Skeptical Science New Research for Week #17 2023
Posted on 27 April 2023 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack
In our government/NGO section this week, Brown University’s Climate and Development Lab report Discourses of Climate Delay in the Campaign Against Offshore Wind: A Case Study from Rhode Island applies earlier work by Lamb (Discourses of Climate Delay) and Cook (FLICC taxonomy) to put the bright lights on a organization attempting to fossilize energy supplies, finding archetypal examples of both systems littering that organization’s rhetoric :
We find that Green Oceans’ arguments fall within the climate delay categories Emphasize the Downsides, Redirect Responsibility, and Push Non-Transformative Solutions outlined by Lamb et al. (2020). Drawing from Cook (2020), we identify repeated Cherry-Picking of data from articles that do not corroborate Green Oceans’ claims and observe a significant reliance on Fake Experts, spokespeople that convey the impression of expertise on a topic while possessing little to no relevant expertise. We also find that Green Oceans’ frequently incorporates Logical Fallacies and Conspiracy Theories in their arguments.
Full disclosure: Skeptical Science is not affiliated with Brown University but FLICC investigator John Cook cited by BCDL is the founder of Skeptical Science.
The most at-risk regions in the world for high-impact heatwaves in Nature Communications employs uncontroversial methods and reliable records along with conservative modeling to form a very concerning conclusion:
Our global assessment of reanalysis data shows that statistically implausible extremes have occurred in 31% of regions between 1959 and 2021, with no apparent spatial or temporal pattern. It appears that such extremes could occur anywhere and at any time. When using climate model data to investigate further, we find 18–26% of regions in the model have the same characteristics. This suggests that everywhere needs to be prepared for a heatwave so extreme it is deemed implausible based on the current observational record.
Vikki Thomson et al. point out that places having no experience of statistical edge cases are not prepared to handle such events and unlikely to do so without a tap on the shoulder.
In ther report in Nature The projected timing of abrupt ecological disruption from climate change authors Trisos, Merow & Pigot describe the distinct possibility of sudden shifts of species assemblage survivability as our globe warms, and what they term an “ignorance horizon” beyond which our full understanding of the future becomes hazy. People following current GHG emissions curves will find this snippet from the abstract to be of special interest:
We project that future disruption of ecological assemblages from climate change will be abrupt, because within any given ecological assemblage the exposure of most species to climate conditions beyond their realised niche limits occurs near simultaneously. Under a high emissions scenario (RCP8.5), such abrupt exposure events begin before 2030 in tropical oceans and spread to tropical forests and higher latitudes by 2050.
Also from our government/NGO section but with strongly academic connections, the World Meteorological Organization’s synopsis of last years climate is out: State of the Global Climate 2022. The report confirms what we’d expect.
Glacier ice continues to be an acutely sensitive indicator of accelerating change:
In the hydrological year 2021/2022, the approximately 40 glaciers with long-term observations monitored by the World Glacier Monitoring Service experienced an average mass balance of −1.18 m water equivalent (m w.e.). This loss is much larger than the average over the last decade. The cumulative mass balance since 1970 amounts to over 26 m w.e.
As well, sea level rise continues to accelerate, as we’d expect
The GMSL [global mean sea level] rise is estimated to be 3.4 ± 0.3 mm yr–1 over the 30 years of the satellite altimeter record (1993–2022), but the rate has doubled between the first decade of the record (1993–2002) and the last (2013–2022), during which the rate has exceeded 4 mm yr–1. The acceleration in GMSL is estimated to be 0.12 ± 0.05 mm yr–2 over the 30-year period.
No surprises here.
Experts agree: we need to stop extracting and burniing fossil fuels. Presuming we modernize our energy systems, this ought to be automatic given that markets for fossil fuel should collapse as improvements happen. But who should lose their market first, in a transitional situation? This is not so simple. The review article Turning out the light: criteria for determining the sequencing of countries phasing out oil extraction and the just transition implications by Felipe Sanchez and Linus Linde publishing in Energy Policy delves into complexities including inequalities in ability to ditch fossil fuel revenues as well as historical responsibility for creating the mess we need to end. This suggests an exit rank order. Leaving aside major fossil fuel marketers and others profiting from extraction, there are lot of people to take care of in this process. Whether and how fast we can get past fossil fuels includes paying attention to such matters, because everybody needs to be carried along in this process for it to success as fully and rapidly as possible.
