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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13 2022

Posted on 31 March 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Glaciers: "Do not resuscitate"

Glaciers: as characters in human culture and affairs some are near and dear, like cherished friends or relatives. Unfortunately— not a little like children accidentally allowed matches and gasoline while visiting grandparents— we've mortally wounded a lot of our icy companions, including alpine glaciers beloved in certain parts of the world, natural features woven into cultural consciousness.

We'll go to medical and financial extremes to save loved ones. What about our glaciers? Given that climate change is now on rails from the perspective of a bleeding, dying alpine glacier, can we directly help? Can we afford to help?

In a short and unavoidably poignant article, Jakob Akermann and collaborators take on a case study of what in the medical world would be called "heroic measures" to save a particular glacier, Austria's Pasterze.  Yes, technically we can do this. In terms of affordability? No, not as a practical matter. Too expensive to keep — bidding farewell to an iconic mountain glacier? runs through the numbers and finds a bottom line of about €100M/year to keep this single patient alive— sort of.

Tugging our medical intervention analogy into inelastic strain territory, it's arguable that the "quality of life" of a glacier covered in blankets and rigged with other invasive procedures probably wouldn't be good. Certainly the end result will no more resemble our fond memories or an old photograph than does a friend or loved one "living" in a permanent coma with a flat EEG.

Other notables:

Impact of Dietary Meat and Animal Products on GHG Footprints: The UK and the US. "Comparing dietary changes with other ways of reducing GHG footprints indicates removing dietary meat is similar to avoiding one long-haul flight each year and a larger reduction than driving 100 miles less each week." Cue motivated reasoning. 

Could detection and attribution of climate change trends be spurious regression? In a word: "no." Not according to this paper. 

Extreme hydrometeorological events, a challenge for gravimetric and seismology networks. A non-obvious application of existing instrumentation is revealed as valuable, and that value quantified. 

124 articles in 50 journals by 518 contributing authors

 Physical science of climate change, effects

Precipitation Extremes and Water Vapor
Roman et al. Journal of Climate
Open Access 10.1175/jcli-d-14-00679.1

The Future Intensification of the North Atlantic Winter Storm Track: The Key Role of Dynamic Ocean Coupling
Zanna et al. Journal of Climate

Ocean Sound Propagation in a Changing Climate: Global Sound Speed Changes and Identification of Acoustic Hotspots
Affatati et al. Earth's Future
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021ef002099

Observations of climate change, effects

The Heat Is On: Observations and Trends of Heat Stress Metrics during Florida Summers
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology

Diagnostics of observed dry trends in Caribbean precipitation
Zermeño?Díaz International Journal of Climatology

Trends in Europe storm surge extremes match the rate of sea-level rise
Calafat et al. Nature

Long-term temporal trend analysis of climatic parameters using polynomial regression analysis over the Fasa Plain, southern Iran
Bahrami & Mahmoudi Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

Drying tendency over the southern slope of the Tibetan Plateau in recent decades: role of a CGT-like atmospheric change
Wang et al. Climate Dynamics
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-022-06262-9

Impacts of Land Use Change and atmospheric CO2 on Gross Primary Productivity (GPP), evaporation, and climate in Southern Amazon
Rezende et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Wind stilling ceased in the Iberian Peninsula since the 2000s
Utrabo-Carazo et al. Atmospheric Research
Open Access 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106153

Integrated assessment of variation characteristics and driving forces in precipitation and temperature under climate change: A case study of Upper Yellow River basin, China
Wu et al. Atmospheric Research

A comparative analysis of pre- and post-industrial spatiotemporal drought trends and patterns of Tibet Plateau using Sen slope estimator and steady-state probabilities of Markov Chain
Li et al. Natural Hazards

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, contributors, effects

Millions of historical monthly rainfall observations taken in the UK and Ireland rescued by citizen scientists
Hawkins et al. Geoscience Data Journal

Could detection and attribution of climate change trends be spurious regression?
Cummins et al. Climate Dynamics
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-022-06242-z

Earlier emergence of a temperature response to mitigation by filtering annual variability
Samset et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-29247-y

