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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2023

Posted on 25 May 2023 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Open access notables

Publishing in Environmental Science & Technology, Brian Stone Jr. et al. explore what might be termed a new branch of  health physics, namely how human populations will fare in a landscape featuring extreme temperatures affecting both humans and power infrastructure. How Blackouts during Heat Waves Amplify Mortality and Morbidity Risk employs uncontroversial inputs to model health effects of heat waves juiced by climate change when dangerous levels of warmth also degrade electrical power supply delivery. Foreeable events include some astounding numbers, such as 50% of Phoenix, Arizona's 1.7M+ population urgently requiring medical attention in the event of an extreme heat wave overstressing available electrical supply. Notably, "extreme" heat waves will become more normal. The authors suggest actions that could ameliorate or avoid the worst effects of such conjunctions. Meanwhile, while those researchers are modeling the future, the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation (NERC) has just released the 2023 Summer Reliability Assessment, finding that substantial parts of the US will be at risk of supply shortfalls this summer. Of further concern, the report notes that with summer temperatures becoming more prolonged, accustomed maintenance windows for electrical generation and distribution are shrinking, which of course if unaddressed will increase odds of catastrophic events modeled by Stone et al. 

Here's an archetypal bit of scientific understatement:

"Public decision-making is not entirely rational (Cook and Lewandowsky 2016; Druckman and McGrath 2019) and, for controversial topics, motivated reasoning may lead individuals to prioritise opinions or norms of socio-political in-groups over scientific evidence  (DiMaggio 1997; Druckman and McGrath 2019; Hornsey 2021; Kahan and Braman 2006; Kahan et al. 2007; Kunda 1990)."

"People make seemingly crazy choices based on factors entirely unrelated to objective requirements of decisions at hand" is another way of saying the same thing. That's our intutiion informed by experience speaking, but we don't have to listen only to that inner voice. While introducing their particular topic, Hughes et al. provide us with a succinct literature review on how our rationality goes off the rails when we feel things we cherish to be threatened by our understanding of cold, hard facts. For anybody wondering why we're so badly failing to cope with climate change  Endorsement of scientific inquiry promotes better evaluation of climate policy evidence is worth reading for the introductory material alone. The paper's actual line of investigation is to further explore "endorsement of scientific inquiry" (ESI) as a predictor of public ability to discriiminate the worth of policy responses to our climate mess. The authors' results are not cause for celebration.

Heather Jacobs, Aarti Gupta & Ina Möller explore details of our species' amazingly inventive ability to procrastinate, in Governing-by-aspiration? Assessing the nature and implications of including negative emission technologies (NETs) in country long-term climate strategiesThe meat of the question the authors address:

Crucially, the extent to which an expansion of the carbon sink is needed depends on the speed at which carbon emissions can be reduced or phased out globally. Critical social scientists are now questioning whether prospectively hoping to rely on a variety of NETs in long-term climate commitments might lead to a delayed sense of urgency in setting or meeting emission reduction targets in the shorter term. As such, empirical assessment of this eventuality is increasingly important, even if methodologically challenging (Carton et al. 2023). While the shorter-term NDCs are the subject of increasing analysis, in terms of mitigation ambition or inclusion of NETs and the link to potential mitigation deterrence, the long-term strategies require more attention.

Systematic review of mitigation plans in support of committed pledges to address GHG contributions  reveals a disturbing pattern:

Given the promise of future NETs use, countries may initially be distracted from urgently needed short-term mitigation, or at least see the two as complements. Yet, as they explore future use of specific NETs more fully, the uncertainties and limitations of each option come to the fore. In the face of this uncertainty, countries may shift attention and resources to setting up systems to measure and account for future actions relating to NETs, rather than to the actual taking of emission reduction actions now. It may also fuel a shift from one NET option to the other. This keeps alive the possibility of a future viable NET option, thereby fueling a potential delay in current mitigation action.


