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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7, 2020

Posted on 19 February 2020 by Doug Bostrom

"You're going to need a longer runway"

Gratton et al explore the ongoing effects of upward-creeping temperatures on aviation in Greece in the period since 1955 at a range of airports in that country. For longer runways impacts are measurable but with little impact on operations. For airports with shorter runways, there's quite a difference, measurable over the service life of a single model of aircraft. From the abstract (open access paper):

At the most extreme case, results show that for an Airbus A320, operating from the, relatively short, 1511m runway at Chios Airport, the required reduction in payload would be equivalent to 38 passengers with their luggage, or fuel for 700 nautical miles (1300 km) per flight, for the period between the A320’s entry to service in 1988 and 2017.

"Mitigation is too expensive." Really?

Two articles look at sea level rise and problems arising from that in the same region of the world, from different perspectives. Uncertainty about our success at mitigation leads to high costs one way or another, and uncertainty about the scale of threat from SLR also pushes costs higher if a precautionary stance is adopted. 

Groeskamp and Kjellson explore the concept of a massive dam to protect Northern Europe in the event of global warming mitigation failures. Such a dam would be costly but the cost pales in comparison to what it would protect. As the authors remark:

The mere realization that a solution as considerable as NEED might be a viable and cost-effective protection measure is illustrative of the extraordinary global threat of global-mean sea level rise that we are facing. As such, the concept of constructing NEED showcases the extent of protection efforts that are required if mitigation efforts fail to limit sea level rise.

Haasnoot et al explore how stubborn uncertainties in contribution to SLR from Antarctica pop up in the Netherlands (open access), having large impacts on decision paths and adaptation costs. For the Netherlands there's no option to be wrong, so— failing any improvement in our understanding future behavior of Antarctic land ice--  the conclusion is that adaptation efforts and hence costs must be fast and large.

We find that as sea levels rise faster and higher, sand nourishment volumes to maintain the Dutch coast may need to be up to 20 times larger than to date in 2100, storm surge barriers will need to close at increasing frequency until closed permanently, and intensified saltwater intrusion will reduce freshwater availability while the demand is rising. The expected lifetime of investments will reduce drastically. Consequently, step-wise adaptation needs to occur at an increasing frequency or with larger increments while there is still large SLR uncertainty with the risk of under- or overinvesting. Anticipating deeply uncertain, high SLR scenarios helps to enable timely adaptation and to appreciate the value of emission reduction and monitoring of the Antarctica contribution to SLR.

64 Articles

Physical science of global warming & effects

Response of precipitation extremes to warming: what have we learned from theory and idealized cloud-resolving simulations, and what remains to be learned? (open access)

Observations & observational methods of global warming & effects

Evaluation of hot temperature extremes and heat waves in the Mississippi River Basin

Investigating the Acceleration of Regional Sea?level Rise During the Satellite Altimeter Era

The impacts of climate change on Greek airports (open access)

Has historic climate change affected the spatial distribution of water-limited wheat yield across Western Australia?

Earlier leaf-out warms air in the north

Tropical widening: From global variations to regional impacts (open access)

Trend Analysis of Multiple Extreme Hourly Precipitation Time Series in the Southeast United States

Increasing destructive potential of landfalling tropical cyclones over China

An observational estimate of the direct response of the cold season atmospheric circulation to the Arctic sea ice loss

Hydrological impacts of climate change on a data-scarce Greek catchment

Climatic change in southern Kazakhstan since 1850 C.E. inferred from tree rings

Trend analysis of climatic variables and their relation to snow cover and water availability in the Central Himalayas: a case study of Langtang Basin, Nepal

Modeling & simulation of global warming & global warming effects

Processes responsible for the Southern Hemisphere ocean heat uptake and redistribution under anthropogenic warming

Evapotranspiration depletes groundwater under warming over the contiguous United States (open access)

Time-evolving sea-surface warming patterns modulate the climate change response of subtropical precipitation over land (open access)