119 articles in 62 journals by 595 contributing authors
Physical science of climate change, effects
Baroclinic Ocean Response to Climate Forcing Regulates Decadal Variability of Ice-Shelf Melting in the Amundsen Sea, Silvano et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access 10.1029/2022gl100646
Stratospheric Ozone Changes Damp the CO2-Induced Acceleration of the Brewer–Dobson Circulation, Hufnagl et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0512.1
Observations of climate change, effects
Diverging trends in US summer dewpoint since 1948, Scheff & Burroughs, International Journal of Climatology, Open Access pdf 10.1002/joc.8081
On the Seasonal and Spatial Dependence of Extreme Warm Days in Antarctica, Xu et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl102472
Shifts, Trends, and Drivers of Lake Color Across China Since the 1980s, Cao et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl103225
Spatiotemporal changes of extreme climate indices and their influence and response factors in a typical cold river basin in Northeast China, Ren et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-023-04454-9
Trends and variability in the Southern Annular Mode over the Common Era, King et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37643-1
Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects
Floods and Heavy Precipitation at the Global Scale: 100-year Analysis and 180-year Reconstruction, Renard et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd037908
Global 3-hourly wind-wave and swell data for wave climate and wave energy resource research from 1950 to 2100, Jiang et al., Scientific Data, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41597-023-02151-w
How to quantify anthropogenic methane emissions with aircraft surveys, Allen, Communications Earth & Environment, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-00794-6
Implementing an advanced data-driven response surface approach to estimate global solar radiation based on multiple inputs, Upadhyay et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-023-04448-7
Pitfalls of Climate Network Construction—A Statistical Perspective, Haas et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0549.1
Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects
A coupled wave-hydrodynamical model to assess the effect of Mediterranean storms under climate change: the Calabaia case study, Mel et al., Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 10.1016/j.dynatmoce.2023.101368
Arctic Seasonal Variability and Extremes, and the Role of Weather Systems in a Changing Climate, Hartmuth et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl102349
Changes in Tropical Cyclones Undergoing Extratropical Transition in a Warming Climate: Quasi-Idealized Numerical Experiments of North Atlantic Landfalling Events, Jung & Lackmann, Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl101963
Clouds Increasingly Influence Arctic Sea Surface Temperatures as CO2 Rises, Sledd et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl102850
Constrained high-resolution projection of hot extremes in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region of China, YANG et al., Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2023.04.008
Effects of Energetic Particle Precipitation on stratospheric temperature during disturbed Stratospheric Polar Vortex conditions, Edvartsen et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd038010
Future changes in wind energy resources in Egypt under Paris climate agreements’ goals, Gebaly et al., Regional Environmental Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10113-023-02039-w
How Extreme Events in China Would Be Affected by Global Warming—Insights From a Bias-Corrected CMIP6 Ensemble, Guo et al., Earth’s Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003347
Projected Changes to Wintertime Air-Sea Turbulent Heat Fluxes Over the Subpolar North Atlantic Ocean, Barrell et al., Earth’s Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003337
Spatial-temporal evolution and projection of climate extremes in South Korea based on multi-GCM ensemble data, Ahmad & Choi, Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106772
The Impacts of a Weakened Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation on ENSO in a Warmer Climate, Liu et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl103025
Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection
Assessing the impact of self-lofting on increasing the altitude of black carbon in a global climate model, Johnson & Haywood, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 10.1029/2022jd038039
Bias and Uncertainty of the Relationship between AO and Winter Synoptic Temperature Variability over the Northern Hemisphere under Present and Future Climate, Jian et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0230.1
East Asian summer precipitation in AWI-CM3: Comparison with observations and CMIP6 models, Shi et al., International Journal of Climatology, Open Access 10.1002/joc.8075
Cryosphere & climate change
Optimal Arctic sea ice concentration perturbation in triggering Ural blocking formation, Dai et al., Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2023.106775
Sea level & climate change
Caspian Sea level changes during instrumental period, its impact and forecast: A review, Lahijani et al., Earth, 10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104428
The potential for coral reef restoration to mitigate coastal flooding as sea levels rise, Toth et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37858-2
Paleoclimate & paleogeochemistry Biology & climate change, related geochemistry
A spatially explicit trait-based approach uncovers changes in assembly processes under warming, Bekta? et al., Ecology Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1111/ele.14225
Calcareous sponges can synthesize their skeleton under short-term ocean acidification, Ribeiro et al., Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-023-33611-3