This week's collection of government and NGO reports and reviews is particularly rich, with 15 products of hard work on urgent climate-related matters. These are done to generally high standards and are largely founded in scientific research. Each listing includes a synopsis. Interested?  Scroll down, or click here.

105 articles in 60 journals by 644 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

A Possible Hysteresis in the Arctic Ocean due to Release of Subsurface Heat during Sea Ice Retreat, Beer et al., Journal of Physical Oceanography 10.1175/jpo-d-22-0131.1

Connections between Upper Tropospheric and Lower Stratospheric Circulation Responses to Increased CO2, Menzel et al., Journal of Climate 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0851.1

Forcing, Cloud Feedbacks, Cloud Masking, and Internal Variability in the Cloud Radiative Effect Satellite Record, Raghuraman et al., Journal of Climate Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0555.1

Implied Heat Transport from CERES Data: Direct Radiative Effect of Clouds on Regional Patterns and Hemispheric Symmetry, Pearce & Bodas-Salcedo, Journal of Climate 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0149.1

Radiative forcing due to carbon dioxide decomposed into its component vibrational bands, Shine & Perry, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 10.1002/qj.4485

Role of warm ocean conditions in the genesis and rapid intensification of tropical cyclone ‘Tauktae’ along the west coast of India, Ratnakaran & Abish, Theoretical and Applied Climatology 10.1007/s00704-023-04480-7

The influence of bathymetry over heat transport onto the Amundsen Sea continental shelf, Haigh et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 10.1029/2022jc019460

Observations of climate change, effects

North-West Europe Hottest Days Are Warming Twice as Fast as Mean Summer Days, Patterson, Geophysical Research Letters Open Access 10.1029/2023gl102757

Spatiotemporal temperature trends over homogenous climatic regions of Pakistan during 1961–2017, Hussain et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology 10.1007/s00704-023-04484-3

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects

Ensure forest-data integrity for climate change studies, Päivinen et al., Nature Climate Change 10.1038/s41558-023-01683-8

Review of quantitative methods to assess impacts of changing climate and socioeconomic conditions on Arctic transportation systems, Waite et al., Ambio 10.1007/s13280-023-01853-0

Uncertainties on climate extreme indices estimated from U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) near-surface temperatures, Madonna et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2022jd038057

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

Analysis of synoptic weather patterns of heatwave events, Ventura et al., Climate Dynamics Open Access 10.1007/s00382-023-06828-1

Anthropogenic impacts on twentieth-century ENSO variability changes, Cai et al., Nature Reviews Earth & Environment 10.1038/s43017-023-00427-8

Future changes in heatwaves characteristics in Romania, Antonescu et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology Open Access 10.1007/s00704-023-04412-5

Increasing global precipitation whiplash due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, Tan et al., Nature Communications Open Access 10.1038/s41467-023-38510-9

Investigating the impact of sea surface temperature on the development of the Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone “Ianos” in 2020, Varlas et al., Atmospheric Research 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106827

Performance evaluation of CMIP6 GCMs for the projections of precipitation extremes in Pakistan, Ali et al., Climate Dynamics Open Access 10.1007/s00382-023-06831-6

Process-based analysis of the impacts of sea surface temperature on climate in CORDEX-SEA simulations, Magnaye et al., Climate Dynamics 10.1007/s00382-023-06826-3

Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change: Global Landfall Frequency Projections Derived from Knutson et al., Jewson, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Open Access pdf 10.1175/bams-d-22-0189.1

Cryosphere & climate change

Mass Loss of Glaciers and Ice Caps Across Greenland Since the Little Ice Age, Carrivick et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access 10.1029/2023gl103950

Sea level & climate change

Forecasted weakening of Atlantic overturning circulation could amplify future relative sea-level rise in the Mediterranean: A review of climate and ride-gauge data links, Marriner et al., Earth 10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104456

Paleoclimate & paleogeochemistry

Abrupt climate change in arid central Asia during the Holocene: A review, Liu et al., Earth 10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104450

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Autumn canopy senescence has slowed down with global warming since the 1980s in the Northern Hemisphere, Zhang et al., Communications Earth & Environment Open Access 10.1038/s43247-023-00835-0