Extreme hydrometeorological events, a challenge for gravimetric and seismology networks
Van Camp et al.
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10510769.1

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

(provisional link) Future changes of atmospheric energy cycle in CMIP5 climate models

Heavy Precipitation Impacts on Nitrogen Loading to the Gulf of Mexico in the 21st Century: Model projections under future climate scenarios
Zhang et al. Earth's Future
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021ef002141

Investigating Tropical versus Extratropical Influences on the Southern Hemisphere Tropical Edge in the Unified Model
Freisen et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Effects of Anthropogenic Aerosol and Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Northern Hemisphere Monsoon Precipitation: Mechanisms and Uncertainty
Monerie et al. Journal of Climate
Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0412.1

(provisional link) Model spread in the tropical cyclone frequency and seed propensity index across global warming and ENSO-like perturbations

Separating the Influences of Low-Latitude Warming and Sea Ice Loss on Northern Hemisphere Climate Change
Kushner et al. Journal of Climate

Adiabatic Processes Contribute to the Rapid Warming of Subpolar North Atlantic during 1993-2010
Wang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

Biogeochemical timescales of climate change onset and recovery in the North Atlantic interior under rapid atmospheric CO2 forcing
Bertini & Tjiputra Tjiputra
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10506160.1

Daily snowfall events on the Eurasian continent: CMIP6 models evaluation and projection
Lin & Chen International Journal of Climatology

Quantifying the role of the large-scale circulation on European summer precipitation change
de Vries et al. Climate Dynamics
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-022-06250-z

Identifying the changes in winter monsoon characteristics over the Indian subcontinent due to Arabian Sea warming
Mishra et al. Atmospheric Research

The Role of Soil Temperature Feedbacks for Summer Air Temperature Variability under Climate Change over East Asia
Li et al. Earth's Future

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection GCMA

Overestimated terrestrial carbon uptake in the future owing to the lack of spatial variations CO2 in an Earth System Model
Peng et al. Earth's Future

Can a climate model successfully diagnose clear-air turbulence and its response to climate change?
Williams & Storer Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society

More intense daily precipitation in CORDEX-SEA regional climate models than their forcing global climate models over Southeast Asia
Nguyen et al. International Journal of Climatology

How well are Sudden Stratospheric Warming surface impacts captured in CMIP6 climate models?
Hall et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Optimal geometric characterization of forced zonal mean tropical precipitation changes
Donohoe et al. Climate Dynamics
Open Access 10.1007/s00382-022-06203-6

Evaluations of the CMIP6 model performance on precipitation over Southeast Asia based on the moisture budget
Liu et al. International Journal of Climatology

Key process diagnostics for monsoon intraseasonal oscillation over the Indian Ocean in coupled CMIP6 models
Li et al. Climate Dynamics
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-022-06245-w

Quantifying CMIP6 model uncertainties in extreme precipitation projections
John et al. Weather and Climate Extremes
Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100435

A new warm-cloud collection and breakup parameterization scheme for weather and climate models~
Jin et al. Atmospheric Research

What determine the performance of the ENSO-East Asian winter monsoon relationship in CMIP6 models?
Wang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Cryosphere & climate change

Strong increase in thawing of subsea permafrost in the 22nd century caused by anthropogenic climate change
Wilkenskjeld et al. The Cryosphere
Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-16-1057-2022

Monitoring permafrost changes in central Yakutia using optical and polarimetric SAR data
Park et al. Remote Sensing of Environment

Sea level & climate change

Trends in Europe storm surge extremes match the rate of sea-level rise
Calafat et al. Nature

A roadmap towards credible projections of ice sheet contribution to sea level
Aschwanden et al. The Cryosphere
Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-15-5705-2021

Future Flood Risk Exacerbated by the Dynamic Impacts of Sea Level Rise Along the Northern Gulf of Mexico
Bilskie et al. Earth's Future
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021ef002414

(provisional link) Predicted Sea-Level Rise-Driven Biogeomorphological Changes on Fire Island, New York: Implications for People and Plovers

(provisional link) The contribution of Humboldt Glacier, North Greenland, to sea-level rise through 2100 constrained by recent observations of speedup and retreat

