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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #18 2022

Posted on 5 May 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Another gnawing warming worry

Accidental outcomes of our engineering prowess are warming Arctic regions at a rapid pace. Another species of accomplished engineers is rapidly occupying and exploiting new territory we've thereby made more easily available, namely beavers (Castor canadensis). Beaver populations in affected Arctic regions have increased from "none" to "quite a few" in only a few decades. Ironically, the construction and hydrological skills and activities of these creatures result in further swift and undesirable changes, notably acceleration of permafrost degradation.

Tape et al. describe the situation in Expanding beaver pond distribution in Arctic Alaska, 1949 to 2019, just published in Nature Scientific Reports. There is some queston as to whether this is entirely novel colonization, or reoccupation of land lost long ago thanks to overkill by trappers. Regardless, the additional challenge to permafrost is an unfortunate fact. The article's findings are supported by  remarkable satellite imagery revealing the scale of beaver industry in newly opened territory. 

Other notables:

Envisioning sustainable carbon sequestration in Swedish farmland. The complexity and conceptual challenges of reconfiguring our farming practices for the long haul are not so awful as to leave no hope. This paper's nature means it's a smorgasbord of interesting citations for a lay reader interested in learning more. 

Increasing impacts of extreme winter warming events on permafrost.  Who cares about old, dirty ice? One thing leads to another. A brief glance at the "GHG sources, sinks, flux" section of a typical edition of New Research suggests why this is reverberantly important; this week we see an article describing how thawing permafrost will be colonized by microrganisms as thawing progresses, liberating additional GHGs in the process. 

Design Study Requirements for a U.S. Macrogrid; A Path to Achieving the Nation’s Energy System Transformation Goals. What might a fully modernized, ready-for-the-future US electric grid look like, and can anybody describe that in language most of us can understand? Here it is, and yes they can. From our government/NGO reports section. 

Four Europes: Climate change beliefs and attitudes predict behavior and policy preferences using a latent class analysis on 23 countries. "Engaged (18%), Pessimistic (18%), Indifferent (42%), and Doubtful (21%)." There's work to be done. 

110 articles in 31 journals by 342 contributing authors

Observations of climate change, effects

Causal links between Arctic sea ice and its potential drivers based on the rate of information transfer
Docquier et al.
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10507846.1

Automatic detection, classification, and long-term investigation of temporal-spatial changes of atmospheric rivers in the Middle East
Esfandiari & Rezaei International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7674

Thunderstorm activity at high latitudes observed at manned WMO weather stations
K?pski & Kubicki International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7678

Reduced Sea Ice Enhances Intensification of Winter Storms over the Arctic Ocean
Crawford et al. Journal of Climate
10.1175/jcli-d-21-0747.1

Influence of warming and atmospheric circulation changes on multidecadal European flood variability
Brönnimann et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/cp-2021-160

Extreme heat events in the Iberia Peninsula from extreme value mixture modeling of ERA5-Land air temperature
Barbosa & Scotto Weather and Climate Extremes
Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100448

Documentary-based climate reconstructions in the Czech Lands 1501–2020 CE and their European context
Brázdil et al. Climate of the Past
Open Access pdf 10.5194/cp-18-935-2022

Assessing the Changes of Precipitation Extremes in Peninsular Malaysia
Ng et al. International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7684

Increase of the energy available for snow ablation in the Pyrenees (1959–2020) and its relation to atmospheric circulation
Bonsoms et al. Atmospheric Research
Open Access 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106228

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

The effect of climate change on wind-wave directional spectra
Lobeto et al. Global and Planetary Change
Open Access 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103820

Atmospheric trends over the Arctic Ocean in simulations from the Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) and their driving GCMs
Reader & Steiner
Open Access 10.21203/rs.3.rs-977409/v1

Future Land Precipitation Changes over the North American Monsoon Region using CMIP5 and CMIP6 Simulations
Hernandez & Chen Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
10.1029/2021jd035911

Importance of the Antarctic Slope Current in the Southern Ocean Response to Ice Sheet Melt and Wind Stress Change
Beadling et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
10.1029/2021jc017608