Climate change threats to the global functional diversity of freshwater fish, Scherer et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16723
Coral persistence despite marginal conditions in the Port of Miami, Enochs et al., Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-023-33467-7
Demographic resilience may sustain significant coral populations in a 2°C-warmer world, Mason et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16741
Disentangling climate change from air pollution effects on epiphytic bryophytes, Hutsemékers et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16736
Lower nutritional state and foraging success in an Arctic seabird despite behaviorally flexible responses to environmental change, Eby et al., Ecology and Evolution, Open Access pdf 10.1002/ece3.9923
Macroclimate data overestimate range shifts of plants in response to climate change, Maclean & Early, Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-023-01650-3
Nanoplastics alter ecosystem multifunctionality and may increase global warming potential, Zhou et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16734
Nitrogen use strategy drives interspecific differences in plant photosynthetic CO2 acclimation, Cui et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16706
Paris Agreement could prevent regional mass extinctions of coral species, Couce et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16690
Phenology advances uniformly in spring but diverges in autumn among three temperate tree species in response to warming, Li et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109475
Physiologically vulnerable or resilient? Tropical birds, global warming, and redistributions, Monge et al., Ecology and Evolution, Open Access pdf 10.1002/ece3.9985
Recent growth increase in an endemic Juglans boliviana forest from the tropical Andes, Oelkers et al., Dendrochronologia, 10.1016/j.dendro.2023.126090
Reduced efficiency of pelagic–benthic coupling in the Arctic deep sea during lower ice cover, Zhulay et al., Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-023-33854-0
Responses of population structure and genomic diversity to climate change and fishing pressure in a pelagic fish, Mendoza?Portillo et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16732
Temperature along an elevation gradient determines Galapagos tortoise sex ratios, Deem et al., Ecology and Evolution, Open Access pdf 10.1002/ece3.10008
The energy-water limitation threshold explains divergent drought responses in tree growth, needle length, and stable isotope ratios, Dudney et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16740
The projected timing of abrupt ecological disruption from climate change, Trisos et al., Nature, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41586-020-2189-9
Trade-offs between baseline thermal tolerance and thermal tolerance plasticity are much less common than it appears, Gunderson, Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16710
GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry
Carbon dioxide exchanges in an alpine tundra ecosystem (Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy): A comparison of results from different measurement and modelling approaches, Vivaldo et al., Atmospheric Environment, 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2023.119758
Creating measurement-based oil and gas sector methane inventories using source-resolved aerial surveys, Johnson et al., Communications Earth & Environment, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-00769-7
Insights into autotrophic carbon fixation strategies through metagonomics in the sediments of seagrass beds, Chi et al., Marine Environmental Research, 10.1016/j.marenvres.2023.106002
Microbial nitrogen and phosphorus co-limitation across permafrost region, Zhang et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16743
Seasonal biotic processes vary the carbon turnover by up to one order of magnitude in wetlands, Pasut et al., Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 10.1029/2022gb007679
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
Wildfire and degradation accelerate northern peatland carbon release, Wilkinson et al., Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-023-01657-w
CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering
Demystifying the roles of single metal site and cluster in CO2 reduction via light and electric dual-responsive polyoxometalate-based metal-organic frameworks, Huang et al., Science Advances, Open Access 10.1126/sciadv.add5598
Influences of CO2-cured cement powders on hydration of cement paste, Kong et al., Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, 10.1002/ghg.2141
Integrated CO2 capture and reverse water–gas shift reaction over CeO2-CaO dual functional materials, Wu et al., Separation and Purification Technology, 10.1016/j.seppur.2023.123916
Mitigating trade-offs between global food access and net-zero emissions: the potential contribution of direct air carbon capture and storage, Hayashi et al., Climatic Change, 10.1007/s10584-023-03528-x
Concentrating on solar for hydrogen, Monnerie et al., International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Open Access pdf 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2019.12.200
Improved photovoltaic performance and robustness of all-polymer solar cells enabled by a polyfullerene guest acceptor, Yu et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37738-9
In situ characterizations for aqueous rechargeable zinc batteries, Wu et al., Carbon Neutralization, Open Access pdf 10.1002/cnl2.56
Integrating renewable energy devices with streetscape elements to electrify the Egyptian roads, Moussa & Gurguis, Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-023-32773-4
Understanding the impact of surface roughness: changing from FTO to ITO to PEN/ITO for flexible perovskite solar cells, Holzhey et al., Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-023-33147-6
Unravelling rechargeable zinc-copper batteries by a chloride shuttle in a biphasic electrolyte, Xu et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37642-2