Biodiversity protection against anthropogenic climate change: Conservation prioritization of Castanea sativa in the South Caucasus based on genetic and ecological metrics, Beridze et al., Ecology and Evolution Open Access 10.1002/ece3.10068

Drought, fire, and rainforest endemics: A case study of two threatened frogs impacted by Australia's “Black Summer”, Heard et al., Ecology and Evolution Open Access 10.1002/ece3.10069

Expanding range and role change, Armarego-Marriott, Nature Climate Change Open Access 10.1038/s41558-023-01675-8

Extended growing seasons and decreases in hydrologic connectivity indicate increasing water stress in humid, temperate forests, McQuillan et al., SSRN Electronic Journal 10.2139/ssrn.4272101

Extreme climatic events alter the aquatic insect community in a pristine German stream, Dietrich et al., Climatic Change Open Access 10.1007/s10584-023-03546-9

Finding food in a changing world: Small-scale foraging habitat preferences of an insectivorous passerine in the Alps, Müller et al., Ecology and Evolution Open Access 10.1002/ece3.10084

Functional and structural responses of plankton communities toward consecutive experimental heatwaves in Mediterranean coastal waters, Soulié et al., Scientific Reports Open Access 10.1038/s41598-023-35311-4

Greenland Subglacial Discharge as a Driver of Hotspots of Increasing Coastal Chlorophyll Since the Early 2000s, Oliver et al., Geophysical Research Letters Open Access 10.1029/2022gl102689

Habitat and climatic associations of climate-sensitive species along a southern range boundary, Wilson et al., Ecology and Evolution Open Access 10.1002/ece3.10083

Larger pollen loads increase risk of heat stress in foraging bumblebees, Naumchik & Youngsteadt, Biology Letters Open Access 10.1098/rsbl.2022.0581

Physiologically vulnerable or resilient? Tropical birds, global warming, and redistributions, Monge et al., Ecology and Evolution Open Access pdf 10.1002/ece3.9985

Spring phenology rather than climate dominates the trends in peak of growing season in the Northern Hemisphere, Huang et al., Global Change Biology 10.1111/gcb.16758

Temperatures during the development season are increasingly favourable for polyvoltine pest species in Switzerland, Schneider et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Open Access 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109503

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

Bottom-up Evaluation of the Methane Budget in Asia and its Subregions, Ito et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles 10.1029/2023gb007723

Carbon density in boreal forests responds non-linearly to temperature: An example from the Greater Khingan Mountains, northeast China, Liu et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Open Access 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109519

Climatic seasonality challenges the stability of microbial-driven deep soil carbon accumulation across China, Wen et al., Global Change Biology 10.1111/gcb.16760

Coastal vegetation and estuaries are collectively a greenhouse gas sink, Rosentreter et al., Nature Climate Change 10.1038/s41558-023-01682-9

Increased biogenic calcification and burial under elevated pCO2 during the Miocene: A model-data comparison, Si et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles 10.1029/2022gb007541

Modelling aboveground biomass and productivity and the impact of climate change in Mediterranean forests of South Spain, Herraiz et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109498

On physical mechanisms enhancing air–sea CO2 exchange, Gutiérrez-Loza et al., Biogeosciences Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-19-5645-2022

Persistent and enhanced carbon sequestration capacity of alpine grasslands on Earth’s Third Pole, Wang et al., Science Advances Open Access pdf 10.1126/sciadv.ade6875

Spatial and temporal variations of gross primary production simulated by land surface model BCC&AVIM2.0, Li et al., Advances in Climate Change Research Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2023.02.001

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

An investigation into the public acceptance in China of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, Xie et al., Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 10.1007/s11027-023-10065-6

Governing-by-aspiration? Assessing the nature and implications of including negative emission technologies (NETs) in country long-term climate strategies, Jacobs et al., Global Environmental Change Open Access 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2023.102691