Changes in ENSO-driven Hadley circulation variability under global warming
Xie et al. Atmospheric Research
10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106220

Increasing impacts of extreme winter warming events on permafrost
Pascual & Johansson Weather and Climate Extremes
Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100450

Trends, intensification, attribution and uncertainty of projected heatwaves in India
Chowdhury International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7665

Climate projections at a convection-permitting scale of extreme temperature indices for an archipelago with a complex microclimate structure
Pérez et al. Weather and Climate Extremes
Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100459

Observed and projected changes in temperature and precipitation extremes based on CORDEX data over Iran
Fathian et al. Theoretical and Applied Climatology
10.1007/s00704-022-04066-9

Uncertainty in the projected changes of Sahel summer rainfall under global warming in CMIP5 and CMIP6 multi-model ensembles
Zhang & Li Climate Dynamics
10.1007/s00382-022-06284-3

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

Investigating parametric dependence of climate feedbacks in the atmospheric component of CNRM-CM6-1.
Peatier et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2021gl095084

Groundwater Model Impacts Multiannual Simulations of Heat Waves
Furusho?Percot et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2021gl096781

Predicting slowdowns in decadal climate warming trends with explainable neural networks
Labe & Barnes Barnes Barnes Barnes
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10508874.1

Evaluation of AMIP models from CMIP6 in simulating winter surface air temperature trends over Eurasia during 1998–2012 based on dynamical adjustment
Xiao et al. Climate Dynamics
10.1007/s00382-022-06295-0

Cryosphere & climate change

A 20-year study of melt processes over Larsen C Ice Shelf using a high-resolution regional atmospheric model: Part 1, Model configuration and validation
Gilbert et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021jd034766

A 20-year study of melt processes over Larsen C Ice Shelf using a high-resolution regional atmospheric model: Part 2, Drivers of surface melting
Gilbert et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021jd036012

Increasing impacts of extreme winter warming events on permafrost
Pascual & Johansson Weather and Climate Extremes
Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100450

Review article: Existing and potential evidence for Holocene grounding line retreat and readvance in Antarctica
Johnson et al. The Cryosphere
Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-16-1543-2022

Increase of the energy available for snow ablation in the Pyrenees (1959–2020) and its relation to atmospheric circulation
Bonsoms et al. Atmospheric Research
Open Access 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106228

Sensitivity of the Arctic sea ice cover to the summer surface scattering layer
Smith et al.
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10510561.1

Sea level & climate change Paleoclimate

Marine anoxia linked to abrupt global warming during Earth’s penultimate icehouse
Chen et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
10.1073/pnas.2115231119

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Thermohydrological impact of forest disturbances on ecosystem-protected permafrost
Stuenzi et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
10.1029/2021jg006630

Mapped coral mortality and refugia in an archipelago-scale marine heat wave
Asner et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
10.1073/pnas.2123331119

Expanding beaver pond distribution in Arctic Alaska, 1949 to 2019
Tape et al. Scientific Reports
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-022-09330-6

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

Dispersal of bacteria and stimulation of permafrost decomposition by Collembola
Monteux et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2022-98

How natural disasters affect carbon emissions: the global case
Dou et al. Natural Hazards
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11069-022-05374-z

Temperature sensitivity of dark CO2 fixation in temperate forest soils
Akinyede et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2022-90-supplement

Methane emissions from China: a high-resolution inversion of TROPOMI satellite observations
Chen et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-303

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Carbon mineralization and geological storage of CO2 in basalt: Mechanisms and technical challenges
Raza et al. Earth
10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.104036

Envisioning sustainable carbon sequestration in Swedish farmland
Johansson et al. Environmental Science & Policy
Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.04.005

Decarbonization

Prospective technology assessment in the Anthropocene: A transition toward a culture of sustainability
Möller & Grießhammer The Anthropocene Review
10.1177/20530196221095700

Key factors influencing onshore wind energy development: A case study from the German North Sea region
Kiunke et al. Energy Policy
Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112962