Solar geoengineering research programs on national agendas: a comparative analysis of Germany, China, Australia, and the United States, Horton et al., Climatic Change, 10.1007/s10584-023-03516-1
The Slippery Slopes of Climate Engineering Research, Tang, Global Environmental Change, Open Access 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2023.102674
Impacts of Anthropogenic Emissions over South Asia on East Asian Spring Climate: Two Possible Dynamical Pathways, Hao et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0049.1
Climate change communications & cognition
Climate change–induced immigration to the united states has mixed influences on public support for climate change and migrants, Gillis et al., Climatic Change, 10.1007/s10584-023-03519-y
Comparing the effectiveness of different consensus messages in communicating global environmental issues: The role of referent groups, emotions, and message evaluation, Lu, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 10.1016/j.jenvp.2023.102025
COVID-19 Pandemic as an Opportunity or Challenge: Applying Psychological Distance Theory and the Co-Benefit Frame to Promote Public Support for Climate Change Mitigation on Social Media, Moore et al., Journal of Dental Education, Open Access 10.1002/jdd.12344
COVID-19 and climate change: The social-psychological roots of conflict and conflict interventions during global crises, Burrows et al., WIREs Climate Change, Open Access 10.1002/wcc.837
The feasibility of climate action: Bridging the inside and the outside view through feasibility spaces, Jewell & Cherp, WIREs Climate Change, Open Access pdf 10.1002/wcc.838
The psychological distance of climate change is overestimated, van Valkengoed et al., One Earth, 10.1016/j.oneear.2023.03.006
Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change
A global synthesis of climate vulnerability assessments on marine fisheries: methods, scales and knowledge co-production, Li et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16733
A typology of climate adaptation costs for a smallholder maize farming system, Kori, Climate Risk Management, Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100517
Climate resilience and risks of rigidity traps in Iceland’s fisheries, Mason et al., Ambio, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s13280-023-01859-8
Enhanced dependence of China’s vegetation activity on soil moisture under drier climate conditions, Zhao et al., Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 10.1029/2022jg007300
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 carbon footprint of common vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals in Portugal: an estimate, comparison, and analysis, Mesquita & Carvalho, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11367-023-02161-1
The ecological response of commercial fishes and shrimps to climate change: predicting global distributional shifts under future scenarios, Sharifian et al., Regional Environmental Change, 10.1007/s10113-023-02052-z
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
Centennial Channel Response to Climate Change in an Engineered River, Ylla Arbós et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2023gl103000
Event-based extreme precipitation variability analysis over a part of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, Malla & Arya, International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.8082
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¢ury database and precipitation trends in mainland Spain, 1916–2020, Gonzalez?Hidalgo et al., International Journal of Climatology, Open Access pdf 10.1002/joc.8060
The future of Iberian droughts: a deeper analysis based on multi-scenario and a multi-model ensemble approach, Soares et al., Natural Hazards, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11069-023-05938-7
Climate change economics
Determinants of international development investments in renewable energy in developing countries, Aziz & Jahan, Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2023.04.008
Lowering risk intolerance to unlock private investments in renewable energy-based rural electrification, Hinestroza-Olascuaga et al., Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2023.02.011
Trade and Climate Mitigation Interactions Create Agro-Economic Opportunities With Social and Environmental Trade-Offs in Latin America and the Caribbean, Yarlagadda et al., Earth’s Future, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022ef003063
Climate change mitigation public policy research
Current status and future potential of rooftop solar adoption in the United States, Lemay et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113571
Electric vehicle fleet penetration helps address inequalities in air quality and improves environmental justice, Chang et al., Communications Earth & Environment, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-023-00799-1
Energy Performance Certificate renewal — An analysis of reliability of simple non-domestic buildings ’ EPC ratings and pragmatic improving strategies in the UK, Yuan & Choudhary Choudhary, Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113581
Global climate policy with differentiated carbon price floors, Chateau et al., Climate Policy, 10.1080/14693062.2023.2205376
Labor pathways to achieve net-zero emissions in the United States by mid-century, Mayfield et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113516
Paris Agreement could prevent regional mass extinctions of coral species, Couce et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16690
Review of carbon emissions offsetting guidelines using instructional criteria, Helppi et al., The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11367-023-02166-w
Support for nuclear power and proenvironmental attitudes: The cases of Germany and Poland, Bohdanowicz et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113578
Temperature neutrality and Irish methane policy, Wheatley, Climate Policy, 10.1080/14693062.2023.2191921