Spatio-temporal evolution and prediction of carbon storage in Kunming based on PLUS and InVEST models, Li et al., PeerJ Open Access 10.7717/peerj.15285

The Kimberlina synthetic multiphysics dataset for CO2 monitoring investigations, Alumbaugh et al., Geoscience Data Journal Open Access 10.1002/gdj3.191


Carbon footprint of reinforced concrete columns with and without supplementary cementitious materials, Cordoba & Irassar IRASSAR IRASSAR, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment Open Access 10.1007/s11367-023-02182-w

Feasibility analysis of biogas plant for the northern plains of India, Anand et al., Energy for Sustainable Development 10.1016/j.esd.2023.05.002

Modelling of an off-grid roof-top residential photovoltaic nano grid system for an urban locality in India, Baruah & Basu, Energy for Sustainable Development 10.1016/j.esd.2023.05.004

Phase evolution under pressure, Javanbakht, Materialia Open Access 10.1016/j.mtla.2021.101199

Social Costs of Setback Distances for Onshore Wind Turbines: A Model Analysis Applied to the German State of Saxony, Reutter et al., Environmental and Resource Economics Open Access 10.1007/s10640-023-00777-3

Geoengineering climate

Assessing Outcomes in Stratospheric Aerosol Injection Scenarios Shortly After Deployment, Hueholt et al., Earth's Future Open Access 10.1029/2023ef003488


A new method to estimate aerosol radiative forcing on photosynthetically active radiation, Foyo-Moreno et al., Atmospheric Research 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106819

Observations suggest that North African dust absorbs less solar radiation than models estimate, Adebiyi et al., Communications Earth & Environment Open Access 10.1038/s43247-023-00825-2

Climate change communications & cognition

Endorsement of scientific inquiry promotes better evaluation of climate policy evidence, Hughes et al., Climatic Change Open Access 10.1007/s10584-023-03535-y

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Carbon smart agriculture: lower carbon emissions and higher economic benefits of maize production in Thailand, Patthanaissaranukool et al., International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 10.1007/s13762-022-04355-w

Climate change over Indonesia and its impact on nutmeg production: An analysis under high-resolution CORDEX-CORE regional simulation framework, Anripa et al., International Journal of Climatology 10.1002/joc.8098

Climate vulnerability and fertilizer use – panel evidence from Tanzanian maize farmers, Heisse & Morimoto, Climate and Development Open Access 10.1080/17565529.2023.2206373

Farmers’ perceptions, determinants of adoption, and impact on food security: case of climate change adaptation measures in coastal Bangladesh, Rahman et al., Climate Policy 10.1080/14693062.2023.2212638

Hierarchy of value orientation and beliefs in climate change influencing the farmers’ extractive or non-extractive behavior on the farm, Karami, Environment, Development and Sustainability Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10668-023-03215-y

The effects of climate change on food production in India: evidence from the ARDL model, Ahmed et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability Open Access 10.1007/s10668-023-03209-w

Hydrology, hydrometeorology & climate change

Geomorphic response of low-gradient, meandering and braided alluvial river channels to increased sediment supply, Kemper et al., Earth 10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104429

MOPREDAS&century database and precipitation trends in mainland Spain, 1916–2020, Gonzalez?Hidalgo et al., International Journal of Climatology Open Access pdf 10.1002/joc.8060

Projected Changes to Streamflow and Stream Temperature in Central Texas: How Much Will the River Flow?, Wootten et al., Earth Interactions Open Access pdf 10.1175/ei-d-22-0021.1

Recent decreases in snow water storage in western North America, Hale et al., Communications Earth & Environment Open Access 10.1038/s43247-023-00751-3

Climate change economics

Conflict sensitive climate finance: lessons from the green climate fund, Scartozzi, Climate Policy Open Access 10.1080/14693062.2023.2212640

Funding African-led climate initiatives, Bedair et al., Nature Climate Change Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-023-01670-z

The drivers and barriers of energy efficiency, Su, Energy Policy Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113598