Paleoclimate Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Climate change affects bird nesting phenology: Comparing contemporary field and historical museum nesting records
Bates et al. Journal of Animal Ecology

Phenotypic responses to climate change are significantly dampened in big-brained birds
Baldwin et al. Ecology Letters
Open Access pdf 10.1111/ele.13971

Climate warming will widen the lagging gap of global treeline shift relative to densification
Shi et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology

Exploring the impacts of unprecedented climate extremes on forest ecosystems: hypotheses to guide modeling and experimental studies
Holm et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2022-65

Warming Induced Tree-growth Decline of Toona ciliata in (sub-) Tropical Southwestern China
Sharma et al. Dendrochronologia

Responses of a tidal freshwater marsh plant community to chronic and pulsed saline intrusion
Li et al. Journal of Ecology

Coral calcification mechanisms in a warming ocean and the interactive effects of temperature and light
Ross et al. Communications Earth & Environment
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-022-00396-8

Predictive models for the selection of thermally tolerant corals based on offspring survival
Quigley & van Oppen Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28956-8

The Unseen Effects of Deforestation: Biophysical Effects on Climate
Lawrence et al. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change
Open Access pdf 10.3389/ffgc.2022.756115

Are fish communities on coral reefs becoming less colourful?
Hemingson et al. Global Change Biology

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

(provisional link) Atmospheric CO2 and sea surface temperature variability cannot explain recent decadal variability of the ocean CO2 sink

High spatiotemporal variability of methane concentrations challenges estimates of emissions across vegetated coastal ecosystems
Roth et al. Global Change Biology

Mineral protection and resource limitations combine to explain profile-scale soil carbon persistence
Lacroix et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences

Using Machine Learning to Predict Inland Aquatic CO2 and CH4 concentrations and the Effects of Wildfires in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska
Ludwig et al. Global Biogeochemical Cycles

Forest disturbances and climate constrain carbon allocation dynamics in trees
Gea?Izquierdo & Sánchez?González Global Change Biology
Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16172

Quantifying fossil fuel methane emissions using observations of atmospheric ethane and an uncertain emission ratio
Ramsden et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2021-734

On physical mechanisms controlling air-sea CO2 exchange
Gutiérrez-Loza et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2022-82

Energy and greenhouse gas footprints of China households during 1995–2019: A global perspective
Wei et al. Energy Policy

Quantifying Regional Methane Emissions in the New Mexico Permian Basin with a Comprehensive Aerial Survey
Chen et al. Environmental Science & Technology
Open Access pdf 10.1021/acs.est.1c06458

(provisional link) Identifying the biological control of the interannual and long-term variations in South Atlantic air-sea CO2 flux

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Kinetics of Olivine Weathering in Seawater: An Experimental Study
Fuhr et al. Frontiers in Climate
Open Access pdf 10.3389/fclim.2022.831587

A Re-evaluation of Wetland Carbon Sink Mitigation Concepts and Measurements: A Diagenetic Solution
Gallagher et al. Wetlands
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s13157-022-01539-5


Impacts of large-scale deployment of mountainous wind farms on wintertime regional air quality in the Beijing-Tian-Hebei area
Ruan et al. Atmospheric Environment

Who is to blame? Nostalgia, Partisanship, and the death of coal
Mayer Environmental Sociology

(provisional link) Towards improved solar energy justice: Exploring the complex inequities of household adoption of photovoltaic panels

Social amplification of risks and the clean energy transformation: Elaborating on the four attributes of information
Ram & Webler Risk Analysis

Geoengineering climate

Impact of Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering on Extreme Precipitation and Temperature indices in West Africa using GLENS simulations
Alamou et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres


Aviation contrail climate effects in the North Atlantic from 2016–2021
Teoh et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-169

Comparison of particle number size distribution trends in ground measurements and climate models
Leinonen et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-225

Tripling of western US particulate pollution from wildfires in a warming climate
Xie et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Climate change communications & cognition

Information sources, perceived personal experience, and climate change beliefs
Rosenthal Journal of Environmental Psychology
Open Access 10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101796