Dynamic spatial spillover effect of new energy vehicle industry policies on carbon emission of transportation sector in China
Zhao & Sun Energy Policy
10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112991

Unequal means more unfair means more negative emotions? Ethical concerns and emotions about an unequal distribution of negative outcomes of a local energy project
Huijts et al. Energy Policy
Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112963

Climate change communications & cognition

Four Europes: Climate change beliefs and attitudes predict behavior and policy preferences using a latent class analysis on 23 countries
Kácha et al. Journal of Environmental Psychology
Open Access 10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101815

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Limits to management adaptation for the Indus’ irrigated agriculture
Droppers et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
Open Access 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.108971

An archetype for insurance thresholds for extreme natural events in the agricultural sector
Newman Cohen & Fishhendler Climate Risk Management
Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100434

Vulnerability assessments in dairy cattle farms based on individual sensitivity to heat stress
Amamou et al. International Journal of Biometeorology
10.1007/s00484-022-02285-3

Evaluating crop management options for sorghum, pearl millet and peanut to minimize risk under the projected midcentury climate scenario for different locations in Senegal
Araya et al. Climate Risk Management
Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100436

Modeling resilience behavior against climate change with food security approach
Asrari et al. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Open Access 10.1007/s13412-022-00763-z

Dependence of maize yield on hydrothermal factors in various agro-climatic zones of the Rostov region of Russia in the context of climate change
Gudko et al. International Journal of Biometeorology
10.1007/s00484-022-02294-2

Envisioning sustainable carbon sequestration in Swedish farmland
Johansson et al. Environmental Science & Policy
Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.04.005

Energy-food nexus scarcity risk and the synergic impact of climate policy: A global production network perspective
Xia & Yan Environmental Science & Policy
10.1016/j.envsci.2022.04.008

Life cycle-carbon footprints for environmental performance/labeling of crop-based food products: analyses of complementary functional units and hotspots
O et al. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
10.1007/s13762-022-04174-z

Hydrology & climate change

Future Land Precipitation Changes over the North American Monsoon Region using CMIP5 and CMIP6 Simulations
Hernandez & Chen Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
10.1029/2021jd035911

Influence of warming and atmospheric circulation changes on multidecadal European flood variability
Brönnimann et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/cp-2021-160

Assessing the Changes of Precipitation Extremes in Peninsular Malaysia
Ng et al. International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7684

Climate change economics

Long-term effects of temperature and precipitation on economic growth of selected MENA region countries
Meyghani et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability
10.1007/s10668-022-02330-6

Climate change mitigation public policy research Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Integrating adaptation practice in assessments of climate change science: The case of IPCC Working Group II reports
Howarth & Viner Environmental Science & Policy
Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.04.009

Modeling resilience behavior against climate change with food security approach
Asrari et al. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Open Access 10.1007/s13412-022-00763-z

Energy-food nexus scarcity risk and the synergic impact of climate policy: A global production network perspective
Xia & Yan Environmental Science & Policy
10.1016/j.envsci.2022.04.008

Climate change impacts on human health

Characterizing Changes in Eastern U.S. Pollution Events in a Warming World
Fiore et al.
10.1002/essoar.10508944.1

Climate change impacts on human culture

Towards a Computational Workflow for Studying the Effects of Climate Change on Wind Loads on High-Rise Buildings in Urban Areas
Teran et al. Atmosphere
10.1080/07055900.2022.2061412

Predicted sea-ice loss will terminate Iceland's driftwood supply by 2060?CE
Kolá? et al. Global and Planetary Change
10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103834

Other

Intensification of Pacific trade wind and related changes in the relationship between sea surface temperature and sea level pressure
Yang et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2022gl098052

Climate change-legacy phosphorus synergy hinders lake response to aggressive water policy targets
Zia et al. Earth's Future
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021ef002234

Ocean biogeochemical signatures of the North Pacific Blob
Mogen et al.
10.1002/essoar.10508705.1

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

The Interpretation and Implications of the Knutson et al. 2020 Projections of Changes in the Frequency and Intensity of Tropical Cyclones Under Climate Change
Jewson Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
10.1002/qj.4299

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

Decarbonization Roadmap Guide, New Buildings Guide

The guide is written for those interested in healthy, efficient, carbon neutral school design, construction, and operation. It outlines achievable goals that result in healthy, affordable, all-electric facilities, and explains common actions taken by leading districts to operationalize their carbon neutral ambitions. Different stakeholders are likely to interact with this framework in different ways, and the guide shares examples of how this can be done. In addition, the guide links to resources and templates that can be customized locally. While these resources are written with public schools in mind, they can also be used for private schools as well.