Climate change and the circular economy

The circular economy of electric vehicle batteries: a Finnish case study, Rönkkö et al., Environment Systems and Decisions Open Access 10.1007/s10669-023-09916-z

Climate change mitigation public policy research

A mission perspective on emissions reduction at the city level: the case of Glasgow, Scotland, Allan et al., Climate Policy Open Access 10.1080/14693062.2023.2213223

A multimodel analysis of post-Glasgow climate targets and feasibility challenges, van de Ven et al., Nature Climate Change Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-023-01661-0

Equitable low-carbon transition pathways for California’s oil extraction, Deshmukh et al., Nature Energy 10.1038/s41560-023-01259-y

Identifying policy areas for the transition of the transportation sector, Hainsch, Energy Policy Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113591

Integrating climate mitigation and environmental peacebuilding objectives through sustainable land use systems: Theory of change and indicators, Morales Munoz et al., PLOS Climate Open Access 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000075

National climate change acts: the emergence, form and nature of national framework climate legislation, Li & Zhu , Environmental Politics Open Access 10.1080/09644016.2023.2213136

Navigating the razor's edge: Public acceptance of climate policies and the case of transport pricing, Hochachka & Mérida Mérida, Energy Policy 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113616

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

A framework to assess multi-hazard physical climate risk for power generation projects from publicly-accessible sources, Luo et al., Communications Earth & Environment Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-00782-w

A review of climatic impacts on water main deterioration, Ahmad et al., Urban Climate Open Access 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101552

Centering equity in the development of a community resilience planning resource, Fry et al., Climate Risk Management Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100520

Climate change adaptation: How short-term political priorities trample public well-being, Kehler & Birchall, Environmental Science & Policy 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.05.012

Economic incentives for coastal homeowner adaptation to climate change, Kijewski-Correa et al., Climate Policy 10.1080/14693062.2023.2215207

Prevent or repair? Experimental evidence from providing incentives for climate resilient housing in Vietnam, Herman, Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology Open Access pdf 10.1186/s40842-015-0009-1

Promoting climate-resilient cities: Developing an attitudinal analytical framework for understanding the relationship between humans and blue-green infrastructure, Wang & Foley, Environmental Science & Policy 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.05.010

Relational values and citizens’ assemblies in the context of adaptation to sea-level rise, Burger et al., Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 10.1016/j.cosust.2023.101295

Ruptures in perceived solution spaces for adaptation to flood risk: heuristic insights from Mumbai and general lessons, Doshi & Garschagen, Climate Risk Management Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100524

Spatially-optimized urban greening for reduction of population exposure to land surface temperature extremes, Massaro et al., Nature Communications Open Access 10.1038/s41467-023-38596-1

The hazard components of representative key risks The physical climate perspective, Tebaldi et al., Climate Risk Management Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100516

What drives local climate change adaptation? A qualitative comparative analysis, Braunschweiger & Ingold , Environmental Science & Policy Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.03.013

“I’m Fixing a Hole Where the Rain Gets in, and Stops My Mind from Wandering”: Approaching Sustainable Climate Change Adaptations, Aall et al., Weather, Climate, and Society Open Access pdf 10.1175/wcas-d-22-0113.1

Climate change impacts on human health

How Blackouts during Heat Waves Amplify Mortality and Morbidity Risk, Stone et al., Environmental Science & Technology Open Access 10.1021/acs.est.2c09588

The mortality burden of extreme heat in Connecticut: A time series analysis, Goddard et al., PLOS Climate Open Access 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000164


A broadscale shift in antarctic temperature trends, Xin et al., Climate Dynamics 10.1007/s00382-023-06825-4

Bidimensional climatology and trends of Northern Hemisphere blocking utilizing a new detection method, Li et al., Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 10.1002/qj.4489

Challenging the values of the polluter elite: A global consequentialist response to Evensen and Graham's (2022) ‘The irreplaceable virtues of in-person conferences’, Whitmarsh & Kreil, Journal of Environmental Psychology 10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101881

Climate-controlled submarine landslides on the Antarctic continental margin, Gales et al., Nature Communications Open Access 10.1038/s41467-023-38240-y