Enabling climate action: Messages from ECCA2021 calling for re-imagining the provision and use of knowledge and information
Street et al. Climate Risk Management
Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100428

(provisional link) Mortality management and climate action: A review and reference for using Terror Management Theory methods in interdisciplinary environmental research

(provisional link) Relationships between climate change perceptions and climate adaptation actions: policy support, information seeking, and behaviour

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Future shifts in the phenology of table grapes on crete under a warming climate
Grillakis et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology

Warm nights increase Fusarium Head Blight negative impact on barley and wheat grains
Martínez et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology

Impact of Dietary Meat and Animal Products on GHG Footprints: The UK and the US
Barthelmie Climate
Open Access pdf 10.3390/cli10030043

(provisional link) Climate vulnerability assessment of key fishery resources in the Northern Humboldt Current System~

Hydrology & climate change

Wetter California projected by CMIP6 models with observational constraints under a high GHG emission scenario
Li et al. Earth's Future

Natural Variability has Concealed Increases in western US Flood Hazard since the 1970s
Bass et al. Geophysical Research Letters

(provisional link) Divergent and changing importance of glaciers and snow as natural water reservoirs in the eastern and southern Tibetan Plateau

Spatial patterns and possible mechanisms of precipitation changes in recent decades over and around the Tibetan Plateau in the context of intense warming and weakening winds
Guo & Tian Climate Dynamics

A hydrologically-driven approach to climate change adaptation for multipurpose multireservoir systems
Sant’Anna et al. Climate Risk Management
Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100427

(provisional link) Effect of droughts on future weathering rates in Sweden

Climate change economics

Mapping water, energy and carbon footprints along urban agglomeration supply chains
Ding et al. Earth's Future
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021ef002225

Aligning climate and sustainable development finance through an SDG lens. The role of development assistance in implementing the Paris Agreement
Iacobu?? et al. Global Environmental Change
Open Access 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2022.102509

Climate change mitigation public policy research

Reducing future air-pollution-related premature mortality over Europe by mitigating emissions from the energy sector: assessing an 80 % renewable energies scenario
Tarín-Carrasco et al. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-22-3945-2022

Revisiting the building energy consumption in China: Insights from a large-scale national survey
Guo Energy for Sustainable Development

Does environmental information disclosure improve energy efficiency?
Bu et al. Energy Policy

Evaluating regional carbon emissions trading in China: effects, pathways, co-benefits, spillovers, and prospects
Zhu et al. Climate Policy

Permit Markets with Political and Market Distortions
Dickson & MacKenzie Environmental and Resource Economics
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10640-022-00673-2

Government Support's signaling effect on credit financing for new-energy enterprises
Xu et al. Energy Policy

Do subsidies and R&D investment boost energy transition performance? Evidence from Chinese renewable energy firms
WANG & ZENG 2021 4th International Conference on Information Management and Management Science
Open Access 10.1145/3485190.3485224

Global socio-economic and climate change mitigation scenarios through the lens of structural change
Lefèvre et al. Global Environmental Change
Open Access 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2022.102510

(provisional link) How injustice can lead to energy policy failure: A case study from Guatemala

Central–local governance gaps: the evolving differentiation of climate policies in China
Zhou et al. Sustainability Science
Open Access 10.1007/s11625-022-01132-z

Ageing society in developed countries challenges carbon mitigation
Zheng et al. Nature Climate Change

Co-benefits of air pollution control and climate change mitigation strategies in Pakistan
Mir et al. Environmental Science & Policy
Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.03.008

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Roadway flooding as a bellwether for household retreat in rural, coastal regions vulnerable to sea-level rise
Jasour et al. Climate Risk Management
Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100425

Evaluating the Robustness of Project Performance under Deep Uncertainty of Climate Change: A Case Study of Irrigation Development in Kenya
Narita et al. Climate Risk Management
Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100426

Social engagement in coastal adaptation processes: Development and validation of the CoastADAPT scale
Areia et al. Environmental Science & Policy

Climate change impacts on human health

More than six billion people encountering more exposure to extremes with 1.5?°C and 2.0?°C warming
Qin Atmospheric Research

