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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #42, 2019

Posted on 22 October 2019 by Doug Bostrom

54 articles, 18 open access

When positives are a negative

Nature Climate Change highlights Susan Natali's Large loss of CO2 in winter observed across the northern permafrost region, observing:

Warming in the Arctic is causing soils to decompose more rapidly, even during winter. Now, estimates of winter carbon dioxide loss indicate that it can offset carbon gains during the growing season, meaning that the region is a source of carbon.

We need another positive feedback like we need a hole in the head. Outcomes like this increase the weight of mitigation lifts we are currently failing to perform.

Speedier equilibrium opens a horizon of opportunity?

Geophysical Research Letters notes an article by D. Saint?Martin, Fast?Forward to Perturbed Equilibrium Climate, remarking:

The Earth system responds on a range of timescales to a change in radiative forcing, and full equilibration takes centuries to millennia in many models. In their recent paper, [D.Saint-Martin et al] propose a technique for reaching a faster equilibrium temperature response to alternative CO2 concentration levels by briefly overshooting the desired concentration level to warm the deep ocean faster than a conventional step?change experiment. Understanding how these timescales interact is essential for better representing the relationship between transient climate change and the warming which should be expected as greenhouse gas concentrations stabilize. But, the technique also raises new possibilities about how Earth System Models could be developed, and whether we could gain the capacity to spin up alternative model configurations such as perturbed parameter simulations or alternative control states to explore historical forcing uncertainty.

Cow tuning for a better tomorrow

Adjusting input variables to dairy cattle so as to optimize for maximized milk output and minimized CO2 hoofprint is explored by Brandt et al with  their Intensification of dairy production can increase the GHG mitigation potential of the land use sector in East Africa. The authors find that— according to their results— there is potential to significantly expand dairy production while distinctly shrinking both CO2 intensity and (less dramatically) overall emissions from this sector, while also reducing loss of forest productivity. The devil may be in the details and the need to attend to those; the authors note the potential for problems if inputs are not scrupulously sourced.


Physical science of anthropogenic global warming

Rapid CO2 release from eroding permafrost in seawater

Water vapour adjustments and responses differ between climate drivers (open access)

Attribution of ocean temperature change to anthropogenic and natural forcings using the temporal, vertical and geographical structure (open access)

Thermodynamic and dynamic effects of increased moisture sources over the Tropical Indian Ocean in recent decades

Observation of global warming and global warming effects

Large loss of CO2 in winter observed across the northern permafrost region

Assessment of water cycle intensification over land using a multi?source global gridded precipitation dataset

Temperatures across Europe: evidence of time trends

The Indian Ocean Deep Meridional Overturning Circulation in three Ocean Reanalysis Products

Asymmetrical shift towards longer dry spells associated with warming temperatures during Russian summers

Patch aggregation trends of the global climate landscape under future global warming scenario

Are global tropical cyclones moving slower in a warming climate? (open access)

Modeling global warming and global warming effects

Fast?Forward to Perturbed Equilibrium Climate

Assessment of the Laurentian Great Lakes’ hydrological conditions in a changing climate (open access)

Response of the Subtropical Gyre Circulation in the North Pacific Ocean to CO2 Quadrupling (open access)

Land?Atmosphere coupling regimes in a future climate in Africa: from model evaluation to projections based on CORDEX?Africa

How Robust is the Atmospheric Response to Projected Arctic Sea?Ice Loss Across Climate Models?

Climatology explains intermodel spread in tropical upper tropospheric cloud and relative humidity response to greenhouse warming

Testing for dynamical dependence ?? Application to the surface mass balance over Antarctica

Sea?level science on the frontier of usability (open access)

Assessing uncertainty in the dynamical ice response to ocean warming in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica

Investigating the role of the relative humidity in the co?occurrence of temperature and heat stress extremes in CMIP5 projections

Is the net cloud radiative effect constrained to be uniform over the tropical warm pools?

Visualizing climate change adaptation: An effective tool for agricultural outreach?

New Approach for Bias Correction and Stochastic Downscaling of Future Projections for Daily Mean Temperatures to a High-resolution Grid

Understanding future changes in tropical cyclogenesis using Self-Organizing Maps

Intercomparison of daily precipitation persistence in multiple global observations and climate models (open access)

Enhanced equatorial warming causes deep-tropical contraction and subtropical monsoon shift

Humans dealing with our global warming

Taxing crude oil: A financing alternative to mitigate climate change?

The impact of climate mitigation measures on near term climate forcers (open access)

Climate change impacts the epidemic of dysentery: determining climate risk window, modeling and projection (open access)

Climate exceeded human management as the dominant control of fire at the regional scale in California’s Sierra Nevada (open access)

Emotional foundations of the public climate change divide

Negative emissions and international climate goals—learning from and about mitigation scenarios (open access)

Climate Warming Changed the Planting Boundaries of Varieties of Summer Corn with Different Maturity Levels in the North China Plain

Social readiness of adaptation technologies

Intensification of dairy production can increase the GHG mitigation potential of the land use sector in East Africa

Increasing exposure of energy infrastructure to compound hazards: cascading wildfires and extreme rainfall (open access)

Review of indicators for comparing environmental effects across energy sources (open access)

Evaluation of the relationship between energy consumption, economic growth, and CO 2 emissions in China’ transport sector: the FMOLS and VECM approaches

Which are the factors influencing the integration of mitigation and adaptation in climate change plans in Latin American cities? (open access)

Industrial water-use technical efficiency and potential reduction of CO2 emissions: evidence from industry-level data (open access)

Frames, facts, and the science of communicating environmental crises

Measuring climate resilience by linking shocks to development outcomes

Contribution of the land sector to a 1.5 °C world

Climate change and disasters: The ethics of leadership

Biology and global warming

Pathway dependence of ecosystem responses in China to 1.5 °C global warming (open access)

African biomes are most sensitive to changes in CO2 under recent and near-future CO2 conditions (open access)

Priority effects will impede range shifts of temperate tree species into the boreal forest

Climate warming may affect the optimal timing of reproduction for migratory geese differently in the low and high Arctic (open access)

Global warming and artificial shorelines reshape seashore biogeography

Multi?scale integration of tree recruitment and range dynamics in a changing climate

Ecological resilience of Arctic marine food webs to climate change

The effect of plant physiological responses to rising CO2 on global streamflow


The end of the wait for Climate Sensitivity?

