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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #40, 2020

Posted on 7 October 2020 by doug_bostrom

"Regression to the tail"

Distinguished scholar Bent Flyvbjerg offers some sobering words on our experiential boundaries and hence our limitations on statistical thinking. To help address these he introduces a new concept:

"There is nothing as practical as a theory that is correct. Regression to the mean has been proven mathematically for many types of statistics and is highly useful in health, insurance, schools, on factory floors, in casinos, and in risk management, e.g., for flight safety.

But regression to the mean presupposes that a population mean exists. For some random events of great social consequence this is not the case.

Size-distributions of pandemics, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, wars, and terrorist attacks, e.g., have no population mean, or the mean is ill defined due to infinite variance. In other words, mean and/or variance do not exist. Regression to the mean is a meaningless concept for such distributions, whereas what one might call "regression to the tail" is meaningful and consequential."

Professor Flyvbjerg elaborates and elucidates his thinking in this must-read comment to ES&P: The law of regression to the tail: How to survive Covid-19, the climate crisis, and other disasters

New Research tweak on "preprint" articles

In our feeds we occasionally receive pointers to  "preprint" versions of papers. The paper has crossed the second hurdle (after research and writing!) before publication and has been accepted for review by an editor, but has not yet been waved through by peer reviewers for publishing. After a bit of internal discussion our decision is to list these with a tag "(preprint)." The deciding factor here is deference to the policy of a journal to invite members of the public to see such work in progress. 

It is inadvisable to construct an elaborate mental model or argument based on the content of papers with preprint status.

101 articles

Physical science of global warming & effects

The dimmest state of the Sun 1
DOI: 10.1029/2020gl090243

Factors Regulating the Multidecadal Changes in MJO Amplitude over the Twentieth Century

Observations of global warming & effects

Examining trends in multiple parameters of seasonally‐relative extreme temperature and dew point events across North America
DOI: 10.1002/joc.6852

Probability of compound climate extremes in a changing climate: A copula-based study of hot, dry, and windy events in the central United States
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abb1ef

Long‐term temporal‐scale‐dependent warming effects on the mass balance in the Dongkemadi Glacier, Tibetan Plateau
DOI: 10.1029/2020jd033105

The role of declining snow cover in the desiccation of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, using MODIS data
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2020.112106

Regional Variability and Trends of Temperature Inversions in Greenland
DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-19-0962.1

Freeze–Thaw Changes of Seasonally Frozen Ground on the Tibetan Plateau from 1960 to 2014
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-19-0923.1

Factors Regulating the Multidecadal Changes in MJO Amplitude over the Twentieth Century

Changes in Soil Moisture Persistence in China over the Past 40 Years under a Warming Climate
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-19-0900.1

Recent intensification of extreme precipitation events in the La Plata Basin in Southern South America (1981–2018)
DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2020.105299

Bioclimatic conditions of the Lower Silesia region (South-West Poland) from 1966 to 2017
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s00484-020-01970-5

Appraising trends and forecasting of hydroclimatic variables in the north and northeast regions of Bangladesh
DOI: 10.1007/s00704-020-03411-0

Strengthening western equatorial Pacific and Maritime Continent atmospheric convection and its modulation on the trade wind during spring of 1901–2010
DOI: 10.1002/joc.6856

Characterizing spatiotemporal rainfall changes in 1960 – 2019 for continental Australia
DOI: 10.1002/joc.6855

Global variation in diurnal asymmetry in temperature, cloud cover, specific humidity and precipitation and its association with leaf area index
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15336

Long‐term effects of global change on occupancy and flight period of wild bees in Belgium
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15379

Changes in Temperature Extremes and Their Relationship with ENSO in Malaysia from 1985 to 2018
DOI: 10.1002/joc.6864

Climate change and shifts in cropping systems together exacerbate China’s water scarcity
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abb1f2

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate & global warming

High latitude sea surface temperatures derived from MODIS infrared measurements
DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2020.112094

The role of declining snow cover in the desiccation of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, using MODIS data
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2020.112106

Modeling, simulation & projection of global warming & global warming effects MSWE

Global surface air temperatures in CMIP6: historical performance and future changes
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abb051

Dynamical Downscaling for Southeast Alaska: Historical Climate and Future Projections
DOI: 10.1175/jamc-d-20-0076.1

Future Changes and Controlling Factors of the Eight Regional Monsoons Projected by CMIP6 Models
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-20-0236.1

Anthropogenic aerosol forcing of the AMOC and the associated mechanisms in CMIP6 models
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/acp-2020-769 (preprint)

Response of the East Asian climate system to 1.5/2 °C global warming
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.accre.2020.09.009

Inter-model agreement on projected shifts in California hydroclimate characteristics critical to water management
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02882-4

On the projected decline in droughts over South Asia in CMIP6 multimodel ensemble
DOI: 10.1029/2020jd033587

Implications of CMIP6 projected drying trends for 21st century Amazonian drought risk
Open Access DOI: 10.1002/essoar.10503074.1

Responses of precipitation and runoff to climate warming and implications for future drought changes in China
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1029/2020ef001718