Coupled surface to deep Earth processes: Perspectives from TOPO-EUROPE with an emphasis on climate- and energy-related societal challenges, Cloetingh et al., Global and Planetary Change 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2023.104140

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Going beyond market-based mechanisms to finance nature-based solutions and foster sustainable futures, Chausson et al., PLOS Climate Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000169

Increased ambition is needed after Glasgow, Pianta & Brutschin, Nature Climate Change 10.1038/s41558-023-01676-7

Placing diverse knowledge systems at the core of transformative climate research, Orlove et al., Ambio Open Access 10.1007/s13280-023-01857-w

Representation of adaptation in quantitative climate assessments, van Maanen et al., Nature Climate Change Open Access 10.1038/s41558-023-01644-1

Research needs for a food system transition, McDermid et al., Climatic Change Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-023-03507-2

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

Observations and Lessons Learned From Installing Residential Roofing-Integrated Photovoltaics, Cook et al., National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Residential roofing-integrated PV (RIPV) has the potential to reduce costs associated with customer acquisition, labor, the construction supply chain, and equipment. However, the higher costs of RIPV compared to conventional rooftop PV products may be a barrier to its broader adoption. the authors investigate cost reduction opportunities for RIPV by analyzing installation processes, using time and motion studies and expert interviews. The authors break down the RIPV installation process into four steps: staging, unloading, and roof preparation; fire-resistant underlayment(s); flashings and PV installation, and wiring and monitoring. Flashings and PV installation is the most time-intensive step, taking around 2.4 worker-hours per kilowatt (kW) on average and accounting for around 60% of the process time for an average installation. Overall, the total installation process took about 6.4 and 3.5 worker-hours per kW at the reroofing sites and new construction sites, respectively. The authors also suggest that further integration of the PV installation process with the roofing and construction industries could lead to increased efficiency and cost savings. The roofing and construction industries currently use separate supply chains and skill sets, leading to delays and redundancies in the labor force. Integration could reduce these inefficiencies and help to realize the cost-savings potential of RIPV. Further research could explore specific ways to integrate these industries to increase the adoption of RIPV.

2023 Summer Reliability Assessment, North American Electric Reliability Corporation

The authors warn that two-thirds of North America is at risk of energy shortfalls this summer during periods of extreme demand. While there are no high-risk areas in this year’s assessment, the number of areas identified as being at elevated risk has increased. The authors find that, while resources are adequate for normal summer peak demand, if summer temperatures spike, seven areas in the U.S. and Canada may face supply shortages during higher demand levels. For example, areas in the U.S. West are at elevated risk due to wide-area heat events that can drive above-normal demand and strain resources and the transmission network.

Jersey Residents Support Teaching Climate Change in Schools, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Two years ago, New Jersey became the first state in the U.S. to require public schools to teach students about climate change, as early as kindergarten, and throughout their classes, even in physical education. According to the latest poll, New Jersey residents overwhelmingly support required education about climate change, with 70 percent of residents favoring it and concerns that it might upset children having no effect on their views.

Mitigating Methane in Texas: Reducing Emissions, Creating Jobs, and Raising Standards, Cumpton and Agbo, University of Texas at Austin

The authors examine the number of jobs needed in Texas to both meet the needs of new EPA regulations related to methane emissions and to more broadly address methane emissions from investigated sources. The authors estimate that there is a need for a minimum of 19,478 workers to implement the proposed standards in the EPA’s new proposed methane rule and a maximum of 35,006 workers to address methane emissions more thoroughly in Texas. Reducing methane emissions from oil and gas drilling and processing would provide significant numbers of jobs to Texas, adding between 6% and 9% to the number employed in the industry in 2022.