The Heat Is On: Observations and Trends of Heat Stress Metrics during Florida Summers
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology

Exposure to extreme climate decreases self-rated health score: Large-scale survey evidence from China
Yang et al. Global Environmental Change

Climate change impacts on human culture

Comparing future climatic suitability to shoreline loss for recreational beach use: a case study of five Japanese beaches
Zajch et al. Regional Environmental Change
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10113-022-01906-2


Too expensive to keep — bidding farewell to an iconic mountain glacier?
Abermann et al. Regional Environmental Change
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10113-022-01912-4

(provisional link) Estimate of the carbon footprint of astronomical research infrastructures

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Millions of historical monthly rainfall observations taken in the UK and Ireland rescued by citizen scientists
Hawkins et al. Geoscience Data Journal

Articles/Reports from Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations Addressing Aspects of Climate Change

WATER’S NET ZERO PLUS. A Call to Action for Climate Mitigation, Lackey et al., U.S. Water Alliance

The report provides insights and a shared vision for the U.S. water sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050 plus the cultural transformation necessary to there. The report has seven elements to get the water sector aligned toward this future including Act now; Lead from the heart; Invest for all people and the planet?; Give respect and room for different knowledge and value systems as necessary partners?; Negate fossil fuels and process emissions; Embrace watershed and water cycle thinking; and Deliver water equity and environmental justice?.

Net-Zero Emissions Opportunities for Gas UtilitiesAmerican Gas Association

Climate change is a defining challenge across the globe, and natural gas, natural gas utilities, and the delivery infrastructure are essential to meeting our nation's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. The study is the first comprehensive analysis exploring natural gas utility pathways to achieve net-zero emissions. The report presents a national-level approach that leverages the unique advantages of gas technologies and distribution infrastructure. The study underscores the range of scenarios and technology opportunities available as the nation, regions, states and communities develop and implement ambitious emissions reductions plans. Key findings in the study include: (1) Pathways that utilize natural gas and the vast utility delivery infrastructure offer opportunities to incorporate renewable and low-carbon gases, provide optionality for stakeholders, help minimize customer impacts, maintain high reliability, improve overall energy system resilience, and accelerate emissions reductions; (2) The ability of natural gas infrastructure to store and transport large amounts of energy to meet seasonal and peak day energy use represents an important and valuable resource that needs to be considered when building pathways to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goals; (3) Continued use of natural gas and the vast utility delivery infrastructure can increase the likelihood of successfully reaching net-zero targets while minimizing customer impacts; (4) The U.S. can achieve significant emissions reductions by accelerating the use of tools available today, including high-efficiency natural gas applications, renewable gases, and methane reduction technologies, and enhanced energy efficiency initiatives; (5) Large amounts of renewable and low-carbon electricity and gases, and negative emissions technologies, will be required to meet an economy-wide 2050 net-zero target; and (6) Supportive policies and regulatory approaches will be essential for natural gas utilities to achieve net-zero emissions.

Electrical System Safety. California’s Oversight of the Efforts by Investor?Owned Utilities to Mitigate the Risk of Wildfires Needs ImprovementAuditor of the State of California

From 2013 through 2021, investor-owned utilities in California initiated 67 public safety power shutoffs affecting more than 3.6 million customers. In addition, as of June 2021, utilities reported that nearly 40,000 miles of bare power lines exist in high fire-threat areas. Those bare lines contribute to the need to use power shutoffs as a last resort to prevent wildfires, but the work necessary to improve the bare lines will cost billions of dollars. Considering the dramatic impact of wildfires and power shutoffs, and to assess two oversight entities’ roles in ensuring California’s safe and reliable electrical system, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee directed Auditor of the State of California to conduct an audit of the California Public Utilities Commission and the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety. The Auditor determined that utilities are making improvements to the electrical grid that are necessary to reduce the risk of wildfires and prevent power shutoffs, but even if all of the improvements they completed in 2020 consisted of replacing bare power lines in high fire-threat areas with covered or underground lines, they would have addressed only 4 percent of such lines. As a result, the State must prioritize the areas utilities need to address first. A state law that took effect in January 2022 requires utilities to begin identifying sections of line that are regularly affected by power shutoffs and what they will do to reduce the need for and impact of future power shutoffs. The State could strengthen this law by requiring utilities to identify what is necessary to prevent future power shutoffs if the conditions leading to those shutoffs were to occur again and to address a type of power outage caused by altering equipment settings that led to more than 600 unplanned power outages in 2021.