Climate‐driven changes in the ocean’s ventilation pathways and timescales diagnosed from transport matrices
DOI: 10.1029/2020jc016414

Heterogeneous response of global precipitation concentration to global warming
DOI: 10.1002/joc.6851

Changes in extreme temperature events over Africa under 1.5oC and 2.0oC global warming scenarios

Projected changes in fire size from daily spread potential in Canada over the 21st century
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aba101

Extreme hurricane rainfall affecting the Caribbean mitigated by the Paris agreement goals
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab9794

The contribution of anthropogenic influence to more anomalous extreme precipitation in Europe
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abb268

Anthropogenic forcing enhances rainfall seasonality in global land monsoon regions
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abafd3

Advances in climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

Understanding the Distribution of Multimodel Ensembles

Revisiting particle dry deposition and its role in radiative effect estimates
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2014761117

Effect of model calibration strategy on climate projections of hydrological indicators at a continental scale
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02874-4

Impact of updated radiative transfer scheme in RACMO2.3p3 on the surface mass and energy budget of the Greenland ice sheet
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-2020-259 (preprint)

Sensitivity of Greenland ice sheet projections to spatial resolution in higher-order simulations: the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) contribution to ISMIP6 Greenland using the Ice-sheet and Sea-level System Model (ISSM)
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-14-3309-2020

The diurnal Energy Balance Model (dEBM): A convenient surface mass balance solution for ice sheets in Earth System modeling
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/tc-2020-247 (preprint)

A Performance‐based Multimodel Combination Approach to Reduce Uncertainty in Seasonal Temperature Change Projections
DOI: 10.1002/joc.6870

Cryosphere & climate change

Natural variability of the Arctic Ocean sea ice during the present interglacial
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2008996117

Cosmogenic isotope measurements from recently deglaciated bedrock as a new tool to decipher changes in Greenland Ice Sheet size
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/cp-2020-111 (preprint)

Dust dominates high-altitude snow darkening and melt over high-mountain Asia
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-020-00909-3

Impact of calving dynamics on Kangilernata Sermia, Greenland
DOI: 10.1029/2020gl088524

Long‐term temporal‐scale‐dependent warming effects on the mass balance in the Dongkemadi Glacier, Tibetan Plateau
DOI: 10.1029/2020jd033105

Tidal modulation of buoyant flow and basal melt beneath Petermann Gletscher Ice Shelf, Greenland
DOI: 10.1029/2020jc016427

Freeze–Thaw Changes of Seasonally Frozen Ground on the Tibetan Plateau from 1960 to 2014
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1175/jcli-d-19-0923.1

High potential for loss of permafrost landforms in a changing climate
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abafd5

Paleoclimate

Mid to late-Holocene sea-surface temperature variability off north-eastern Newfoundland and its linkage to the North Atlantic Oscillation
DOI: 10.1177/0959683620961488

High-latitude biomes and rock weathering mediate climate–carbon cycle feedbacks on eccentricity timescales
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18733-w

Climate records in ancient Chinese diaries and their application in historical climate reconstruction – a case study of Yunshan Diary
Open Access DOI: 10.5194/cp-2020-72-rc2

Biology & global warming

Future climate change vulnerability of endemic island mammals
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18740-x

Climate extremes may be more important than climate means when predicting species range shifts
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02868-2

Ocean acidification causes variable trait shifts in a coral species
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15372

Climate change‐mediated temperature extremes and insects: from outbreaks to breakdowns
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15377

Antarctic ecosystem responses following ice‐shelf collapse and iceberg calving: Science review and future research
DOI: 10.1002/wcc.682

Long‐term effects of global change on occupancy and flight period of wild bees in Belgium
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15379

Mammalian herbivory shapes intraspecific trait responses to warmer climate and nutrient enrichment
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15378

Trophic interactions will expand geographically but be less intense as oceans warm

Understanding and managing the interactions of impacts from nature-based recreation and climate change
DOI: 10.1007/s13280-020-01403-y

GHG sources & sinks, flux

Evaluating China's fossil-fuel CO2 emissions from a comprehensive dataset of nine inventories

Legacy effects from historical environmental changes dominate future terrestrial carbon uptake
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1029/2020ef001674

New forest biomass carbon stock estimates in Northeast Asia based on multisource data
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15376

Climate and land‐use change will lead to a faunal ‘savannization’ on tropical rainforests
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15374

Total organic carbon concentrations in ecosystem solutions of a remote tropical montane forest respond to global environmental change
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15351

Negative impacts of plant diversity loss on carbon sequestration exacerbate over time in grasslands
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abaf88

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

Tree cover increase mitigation strategy: implications of the “replacement approach” in carbon storage of a subtropical ecosystem
DOI: 10.1007/s11027-020-09930-5

Decomposition of the US CO2 emissions and its mitigation potential: An aggregate and sectoral analysis

CO2 removal & mitigation science & engineering

Canal blocking optimization in restoration of drained peatlands
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/bg-17-4769-2020

Electricity savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions from global phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.5194/acp-20-11305-2020

Geoengineering climate

Assessing terrestrial biogeochemical feedbacks in a strategically geoengineered climate
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abacf7