Global Land Outlook. Land Restoration for Recovery and ResilienceUnited Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

The Outlook sets out the rationale, enabling factors, and diverse pathways by which countries and communities can reduce and reverse land degradation by designing and implementing their bespoke land restoration agenda. Land restoration for recovery and resilience is about creating livelihood and development opportunities for people simply by changing the way people use and manage their land resources.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Standards Technology ReviewCalifornia Air Resources Board

To continue assessing barriers drivers may face and understand whether the requirements of the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Standards Regulation, particularly the requirement that EVSE must accept both Europay, MasterCard, and Visa chip payment cards and contactless, “tap” cards, California Air Resources Board personnel conducted a technology review. The review included an evaluation of the availability and use of different payment methods and a survey of drivers’ experiences accessing public charging stations. The report presents the findings and recommendations from the review.

Reliability of Open Public Electric Vehicle Direct Current Fast Chargers, Rempel et al.,

In order to achieve a rapid transition to electric vehicle driving, a highly reliable and easy to use charging infrastructure is critical to building confidence as consumers shift from using familiar gas vehicles to unfamiliar electric vehicles (EV). This study evaluated the functionality of the charging system for 657 EVSE (electric vehicle service equipment) CCS connectors (combined charging system) on all 181 open, public DCFC (direct current fast chargers) charging stations in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. An EVSE was evaluated as functional if it charged an EV for 2 minutes or was charging an EV at the time the station was evaluated. Overall, 72.5% of the 657 EVSEs were functional. The cable was too short to reach the EV inlet for 4.9% of the EVSEs. Causes of 22.7% of EVSEs that were non-functioning were unresponsive or unavailable screens, payment system failures, charge initiation failures, network failures, or broken connectors. A random evaluation of 10% of the EVSEs, approximately 8 days after the first evaluation, demonstrated no overall change in functionality. This level of functionality appears to conflict with the 95 to 98% uptime reported by the EV service providers (EVSPs) who operate the EV charging stations. The findings suggest a need for shared, precise definitions of and calculations for reliability, uptime, downtime, and excluded time, as applied to open public DCFCs, with verification by third-party evaluation.

Q1 2022, Renewables Market Update, Egbuta et al.,Edison Energy

The U.S. has seen a rise in PPA (power purchase agreements) pricing for wind and solar as it faces supply and demand imbalance. This disparity has been driven by rising cost inputs, coupled with uncertainty in the market due to the launch of a federal investigation into alleged solar panel tariff circumvention. This is expected to put the availability and cost of most of the module supply in question for the foreseeable future. With these factors projected to result in increased costs to offtakers, developers and buyers have been seeking non-standard contract structures to mitigate financial risk. A similar scenario has played out in Europe, with supply expected to be challenged in the short term due to the ongoing energy crisis, skyrocketing gas prices, and geopolitical unrest. These factors have also resulted in higher PPA prices across Europe, with developers offering different price structures to de-risk projects. U.S. REC (renewable energy credit) markets saw volatility in the first quarter of this year, possibly driven by trader uncertainty generated by the war in Ukraine. Significant investments and policy updates in 2021 led to major market demand for carbon offsets, with prices on projects often tripling when compared to previous years. European markets continue to face headwinds, with short-term PPA markets taking a hit due to surging hardware supply chain issues and increased permitting delays. As the energy crisis continues and the war in Ukraine rages on, regulators and market players are considering a redesign of European energy markets, potentially leading to increased opportunities for PPAs. Despite the conflict in Ukraine, however, European countries are expected to accelerate renewable energy system buildout, while corporate demand for GOs (Guarantees of Origin) is slated to increase in the long term.