Trashing the Climate: Methane from Municipal Landfills, Bains et al., Environmental Integrity Project

Municipal landfills are one of the largest sources of methane in the United States, responsible for an estimated 14.3 percent of total methane emissions. When organic components of municipal solid waste such as food scraps, yard trimmings, and paper break down in landfills, they generate methane. EPA estimates that U.S. municipal waste landfills emitted a total of 3.7 million metric tons of methane in 2021, equivalent to about 295 million metric tons of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2e tons), if the effects of methane are evaluated on a 20-year timeline. This is as much greenhouse gas pollution as 66 million gasoline-powered passenger vehicles on the road for a year (about a quarter of all American cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks), or from 79 coal-fired power plants. The necessary solutions to the landfill methane problem include discouraging food waste by consumers and businesses and encouraging more composting and recycling of waste. Also needed are federal regulations that require the installation of gas collection systems and monitors at landfills, as well as covering materials in landfills that help contain emissions.

On The Path to 100% Clean Electricity, Donohoo-Vallett et al., Department of Energy

The authors identify 10 key all-of-society actions needed to move toward 100% clean electricity and realize the benefits of a fully decarbonized power system. These actions will accelerate the United States forward to a more secure and equitable clean electricity future that benefits communities, workers, the economy, and the environment.

Extreme humid heat in South and Southeast Asia in April 2023, largely driven by climate change, detrimental to vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, Zachariah et al., World Weather Attribution

For the last two weeks of April 2023, many parts of Bangladesh, India, Thailand and Lao PDR experienced record high temperatures. The authors assessed to what extent human-induced climate change altered the likelihood and intensity of the extreme heat in these four countries where temperature records were broken at several locations and harm to lives, livelihoods, and well-being were reported, also due to the accompanying humid conditions. The results of their analysis show an increase in the likelihood of such a heat/humidity event to occur by at least a factor of 30 over India and Bangladesh due to human-induced climate change. At the same time, a heatwave with a chance of occurrence of 20% (1 in 5 years) in any given year over India and Bangladesh is now about 2°C hotter in heat index than it would be in a climate not warmed by human activities. Over Thailand and Lao PDR, a humid heatwave with a 0.5% chance of occurring in any given year (1 in 200 years) is now 2.3°C hotter in heat index. An event of the same magnitude as the observed heatwave would have been extremely rare in a 1.2°C cooler climate and hence it would have been virtually impossible to have occurred without climate change.

The State of Climate Change Education. Findings from a National Survey of Educators, Dropkin et al., North American Association for Environmental Education

A national survey of teachers and administrators finds overwhelming agreement that climate change education is important and should be taught across subjects. But teachers lack confidence and need resources, professional development, and clear signs of support from leadership to teach about climate change effectively.

WMO GLobal Annual to Decadal Climate Update, World Meteorological Organization

The authors present a synthesis of the global annual-to-decadal predictions produced by the WMO-designated Global Producing Centres and other contributing centers for the period 2023-2027. For example, the annual mean global near-surface temperature for each year between 2023 and 2027 is predicted to be between 1.1°C and 1.8°C higher than the average over the years 1850-1900.

Asia-Pacific regional synthesis: climate change, displacement and the right to education, Andrea Furnaro and David Knaute, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

From rising sea levels to drought and increasingly frequent natural disasters - the effects of climate change are well-known today. However, its effect on human mobility is just coming to the forefront of the political discussion. In 2020 alone, 30.7 million people globally were displaced by natural disasters. Central America and the Caribbean region are prone to the effects of climate change and displacement due to their socioeconomic characteristics and geographic location. Country case studies were carried out in the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Jamaica to examine the impacts on the right to education in the region. The research shows that climate change directly threatens education through the destruction of schools and property. It also leads people across borders where their legal residency and right to education are not guaranteed.

Fires, Floods, and Loans: How Banks Can Deal with Increasing Climate Risks, Goossens et al., Bain & Company

Wildfires, droughts, and other climate-related perils threaten banks’ loan portfolios, yet many have only a general sense of their vulnerabilities. The authors expect real estate assets’ exposure to physical risk to rise over the next couple of decades, likely reducing the value of collateral and damaging banks’ mortgage business profitability. Banks that take the right steps soon could improve their financial stability, customer retention, and compliance with emerging regulatory standards. Measuring physical risk requires new tools, capabilities, forecasting horizons, and data—all of which have been challenging to source and embed.