Reply to Comment by Robock et al. on “Climate impact of a regional nuclear weapons exchange: An improved assessment based on detailed source calculations”


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.

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

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

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. The abstract of "Are global tropical cyclones moving slower in a warming climate?" concludes that AGW is likely *not* having an effect on cyclone speed. (Betteridge's law should have been a clue). 

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  2. Not far below the abstract the following is stated. Note the use of "may" regarding claims that are implied to support the suggestions of this paper.

    "Recently, Kossin (2018a) reported that the global tropical-cyclone translation speed over the 68 year period 1949–2016 was slowing down by 10% and implicitly related this to the weakening of the tropical circulation forced by the anthropogenic warming (Held and Soden 2006, Vecchi et al 2006, Vecchi and Soden 2007, Coumou et al 2015, He and Soden 2015, Grise and Polvani 2017, Mann et al 2017). He thereby suggested that it might result in more local rainfall totals in the warming climate, particularly over land. Such findings and implications have been widely interpreted, broadcasted and forwarded by various social media and sectors since then (Guglielmi 2018, Patricola 2018, Shultz et al 2018). Unfortunately, his study was imprecise and questioned. The early work of the present study pointed out two deficits in his calculation of tropical-cyclone translation speed and an author correction had been made after (Kossin 2018b). Although the correction shows no material impact on the key conclusions of the original study on a global scale, it has a number of varying effects on regional scales. Such varying effects are more apparent for tropical cyclones over land. On top of that, this study further suggests that the slowdown of global tropical-cyclone translation speed stated by Kossin (2018a) may not be a real climate signal or it may be exaggerated, which is consistent with what Moon et al (2019) and Lanzante (2019) commented coincidentally."

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  3. One Planet, I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. The paper is clearly intended as a counter to the claims of cyclone slowing. The authors argue there's no evidence for it, so this paper shouldn't be listed in a group called "Observation of global warming and global warming effects" (its whole purpose is to argue that the case for this being one of its effects is weak to non-existent).

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  4. In the abstract of the paper Dawei mentions, we read  this:

    A recent astounding study reported a 10% slowdown in global tropical-cyclone translation speed over the past 68 years (1949–2016) and implicitly related this to the weakening of tropical circulation forced by the anthropogenic warming. It thereby suggested that it might result in more local rainfall totals in a warming climate. However, here this study shows that no robust and significant observational and modeling evidences reveal that they are.

    The paper goes on to discuss the author Chan's reasons for disagreement with the paper he cites. Both papers are discussing effects of global warming,  Chan in a slightly more histrionic but otherwise standard format. Finding a negative result does not vanish the topic, so to speak. 

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  5. Dawei@3,

    Doug has provided a good reponse regarding the section the Report is listed under.

    I will provide the following in an effort to respond to the other parts of your comment.

    The abstract ends with the following: "The relationship between the slowdown of tropical cyclones and anthropogenic warming is therefore not apparent and the relevant potential increase in local rainfall totals in the future warming climate is suspicious."

    That appears to be inconsistent with claiming "...that AGW is likely *not* having an effect on cyclone speed".

    My comment was pointing out that, in addition to reading the complete abstarct, reading just a little further raises even more doubts about the claim "...that AGW is likely *not* having an effect on cyclone speed".

    Along the lines of Doug's point regarding the category for the Report, claiming to doubt a conclusion of another report that has already been corrected without the corrections affecting the conclusions seems to indicate that serious skepticism should be applied regarding the claims this report appears to try to make. The author is not refuting the revised conclusion of the other report. They appear to be trying to tell a different story based on their personal interpretations of selective information.

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  6. Dawei@3,

    The following points may clarify my thoughts regarding "Are global tropical cyclones moving slower in a warming climate?", specific regarding it suporting a claim "...that AGW is likely *not* having an effect on cyclone speed":

    • This document attempts to be a follow-up to a previous attempt to refute an evaluation of the full global satellite data set that strives to establish if, with the limited data currently gathered, there is evidence that the rate of movement of cyclones is reducing (they are moving slower), with the related result that the total amount of rain and wind damage from a cyclone event on a location could increase. The most likely cause of such a change of behaviour would be global warming.
    • The previous critique of that report by this author resulted in modifications of the original report that did not change the conclusion of the report.
    • This new critique appears to attempt a more detailed evaluation of regional 'sub-sets of the accumulated global satellite data'. If the global total data set is only marginally large enough to identify trends in, no sub-set should be expected to be large enough to note a trend. Yet the author seems to want to claim that their identification of 'regional speeding-up of movement after the eye makes landfall (my para-phrasing)' can be identified and is the basis for refuting the global evaluation.
    • A lot of rain and wind damage can occur before the eye makes landfall. A recent major damaging storm swept up the coast of Florida without making landfall. And many others have done that. However, Dorian definitely 'sat on top of land for a long time', unlike cyclone movement after the eye finally makes landfall on a large land mass (the type of regional difference that the author seems to want to focus on - and it is possible that Dorian's behaviour above an 'island' would be excluded from the 'regional behaviour after landfall' that the author appears to want to write a story about).
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