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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #49, 2019

Posted on 11 December 2019 by Doug Bostrom

Our crowdfunding campaign to complete development of the Cranky Uncle game for improving our climate cognition reached its initial goal of $15,000 in only 7 days. We've activated our first stretch goal, to port the app to Android. You can help by contributing right now while you're thinking about it! To all those who've already contributed, a massive Thank You! 

Greenland mass balance refined by IMBIE

The IMBIE team have published a new analysis, Mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2018. This improved, more comprehensive study finds loss of ice from Greenland at the upper end of IPCC assumptions. The loss is due to subaerial surface melting and and warmer waters touching certain parts of the periphery of Greenland, in particular  the terminus of Jakobshavn Isbræ. The implication is routine flooding or loss of living space for another 40 million or so persons by the end of this century, up to ~400 million from the previously estimated 360 million. The paper is open access courtesy of the authors; follow links here rather than trying to access via Nature. [Error.This is an important paper especially when taken alongside Mouginot et al 2019. We're seeking a copy.]

NOAA 2019 Arctic Report Card

NOAA has released the 2019 Arctic Report Card. Our grades are not good.

Burgeoning reasons for not being a pantomime ostrich

The "Humans dealing with our global warming" section of our weekly research harvest illustrates how global warming unpacks into myriad challenges, all of which need to be addressed lest we end up with an even larger collection of unnecessary bad outcomes. Jenkins et al take a look at spent nuclear fuel repositories in the United States in Unmanaged climate risks to spent fuel from U.S. nuclear power plants: The case of sea-level rise. As with the rest of such investigations into warming knock-on effects, this paper helps to illustrate future costs being imposed on us by politicians thwarting construction of perspicacious policy while expediently posing as climate science deniers. It would be better if these artistes dropped their acts and spoke as adult-adult to their constituencies. From the abstract:

A geospatial analysis of coastal sites shows that with six feet of sea-level rise, seven spent fuel sites will be juxtaposed by seawater. Of those, three will be near or completely surrounded by water, and should be considered a priority for mitigation: Humboldt Bay (California), Turkey Point (Florida), and Crystal River (Florida). To ensure policy-makers manage such climate risks, a risk management approach is proposed. Further, we recommend that policy-makers 1) transfer overdue spent fuel from cooling pools to dry casks, particularly where located in high risk sites; 2) develop a long-term and comprehensive storage plan that is less vulnerable to climate change; and 3) encourage international nuclear treaties and standards to take climate change into account.


For people without academic or other rare library privileges it's quite annoying to be intrigued by an article link here and then be thwarted by a publisher fee. The system smacks a bit of alchemists and secret writing but in part it's legacy effects of old publication modes and— to be fair— accounting for some actual costs. Find a link below to a useful collection of advice for obtaining papers in this and subsequent editions of SkS research news, at Obtaining legal copies of "paywalled" articles

Skeptical Science is all about communicating climate change, particularly when and where prior attitudes and beliefs are clouding the picture. Our society's capacity to deal with climate change is as much a communications and cognitive psychology problem as it is a matter of physical science, technology and engineering. In respect of this and further sorting the weekly stew of publications into separate bowls, find a new division Climate change communications and cognition below

Over the past couple of weeks we've pushed posting of research news back a day, in deference to the Cranky Uncle campaign. This move only confirmed an interesting fact: publishing on Tuesdays often left important papers announced later on Monday unaddressed for an entire week. RN will henceforth appear regularly on Wednesday. 

89 Articles:

Physical science of global warming

Why Does Arakawa and Schubert’s Convective Quasi-Equilibrium Closure Not Work? Mathematical Analysis and Implications

Potential problems measuring climate sensitivity from the historical record

Changes in Convective Available Potential Energy and Convective Inhibition Under Global Warming

Evidence against a long-term control on Earth climate by Galactic Cosmic Ray Flux

Observations and observational methods of global warming and effects

Mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2018

Countrywide climate features during recorded climate-related disasters (open access)

Atmospheric radiative processes accelerate ground surface warming over the southeastern Tibetan Plateau during 1998-2013

Building long homogeneous temperature series across Europe: a new approach for the blending of neighboring series

Consistent variability but different spatial patterns between observed and reanalysed sea-ice thickness (open access)

Reduction in surface climate change achieved by the 1987 Montreal Protocol

Exploring the stationarity of Australian temperature, precipitation and pan evaporation records over the last century

Modeling and simulation of global warming & global warming effects

Probable maximum precipitation in a warming climate over North America in CanRCM4 and CRCM5

Climate models disagree on the sign of total radiative feedback in the Arctic (open access)

No Cookie for climate change

Dynamical Downscaling of Future Hydrographic Changes over the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

The forced response of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation-Indian monsoon teleconnection in ensembles of Earth System Models (open access)

Estimating the Effective Radiative Forcing of Contrail Cirrus

Arctic sea ice thickness internal variability and its changes under historical and anthropogenic forcing (open access)

The added value of high resolution in estimating the surface mass balance in southern Greenland (open access)

Carbon-concentration and carbon-climate feedbacks in CMIP6 models, and their comparison to CMIP5 models (open access)

The potential added value of Regional Climate Models in South America using a multiresolution approach

Future projection of winter precipitation over northwest India and associated regions using CORDEX-SA experiments

Quantitative assessment of precipitation changes under CMIP5 RCP scenarios over the northern sub-Himalayan region of Pakistan

Regionalization of anthropogenically forced changes in 3 hourly extreme precipitation over Europe

On the potential impact of a half-degree warming on cold and warm temperature extremes in mid-latitude North America