North American Seasonal Fire Assessment and Outlook, Outlook Period May through July 2023, National Interagency Fire Center, Natural Resources Canada, Servicio Meteorológico Nacional

Below-normal significant fire potential is forecast across portions of the northern Plains in May, with below-normal potential across much of the southwestern U.S. in May and June. Below-normal potential is forecast to continue across the Sierra and northwest California mountains in July. Above normal potential is forecast across far west Texas in May, the Upper Midwest in June, and rangeland areas of central Washington, central and southeast Oregon, southwest Idaho, and northwest Nevada in July. So far this year, fire activity has remained below normal across Mexico, and it is expected to continue the same trend for this quarter. During May, the number of fires starts to decrease due to the increase in convective activity and the beginning of the wet season. The climate outlook is warm, with moisture and precipitation likely to be within the normal range, and fire activity is forecast to be slightly below-normal.

Waiting Game: How the Interconnection Queue Threatens Renewable Development in PJM, Dana Ammann, Natural Resources Defense Council

As of September 2022, there were more than 202 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy resources waiting for PJM approval, over 95 percent of total queued projects. The PJM interconnection queue is the sluggish process by which new renewable projects seek connection to the bulk power grid. Queue reforms have been approved to clear the years-long backlog, but it is unclear how effective they will be in facilitating the historic clean energy growth anticipated under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). For years, renewable energy developers have been plagued by extensive delays and skyrocketing interconnection costs. While the reforms are undoubtedly an improvement to the status quo, the author analyzed whether the pace of project approvals would be enough for regional states to meet their renewable portfolio standards. The analysis shows that the plan does not go far enough to fully untangle the gridlock. Without further action, the queue continues to threaten the progress toward widely available, affordable clean energy anticipated under the IRA. The queue will just barely provide enough renewable energy to meet aggregate renewal portfolio standard (RPS) demand through 2027; states with the most ambitious RPS targets are likely to lack adequate supply to meet their demand starting before 2027. There is little doubt that RPS targets and broader policy goals will be constrained by the speed and efficiency of the interconnection queue.

The Role of Net Metering in the Evolving Electricity System, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Over the last three decades, there have been fundamental shifts in the electricity system, including the growing adoption of clean distributed generation energy technologies such as rooftop solar. Net metering, which compensates customers for excess energy they contribute to the grid, has been instrumental in supporting the integration of these systems into the grid, but these policies may need to change to better address future needs. The authors explore the medium-to-long term impacts of net metering on the electricity grid and customers. They also evaluate how net metering guidelines should evolve to support a decarbonized, equitable, and resilient electricity system.

Making Adaptation Work, International Committee of the Red Cross

The combined effects of climate change, environmental degradation, and armed conflict are both shaping and exacerbating humanitarian needs across the Near and Middle East, with impacts on human security, livelihoods, health, and mobility. Humanitarian, development, climate, environmental, and peacebuilding actors need to work together to help lay the foundations for long-term sustainability and community resilience before, during, and after a crisis.

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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. 

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  1. The NERC 2023 reliability assessment/risk assessment goes into much further detail regarding the risks.

    the Key point is detailed on page 44 of the report which shows the expected share of nameplate capacity for wind will be approx 19% (with only ERCOT exceeding 20% at 33%). What the reliability/risk assessment report is showing is the limitation of wind during peak loads.

    EIA . gov is an excellent source of real time data which details the supply of electricity generated by source. Its very worthwhile to study and understand the detail provided, and thus become educated on the topic based on real time data.

    Please note that you can select any US grid and any time period to get actual real time data

    As comparison - you can select the months of July or August of 2022. The MISO, SWP and Ercot grids experienced significant declines in wind production of 7-9-22 through 7-14-2022, then again later in the month, Then again 8-9-2022 through 8-14-2022 and again starting 8-22-22, each of which were for periods 5 to 6 plus days.

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