Evaluating stratospheric ozone and water vapor changes in CMIP6 models from 1850–2100 (open access)

Impacts of climate change on heavy wet snowfall in Japan

Quantifying two-way influences between the Arctic and mid-latitudes through regionally increased CO 2 concentrations in coupled climate simulations (open access)

Wind waves in the Adriatic Sea under a severe climate change scenario and implications for the coasts

Long?Range Reservoir Inflow Forecasts Using Large?Scale Climate Predictors

Anthropogenic land cover change impact on climate extremes during the 21st century (open access)

Climate model advancement

A simple model of mélange buttressing for calving glaciers (open access)

Evaluating Antarctic precipitation in ERA5and CMIP6 against CloudSat observations (open access)

Tackling resolution mismatch of precipitation extremes from gridded GCMs and site-scale observations: Implication to assessment and future projection

Large discrepancies in summer climate change over Europe as projected by global and regional climate models: causes and consequences

Biology & global warming

A mechanism of expansion: Arctic deciduous shrubs capitalize on warming-induced nutrient availability

Some food webs like it hotter

Biodiversity of intertidal food webs in response to warming across latitudes

Arctic river dissolved and biogenic silicon exports – current conditions and future changes with warming

Sensitivity of deciduous forest phenology to environmental drivers: Implications for climate change impacts across North America

Hotspots and ecoregion vulnerability driven by climate change velocity in Southern South America

GHG sources & sinks, flux

Monitoring Urban Greenhouse Gases Using Open-Path Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (open access)

Effects of anthropogenic activity on global terrestrial gross primary production

Soil carbon release responses to long-term versus short-term climatic warming in an arid ecosystem (open access)

Vegetation Influence and Environmental Controls on Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from a Drained Thermokarst Lake in the Western Canadian Arctic (open access)

Denitrification, carbon and nitrogen emissions over the Amazonian wetlands (open access)

Comprehensive assessments of carbon dynamics in an intermittently-irrigated rice paddy

ENSO-driven reverse coupling in interannual variability of pantropical water availability and global atmospheric CO 2 growth rate (open access)

Greater stability of carbon capture in species-rich natural forests compared to species-poor plantations (open access)

Effect of brine salinity on the geological sequestration of CO2 in a deep saline carbonate formation

Climate change communications & cognition

Climate change perceptions, data, and adaptation in the Garhwal Himalayas of India (open access)

Transnational Problems and National Fields of Journalism: Comparing Content Diversity in U.S. and U.K. News Coverage of the Paris Climate Agreement (open access)

Reporting on climate change: A computational analysis of U.S. newspapers and sources of bias, 1997–2017

Humans dealing with our global warming

The making of a metric: Co-producing decision-relevant climate science (open access)

The ‘boomerang effect’: insights for improved climate action (open access)

Hands across the water: climate change and binational cooperation in the Great Lakes Basin

Vulnerability and risk: climate change and water supply from California’s Central Valley water system

Increasing agricultural risk to hydro-climatic extremes in India (open access)

Coastal community resilience frameworks for disaster risk management (open access)

Vulnerability assessment of African coasts to sea level rise using GIS and remote sensing

Climate change and fossil fuel production cuts: assessing global supply-side constraints and policy implications (open access)

Decarbonization pathways and energy investment needs for developing Asia in line with ‘well below’ 2°C (open access)


Variability of Arctic sea ice based on quantile regression and the teleconnection with large-scale climate patterns

Informed opinion & nudges

Too big to ignore: Global risk perception gaps between scientists and business?leaders (open access)

NEED: The Northern European Enclosure Dam for if climate change mitigation fails (open access)

Adaptation to uncertain sea-level rise; how uncertainty in Antarctic mass-loss impacts the coastal adaptation strategy of the Netherlands (open access)

Paying a Price of Climate Change: Who Pays for Managed Retreats?

Legally obtaining 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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