UNTAPPED OPPORTUNITIES FOR CLIMATE ACTION. An Assessment of Food Systems in Nationally Determined ContributionsGlobal Alliance for The Future of Food

The report presents the main findings of an analysis of how 14 countries have incorporated food systems into their Nationally Determined Contributions, with recommendations for action. Food systems not only contribute to and are significantly affected by climate change, but they are also a crucial part of the solutions urgently needed to keep global warming below 1.5°C (2.7°F) by 2050. Part of a suite of materials, the report is designed to inform policy development and implementation, advocacy strategies, and key messages of influential state and non-state climate actors and highlights the many opportunities for governments to use food systems transformation to drive significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions, as well as other health, environmental, and social benefits.

World Energy Transitions Outlook 2022. 1.50 C PathwayInternational Renewable Energy Agency

In Paris in 2015, signatories to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change agreed to pursue efforts to try to limit the rise in global temperatures by 2050 to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The report presents a pathway to that goal, one that decarbonizes all end uses, with electrification and energy efficiency as primary drivers, enabled by renewables, green hydrogen and sustainable modern bioenergy. By laying out a map for the next eight years, the report enables policy makers to stay on the path to 2050. The report provides in-depth analysis of two areas particularly relevant for the decarbonization of end-use sectors: electrification and bioenergy. It also explores the socio-economic impacts of the 1.5°C pathway and suggests ways to speed progress towards universal access to clean energy.


2030 EMISSIONS REDUCTION PLAN. Canada’s Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong EconomyEnvironment and Climate Change Canada

The plan is a sector-by-sector approach for Canada to reach its new climate target of cutting emissions by 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and to put Canada on track toward its goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

The perfect fit: Shaping the Fit for 55 package to drive a climate-compatible heat pump market, Lowes et al. Regulatory Assistance Project, Agora Energiewende, CLASP, Global Buildings Performance Network

As the energy system enters the next stage of the transition, climate targets are tightened and the requirement to reduce exposure to increasingly volatile gas imports grows, decarbonization needs to enter homes and buildings. For Europe, and indeed other regions too, heat pumps are a critical sustainable heating technology which will significantly reduce primary energy demand. The authors investigate the importance of heat pumps for Europe and consider how European Union (EU) policy can support the deployment of heat pumps at required levels. The transition to low-carbon heating will bring with it a number of co-benefits for the EU including a reduced reliance on increasingly costly and fragile energy imports, the ability to maximize the use of ever-cheaper renewable electricity for heating, and more comfortable homes and buildings. EU energy policy needs to increase its focus on delivering low-carbon buildings.

Obtaining articles without 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$ 9,373, 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 and Firefox 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. 

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, of a typical week's 550 or so input articles about 1/4 of RSS output makes the cut.

A few journals offer public access to "preprint" versions of articles for which the review process is not yet complete. For some key journals this all the mention we'll see in RSS feeds, so we include such items in New Research. These are flagged as "preprint."

The section "Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives" includes some items that are not scientific research per se but fall instead into the category of "perspectives," observations of implications of research findings, areas needing attention, etc.

What does "(provisional link)" mean?

When the input list for New Research is processed, some articles do not produce a result from the journal databases we employ. Usually this is because the publisher has not yet supplied information to for the given article. In these cases and in order to still include timely listing of articles, we employ an alternate search tactic. While this method is usually correct, sometimes the link shown will lead to an incorrect destination (available time does not always permit manual checking of these). We invite readers to submit corrections in comments below.

Each edition of New Research is reprocessed some two weeks after intitial publication to catch stragglers into the DOI ecosystem. Many "provisional links" will end up being corrected as part of this process. 


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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