Draft national adaptation planMinistry of the Environment, Government of New Zealand

This is New Zealand’s first national adaptation plan. It is a very important milestone in the journey of every New Zealander to resilience and adaptation. It sits alongside the emissions reduction plan and together they lay out New Zealand’s overall response to climate change so that New Zealand can transition to a low-emissions, climate-resilient future. Actions within this plan will mean all levels of government, sectors and communities and all New Zealanders better understand the top priority risks and act to address them. The top-priority risks include risks to coastal ecosystems, community wellbeing, potable water supplies, and buildings. This plan addresses those risks. New Zealanders are already feeling the impacts of climate change. These impacts affect people and communities differently because they have varying degrees of exposure, or different capacity to prepare for and respond to climate impacts. New Zealand needs to understand these different vulnerabilities to enable future actions to be targeted to support those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Protecting Californians From Extreme Heat: A State Action Plan to Build Community ResilienceCalifornia Natural Resources Agency

California’s best climate science projects that every corner of the state will be affected in years and decades to come by higher average temperatures and more frequent and severe heat waves. Extreme heat threatens public health and safety; economic prosperity; and communities and natural systems. It also poses profoundly disproportionate consequences for the most vulnerable. The plan outlines a strategic and comprehensive set of state actions to address extreme heat. Areas of near-term focus include: implement a statewide public health monitoring system to identify heat illness events early, monitor trends, and track illnesses to intervene and prevent further harm; accelerate readiness and protection of communities most impacted by extreme heat, including through cooling schools and homes, supporting community resilience centers, and expanding nature-based solutions; protect vulnerable populations through codes, standards, and regulations; expand economic opportunity and build a climate smart workforce that can operate under and address extreme heat; increase public awareness to reduce risks posed by extreme heat; and protect natural and working lands, ecosystems, and biodiversity from the impacts of extreme heat.

Recent Litigation over the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases, Gunter and Vann, Congressional Research Service

Recent litigation over the activity of an executive branch working group has the potential to introduce uncertainty into how federal agencies consider the “social cost of greenhouse gas” (SC-GHG) emissions in their decisions. SC-GHG is an estimate of the economic impact of the emission of one marginal ton of greenhouse gases (GHGs), accounting for quantifiable positive or negative effects in areas such as agricultural productivity, increased flood risk, or changes in energy system costs. President Biden has taken executive action to promote uniformity in how federal agencies quantify the costs of GHG emissions, directing agencies to use SC-GHG estimates prepared by an Interagency Working Group. One federal district court judge has called into question whether those estimates are consistent with applicable statutes. In contrast, another district court judge and a court of appeals panel have left the estimates in place, concluding that they cannot be challenged until agencies rely on them for concrete decisions. With those decisions, the estimates remain available for use by federal agencies, although challenges to the estimates continue in multiple courts. The authors review the status of those cases so that Congress can remain informed about how federal agencies are exercising the authority that Congress has granted them.

Design Study Requirements for a U.S. Macrogrid; A Path to Achieving the Nation’s Energy System Transformation GoalsEnergy Systems Integration Group

The macrogrid concept proposed is more than massive build-out of conventional high-voltage DC lines and converter stations. The macrogrid vision consists of a backbone of long-distance lines composed of networked, multi-terminal HVDC based on voltage source converter technology.

Smoke and Mirrors: The Legal Risks of Fossil Fuel Advertising, Nayantara Dutta, Clean Creatives

Climate education is essential to protecting our planet. Article 12 of the Paris Agreement emphasizes that we need to inform people about the truth and reality of the climate crisis. However, that’s exactly what fossil fuel companies spend advertising money to conceal. Continuing to work with fossil fuel clients and the PR firms who represent them will put companies at great legal, business, and reputational risk.


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.

Late appearances

Because New Research leans heavily on DOI databases, articles via publishers laggard in submitting updates to the DOI system may appear later than their publication date. 

Suggestions

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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