Latitudinal heterogeneity and hotspots of uncertainty in projected extreme precipitation

Humans dealing with our global warming

Persistent fossil fuel growth threatens the Paris Agreement and planetary health

Food system collapse

Changing risks of simultaneous global breadbasket failure

Intensification of rice-fallow cropping systems in the Eastern Plateau region of India: diversifying cropping systems and climate risk mitigation (open access)

Climate change risks and adaptation: new indicators for Mediterranean viticulture

Unmanaged climate risks to spent fuel from U.S. nuclear power plants: The case of sea-level rise

Simulating combined SO2 and CO2 capture from combustion flue gas

Climate variability reduces employment in New England fisheries (open access)

Attributing blame?—climate accountability and the uneven landscape of impacts, emissions, and finances

Long-run trend in agricultural yield and climatic factors in Europe (open access)

Changing yields in the Central United States under climate and technological change

Carbon dioxide emissions continue to grow amidst slowly emerging climate policies

Sea Ice Targeted Geoengineering Can Delay Arctic Sea Ice Decline but not Global Warming (open access)

Facilitating International Collaboration on Climate Change Research (open access)

Hydropower potential in the Kabul River under climate change scenarios in the XXI century

Large increase in yield is predicted by wheat ideotypes for Europe under future climate

A multi-level climate club with national and sub-national members: theory and application to US states

Social perspectives on climate change adaptation, sustainable development, and artificial snow production: A Swiss case study using Q methodology

Taxing Consumption to Mitigate Carbon Leakage

Persistence of the high solar potential in Africa in a changing climate

Prompt active restoration of peatlands substantially reduces climate impact

Potential impact of climate change on solar resource in Africa for photovoltaic energy: analyses from CORDEX-AFRICA climate experiments

Wives influence climate change mitigation behaviours in married-couple households: insights from Taiwan

Large-scale pasture restoration may not be the best option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil

Tracking banking in the Western Climate Initiative cap-and-trade program

Climate change communications and cognition

Climate change beliefs shape the interpretation of forest fire events

Communication of IPCC visuals: IPCC authors’ views and assessments of visual complexity (open access)

Approval of political leaders can slant evaluation of political issues: evidence from public concern for climate change in the USA

Quantifying student engagement in learning about climate change using galvanic hand sensors in a controlled educational setting

Perceptions of climate variability and change in relation to observed data among two east coast communities in Zanzibar, East Africa (open access)

Event attribution and partisanship shape local discussion of climate change after extreme weather

Unnatural climate solutions?

Does Public Knowledge of Climate Change Really Matter in Australia?* (open access)

Biology and global warming

Quantitative assessment and driving force analysis of vegetation drought risk to climate change:Methodology and application in Northeast China

Growing?season temperature and precipitation are independent drivers of global variation in xylem hydraulic conductivity

Simulated climate change decreases nutrient resorption from senescing leaves

Shifts in the temperature?sensitive periods for spring phenology in European beech and pedunculate oak clones across latitudes and over recent decades

There is an inverse relationship between the capacity of climate change refugia and species adaptation potential

Species interactions and climate change: How the disruption of species co?occurrence will impact on an avian forest guild

Long?term physiological and growth responses of Himalayan fir to environmental change are mediated by mean climate

Climate change undermines the global functioning of marine food webs

Halving sunlight reveals no carbon limitation of aboveground biomass production in alpine grassland

Global divergent responses of primary productivity to water, energy, and CO 2

Novel Index for bioclimatic zone-based biodiversity conservation strategies under climate change in Northeast Asia

Bird’s nest fern epiphytes facilitate herpetofaunal arboreality and climate refuge in two paleotropic canopies

Decadal changes in masting behaviour of oak trees with rising temperature

Shared morphological consequences of global warming in North American migratory birds

GHG sources and sinks, flux

Advancing scientific understanding of the global methane budget in support of the Paris Agreement

The spatiotemporal dynamics of the sources and sinks of CO2 in the global coastal ocean

Reduced CaCO3 Flux to the Seafloor and Weaker Bottom Current Speeds Curtail Benthic CaCO3 Dissolution Over the 21st Century

Saltwater reduces potential CO2 and CH4 production in peat soils from a coastal freshwater forested wetland (open access)

Intertwined effects of climate and land use change on environmental dynamics and carbon accumulation in a mangrove?fringed coastal lagoon in Java, Indonesia

Impacts of land management practices on blue carbon stocks and greenhouse gas fluxes in coastal ecosystems – A meta?analysis

Annual and seasonal variability of greenhouse gases fluxes over coastal urban and suburban areas in Portugal: Measurements and source partitioning

Greenhouse gas emissions from windrow composting of organic wastes: Patterns and emissions factors


Strong time dependence of ocean acidification mitigation by atmospheric carbon dioxide removal (open access)

Illustrative Analysis of Probabilistic Sea-Level Rise Hazard

Causes of climate change over the historical record

Informed opinion and nudges

Global change biology: A primer

Understanding plant communities of the future requires filling knowledge gaps

NOAA 2019 Arctic Report Card Executive Summary

NOAA 2019 Arctic Report Card Full Report

Obtaining legal copies of "paywalled" articles

We know it's frustrating that many articles we cite here are not free to read. Here's an excellent collection of tips and techniques for obtaining articles, legally. 


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 2:

  1. The link below the Greenland headline leads to a paper about the Antarctic, not about Greenland.

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  2. Thanks Jeff. Sadly due to mental fragmentation I twice found what I thought were author-supplied copies of the paper. Drawing a blank— have contacted IMBIE to see if they can cough an accepted submission version or whatever. 

    0 0
    Moderator Response:

    Check your email

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