adriatic storm surges change in future climate?
DOI: 10.1007/s00704-020-03379-x

Climate model advancement

Understanding differences in California climate projections produced by dynamical and statistical downscaling
DOI: 10.1029/2020jd032812

Evaluating permafrost physics in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6) models and their sensitivity to climate change
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-14-3155-2020

A protocol for calculating basal melt rates in the ISMIP6 Antarctic ice sheet projections
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-14-3111-2020

Advances in CMIP6 INM-CM5 over CMIP5 INM-CM4 for precipitation simulation in South Korea
DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2020.105261

An overview of the performance of CMIP6 models in the tropical Atlantic: mean state, variability, and remote impacts
DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05409-w

Does comprehensive evaluation of hydrological models influence projected changes of mean and high flows in the Godavari River basin?
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02847-7

Brief communication: Time step dependence (and fixes) in Stokes simulations of calving ice shelves
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-2019-315

One simulation, different conclusions—the baseline period makes the difference!
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aba3d7

Cryosphere & climate change

The hysteresis of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

Driving Forces of Circum-Antarctic Glacier and Ice Shelf Front Retreat over the Last Two Decades

Buoyant calving and ice-contact lake evolution at Pasterze Glacier (Austria) in the period 1998–2019
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-2020-227


Atlantic Hurricane response to Sahara greening and reduced dust emissions during the mid-Holocene

The 3.6-Ma aridity and westerlies history over midlatitude Asia linked with global climatic cooling
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1922710117

Learning from the past: impact of the Arctic Oscillation on sea ice and marine productivity off northwest Greenland over the last 9000 years
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15334

A review of past changes in extratropical cyclones in the northern hemisphere and what can be learned for the future

Biology & global warming

Advancing nature?based approaches to address the biodiversity and climate emergency

Insects in high?elevation streams: life in extreme environments imperiled by climate change

Rapid onsets of warming events trigger mass mortality of coral reef fish
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2009748117

A quantitative framework reveals ecological drivers of grassland microbial community assembly in response to warming
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18560-z

Climate velocity in inland standing waters
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-020-0889-7

The problem of scale in predicting biological responses to climate
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15358

Summer warming explains widespread but not uniform greening in the Arctic tundra biome

Measuring the evolutionary potential of a winter-active parasitic wasp to climate change

The effect of climate change on laying dates, clutch size and productivity of Eurasian Coots Fulica atra
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s00484-020-01972-3

Predicting impacts of climate variability on Banj oak ( Quercus leucotrichophora A. Camus) forests: understanding future implications for Central Himalayas
DOI: 10.1007/s10113-020-01696-5

Projecting the future vegetation–climate system over East Asia and its RCP-dependence
DOI: 10.1007/s00382-020-05411-2

Long?term effects of 7?year warming experiment in the field on leaf hydraulic and economic traits of subtropical tree species
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15355

Projected expansion of Trichodesmium’s geographical distribution and increase in growth potential in response to climate change
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15324

Shifts in aquatic insect composition in a tropical forest stream after three decades of climatic warming
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15325

Long?term warming destabilizes aquatic ecosystems through weakening biodiversity?mediated causal networks
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15323

Relative impacts of land?use and climate change on grasshopper range shifts have changed over time
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1111/geb.13188

GHG sources & sinks, flux

Global methane budget and trend, 2010–2017: complementarity of inverse analyses using in situ (GLOBALVIEWplus CH4 ObsPack) and satellite (GOSAT) observations

Carbon dioxide balance of an oil palm plantation established on tropical peat
DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2020.108189

Greenhouse gas balance in global pasturelands and rangelands
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abaa79

CO2 removal & mitigation science & engineering

Tree planting has the potential to increase carbon sequestration capacity of forests in the United States
Open Access DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2010840117

Systematizing and upscaling urban climate change mitigation
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abb0b2

Water vapor effects on CO2 separation of amine?containing facilitated transport membranes (AFTMs) module: mathematical modeling using tanks?in?series approach

Experimental investigation of CO2–brine–rock interactions in relation with CO2 sequestration in an Iranian oil reservoir

Black carbon

Examining the atmospheric radiative and snow-darkening effects of black carbon and dust across the Rocky Mountains of the United States using WRF-Chem
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/acp-2019-998

Climate change communications & cognition

Climate change uncertainty among American farmers: an examination of multi-dimensional uncertainty and attitudes towards agricultural adaptation to climate change
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02860-w

Indiscriminate, Irrelevant, and Sometimes Wrong: Causal Misconceptions about Climate Change
DOI: 10.1111/risa.13587

Environmental Literature as Persuasion: An Experimental Test of the Effects of Reading Climate Fiction
DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2020.1814377

Who feels the impacts of climate change?
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/nindia.2013.68

Agronomy & climate change

Climate risks to Brazilian coffee production
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aba471

Impact of climate change on storage conditions for major agricultural commodities across the contiguous United States
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02873-5

Assessment of the impacts of climate change on agro-climatic indices in Iran
DOI: 10.1007/s00704-020-03385-z

Economics & finance of climate change & mitigation

Model Uncertainty in Climate Change Economics: A Review and Proposed Framework for Future Research
DOI: 10.1007/s10640-020-00503-3

Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18342-7

Constant carbon pricing increases support for climate action compared to ramping up costs over time
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-020-00914-6

Stranded investment associated with rapid energy system changes under the mid-century strategy in Japan
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s11625-020-00862-2

Downscaling consumption to universal basic income level falls short of sustainable carbon footprint in Finland
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2020.09.006

Public support for carbon taxation in Turkey: drivers and barriers
DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2020.1816887

Climate change mitigation & adaptation public policy research

A bridge too far? The role of natural gas electricity generation in US climate policy
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111867

The impact of strategic climate legislation: evidence from expert interviews on the UK Climate Change Act
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2020.1819190

Climate change adaptation

Watershed communities’ livelihood vulnerability to climate change in the Himalayas


Insights into the future of soil erosion
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2017314117

Social as much as environmental: the drivers of tree biomass in smallholder forest landscape restoration programmes
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab96d1

Fast climate responses to aerosol emission reductions during the COVID?19 pandemic

Informed opinion, nudges & calls to initiatives

Advancing nature?based approaches to address the biodiversity and climate emergency

Scientific Communities Striving for a Common Cause: Innovations in Carbon Cycle Science
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1175/bams-d-19-0306.1


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 on an article's relevance and importance. 

  • 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
  • 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. 
  • 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 weekly raw rate of article delivery is 450-650 items, with 80-120 ultimately selected.

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 about 1/4 of RSS output makes the cut.


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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