Skeptical Science New Research for Week #48, 2019

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"Not just your opinion, man*" 

From time to time scientists or groups of scientists pull their heads out of instrumentation, calculation, the general obsessive fascination of focused scientific inquiry and think about what their work means to the wider world. What can come out of this is useful synthesis. Many of the over 100 journals we scan regularly publish moments of bigger picture thinking, these being distinguished from beery bar chatter because even as they seek to form conclusions or suggestions about where we're headed or may want to go as a society, they're grounded in a foundation of scrupulous attention to facts and evidence. There's too much good thinking of this kind to leave unread, yet these musings don't fit the strict definition of research publications. To account for all of this, we've added a section at the bottom of the weekly research roundups titled "Informed opinion and nudges." Some select governmental and NGO whitepapers with roots in solid science may also be found there.

*Apologies to Lebowski

Update to global warming "hiatus" research survey

For many years Skeptical Science volunteer Ari Jokimäki published this weekly research review. Of late Ari's been working on updating his massive literature review/compendium of papers investigating a seeming slowdown in warming that was for a time unaccounted for in Earth's energy budget, the so-called "global warming hiatus." The latest version is now published as Global Warming Hiatus papers, version 3.0. Constructing and maintaining this assembly is a massive amount of picky work— hats off to Ari. 

Near and dear to Skeptical Science

Two papers in this month's list are particularly germane to Skeptical Science. 

Questioning scientific practice: linking beliefs about scientists, science agencies, and climate change  examines public attitudes and beliefs about science and scientific researchers.  In plain language, what authors Safford et al identify is quite familiar: when confronted with unassailable facts and evidence,  people posing as "skeptics" and pursuing various agendas are forced to abandon actual argument, shifting instead to ad hominem attacks on character. That's not a fair or honestly productive means of discourse, but the authors also identify possible ways of mitigating effects of such tactics. From the abstract: 

The climate-change debate in the U.S. has increasingly turned from discussing climate data and scientific consensus to questioning the credibility of scientists. While disinterested unbiased assessment of data is a fundamental norm within the scientific community, it is unclear whether the public believes scientists are objective in their practices or how general views about scientists’ integrity shape acceptance of climate-related scientific claims... Our results suggest that the scientific community may need to expand discussion of the ethics and rigor of their practices when discussing climate change and point to the importance of further sociological investigation of how perceptions of scientists and scientific practices shape climate views.

In Patterns of controversy and consensus in German, Canadian, and US online news on climate changeTschötsche, Schuck and Wonneberger identify some distinguishing characteristics of style and slant in climate news coverage across national boundaries. Highlights: 

65 Articles: 

Physical science of global warming

On the impact of future climate change on tropopause folds and tropospheric ozone (open access)

Early Holocene temperature oscillations exceed amplitude of observed and projected warming in Svalbard lakes

Physical observations of global warming and effects

Supraglacial lake drainage at a fast-flowing Greenlandic outlet glacier (open access)

Analysis of polarimetric satellite measurements suggests stronger cooling due to aerosol-cloud interactions (open access)

Multi?decadal changes in meteorological drought severity and their drivers in mainland China

Meltwater intrusions reveal mechanisms for rapid submarine melt at a tidewater glacier

Impact of West Antarctic Ice Shelf melting on the Southern Ocean Hydrography (open access)

Changes in temperature extremes on the Tibetan Plateau and their attribution

Modeling global warming & global warming effects

Simulated retreat of Jakobshavn Isbræ during the 21st century (open access)

Detecting Climate Change Effects on Vb?Cyclones in a 50?Member Single?Model Ensemble Using Machine Learning

Do CMIP5 models show El Niño diversity?