Black carbon Climate change communications & cognition

Right-wing ideology reduces the effects of education on climate change beliefs in more developed countries
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-020-00930-6

Comparing farmers’ perceptions of climate change with meteorological trends and examining farm adaptation measures in hazard-prone districts of northwest Bangladesh
DOI: 10.1007/s10668-020-00989-3

Agronomy & climate change

Climate change impacts and adaptations for wheat employing multiple climate and crop modelsin Pakistan
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02855-7

Enhancement of no-tillage, crop straw return and manure application on field organic matter content overweigh the adverse effects of climate change in the arid and semi-arid Northwest China
DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2020.108199

Evaluating the relationship between climate variability and agricultural crops under indeterminacy
DOI: 10.1007/s00704-020-03398-8

Comparing farmers’ perceptions of climate change with meteorological trends and examining farm adaptation measures in hazard-prone districts of northwest Bangladesh
DOI: 10.1007/s10668-020-00989-3

Climate change and shifts in cropping systems together exacerbate China’s water scarcity
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abb1f2

Economics & finance of climate change & mitigation

The effect of carbon pricing on technological change for full energy decarbonization: A review of empirical ex‐post evidence
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1002/wcc.681

Treatment of International Economic Trade in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s40641-020-00163-x

Low‐carbon transition risks for finance
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1002/wcc.678

Shades of green: life cycle assessment of renewable energy projects financed through green bonds
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abaa0c

Health and economic benefit of China’s greenhouse gas mitigation by 2050
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aba97b

Who puts a price on carbon, why and how? A global empirical analysis of carbon pricing policies
DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2020.1824890

Climate change mitigation & adaptation public policy research

Brazil’s emission trajectories in a well-below 2 °C world: the role of disruptive technologies versus land-based mitigation in an already low-emission energy system
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02856-6

Evolution of national climate adaptation agendas in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia: the role of national leadership and international donors
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s10113-020-01693-8

Brazil’s emission trajectories in a well-below 2 °C world: the role of disruptive technologies versus land-based mitigation in an already low-emission energy system
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02856-6

Providing decent living with minimum energy: A global scenario
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102168

From “business as usual” to tackling climate change: Exploring factors affecting low-carbon decision-making in the canadian oil and gas sector
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111932

Climate change adaptation

Planning for a different kind of sea change: lessons from Australia for sea level rise and coastal flooding
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2020.1819766

Managing collaborative research: insights from a multi-consortium programme on climate adaptation across Africa and South Asia
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s10113-020-01702-w

Evolution of national climate adaptation agendas in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia: the role of national leadership and international donors
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s10113-020-01693-8

Towards adaptation pathways for atoll islands. Insights from the Maldives
DOI: 10.1007/s10113-020-01691-w

Social differentiation in climate change adaptation: One community, multiple pathways in transitioning Kenyan pastoralism
DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2020.08.010

Applying intersectionality to climate hazards: a theoretically informed study of wildfire in northern Saskatchewan
DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2020.1824892

Climate change impacts on human culture

Providing decent living with minimum energy: A global scenario
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102168

How do host–migrant proximities shape attitudes toward internal climate migrants?
Open Access DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102156

Multi-decadal shoreline change in coastal natural world heritage sites – a global assessment
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab968f

Health and migration in the context of a changing climate: a systematic literature assessment
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab9ece

Other

Uncertainty in carbon budget estimates due to internal climate variability
Open Access DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abaf1b

Dominant terms in the freshwater and heat budgets of the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean and Nordic Seas from 1992 to 2015
Open Access DOI: 10.1002/essoar.10503232.1

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Covid-19 and climate change in the times of the Anthropocene
DOI: 10.1177/2053019620961799

The gathering anthropocene crisis
DOI: 10.1177/2053019620957355

Treatment of International Economic Trade in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1007/s40641-020-00163-x

Twenty priorities for future social-ecological research on climate resilience
Open Access pdf DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abb157

The law of regression to the tail: How to survive Covid-19, the climate crisis, and other disasters
DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2020.08.013

 


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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. 

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.

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Journals covered

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Previous edition

The previous edition of Skeptical Science New Research may be found here.

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Comments

Comments 1 to 2:

  1. Some interesting research: "Why telling people how to save the planet may backfire".

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  2. Thanks Nigel. Very interesting, particularly as it agrees with my intuitions. :-)

    Climate communications for a popular audience are substantially worthless because they mostly reach only people who don't need persuading. 

    Meanwhile our preferred lexicon and methods are littered with landmines, starting with loud and frequently irrelevant semaphoring of political alignment and continuing with hopeless moon shot attempts at complete value reeducation.  

    There's a whole other language left largely fallow. Stable energy supply. Jobs that last forever, multigenerational livelihoods. Cars that are more fun to drive and with engines that never become an oily mess. All true, and all appealing to folks who don't share our concerns. 

    Some people don't care about polar bears. We'll likely never be able to make them care. On a 100 million year time scale, why should they? Bears come and bears go. The vast majority of us don't even think 50 or 100 years ahead. 

    But they do care about things that overlap with our own parochial concerns.  And there are enough of 'em to really gum up the works of modernization, as we've seen.

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