Why do crop models diverge substantially in climate impact projections? A comprehensive analysis based on eight barley crop models

Sensitivity of climate models in relation to the “pool of inhibited cloudiness” over South of the Bay of Bengal

Projected Changes in Extreme Precipitation over Eastern Asia in the 21st Century

Climate Change Projections in the Awash River Basin of Ethiopia using Global and Regional Climate Models

Future changes in East Asian summer monsoon circulation and precipitation under 1.5°C to 5°C of warming (open access)

Competition alters predicted forest carbon cycle responses to nitrogen availability and elevated CO2: simulations using an explicitly competitive, game-theoretic vegetation demographic model (open access)

Projected changes in extreme warm and cold temperatures in China from 1.5°C to 5°C global warming

Humans dealing with our global warming

Questioning scientific practice: linking beliefs about scientists, science agencies, and climate change (open access)

Patterns of controversy and consensus in German, Canadian, and US online news on climate change

Inequal responses of drylands to radiative forcing geoengineering methods

Thermodynamic Model of CO 2 Deposition in Cold Climates

Integrating climate prediction and regionalization into an agro-economic model to guide agricultural planning

Farmers’ understanding of climate change in Nepal Himalayas: important determinants and implications for developing adaptation strategies

The link between smallholders’ perception of climatic changes and adaptation in Tanzania

Enabling local adaptation to climate change: towards collective action in Flagler Beach, Florida, USA (open access)

The “value” of values-driven data in identifying Indigenous health and climate change priorities (open access)

New stories for a more conscious, sustainable society: claiming authorship of the climate story (open access)

Coastal Louisiana landscape and storm surge evolution: 1850–2110

Indicators to measure the climate change adaptation outcomes of ecosystem-based adaptation (open access)

Climate change impacts on groundwater storage in the Central Valley, California

How can we effectively build capacity to adapt to climate change? Insights from Malawi (open access)

Indicators to measure the climate change adaptation outcomes of ecosystem-based adaptation (open access)

Climate change impacts on groundwater storage in the Central Valley, California

Afforestation for climate change mitigation: Potentials, risks and trade?offs

Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C will lower increases in inequalities of four hazard indicators of climate change

Have greenhouse gas emissions from US energy production peaked? State level evidence from six subsectors

Determining the Social Cost of Carbon: Under Damage and Climate Sensitivity Uncertainty

Exploring greenhouse gas mitigation strategies for agriculture in Africa: The case of Nigeria

Protecting Antarctic blue carbon: as marine ice retreats can the law fill the gap? (open access)

Transparency requirements under the Paris Agreement and their (un)likely impact on strengthening the ambition of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) (open access)

Cost-benefit analysis to support decarbonization scenario for 2030: A case study in Italy

Global competition dynamics of fossil fuels and renewable energy under climate policies and peak oil: A behavioural model

How to slash greenhouse gas emissions in the freight sector: Policy insights from a technology-adoption model of Canada

Vertical integration for climate change adaptation in the water sector: lessons from decentralisation in Africa and India (open access)

Biology and global warming

Shift in size of bumblebee queens over the last century

Ocean freshening and acidification differentially influences mortality and behavior of the Antarctic amphipod Gondogeneia antarctica

Autonomous adaptation to climate-driven change in marine biodiversity in a global marine hotspot

GHG sources and sinks, flux

Tidal wetland resilience to sea level rise increases their carbon sequestration capacity in United States (open access)

Pseudoreplication and greenhouse-gas emissions from rivers (open access)

Tracking emissions in the US electricity system (open access)

Mean European carbon sink over 2010?2015 estimated by simultaneous assimilation of atmospheric CO2, soil moisture and vegetation optical depth


Global Warming Hiatus papers, version 3.0

Sensitivity of near?infrared transmittance calculations for remote sensing applications to recent changes in spectroscopic information (open access)

Informed opinion and nudges

Zero Carbon Britain: Rising to the Climate Emergency

The scientific challenge of understanding and estimating climate change (open access)

Joint statement on EPA proposed rule and public availability of data (open access)

Latest climate models confirm need for urgent mitigation

Meeting the looming policy challenge of sea-level change and human migration (open access)

Two High Risk Coastal Views

Recalibrating climate prospects

Climate migration myths (open access)

From migration to mobility (open access) 

Obtaining legal copies of "paywalled" articles

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


Please let us know if you're aware of an article you think may be of interest for Skeptical Science research news, or if we've missed something that may be important. Send your input to Skeptical Science via our contact form.

A list of journals we cover may be found here. We welcome pointers to omissions, new journals etc. 

The previous edition of Skeptical Science New Research may be found here. 


Posted by Doug Bostrom on Wednesday, 4 December, 2019

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