The necessity of a transformational approach to just transition: defence worker views on decarbonisation, diversification and sustainability, Bell et al., Environmental Politics, Open Access 10.1080/09644016.2023.2199661
The pathway for electricity prosumption in Ghana, Peprah et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113582
Turning out the light: criteria for determining the sequencing of countries phasing out oil extraction and the just transition implications, Sanchez & Linde, Climate Policy, Open Access 10.1080/14693062.2023.2197854
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
Assessing adaptation progress for the global stocktake, Canales et al., Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-023-01656-x
Climate learning scenarios for adaptation decision analyses: review and classification, Völz & Hinkel, Climate Risk Management, Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100512
From assembly to action: how planning language guides execution in indigenous climate adaptation, Cottrell, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11027-023-10060-x
Influence of climate change and population growth on Amazon Metropolis water supply, da Silva & Blanco, Urban Climate, 10.1016/j.uclim.2023.101538
Multiple resilience dividends at the community level: A comparative study of disaster risk reduction interventions in different countries, Rözer et al., Climate Risk Management, Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100518
Nature-based solutions in informal settlements: A systematic review of projects in Southeast Asian and Pacific countries, Wolff et al., Environmental Science & Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.04.014
Revealing indirect risks in complex socioeconomic systems: A highly detailed multi-model analysis of flood events in Austria, Bachner et al., Risk Analysis, Open Access pdf 10.1111/risa.14144
The most at-risk regions in the world for high-impact heatwaves, Thompson et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-023-37554-1
What drives local climate change adaptation? A qualitative comparative analysis, Braunschweiger & Ingold , Environmental Science & Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.03.013
Climate change impacts on human health Climate change & geopolitics
U.S.-China coordination on carbon neutrality: an analytical framework, Dai et al., Climate Policy, 10.1080/14693062.2023.2200379
Climate change impacts on human culture
Climate Change, Fish Production, and Maritime Piracy, Jiang & LaFree, Weather, Climate, and Society, 10.1175/wcas-d-21-0147.1
Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives
Changes in permafrost and snow cover in the Boreal and Arctic zones (BAZs) and their impacts, JIN et al., Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2023.04.002
Good practice for knowledge co-development through climate related case studies, Terrado et al., Climate Risk Management, Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2023.100513
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
Climate Concerns and Young People’s Mental Health. Findings From the 2022 Mission Australia Youth Survey, Gao et al., Orygen Instutute and Mission Australia
The authors reveal the alarming impact of climate concerns on the mental health of young people in Australia with data analyzed from Mission Australia’s 2022 Youth Survey – an annual Australia-wide survey of 19,000 young people aged 15-19. The authors focus on the impact of climate concerns on young people’s mental health as they face ongoing exposure to increasingly severe climate events including details on how young people feel and how this is impacting their mental health. The authors provide four recommendations that highlight the urgent need to make concerted and continued efforts to support this generation and reduce the negative impacts stemming from climate concerns.
Looking FOrward. A Guide to Climate Risk Scenario Analysis Design for California’s Insurance Regulator, Lamm et al., Center for Law, Energy, & the Environment, University of California, Berkeley
California’s insurance industry faces significant risks from climate change, including both the transition risks facing all financial institutions as the global economy shifts toward decarbonization and the singular combination of physical risks–wildfire, drought, coastal hazards, extreme heat—that threaten California’s communities and businesses. Accurately assessing and mitigating these risks will be vital to ensuring the long-term viability of the insurance market in California, the availability and affordability of insurance for California residents and businesses, and the state’s physical and financial resilience in a changing climate. The authors explore the field of climate risk scenario analysis—a key instrument to assess financial risk in projected future scenarios—and make recommendations for the California Department of Insurance to design scenario analysis exercises and engage California insurance companies in forward-looking risk assessment. The authors analyze precedent and decision-making criteria for structural elements such as “top-down” (regulator-led) versus “bottom-up” (insurer-led) exercises, the scope of risks assessed, time horizons, and strategic partnerships.
Distribution System Investments to Enable Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Electrification, Metz et al., Environmental Defense Fund
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles—including tractor trailers, delivery trucks, buses, refuse trucks, and large pickup trucks and vans—will be necessary for the United States to meet its climate goals and will involve electrifying the majority of these vehicles. However, large-scale medium- and heavy-duty vehicle (MHDV) electrification will require distribution system and site upgrades to support higher load on the grid and accommodate installation of charging stations. Currently, the costs of these upgrades fall largely on individual fleet owners. This may hinder electrification, especially for fleet owners who already face challenging economics to electrify their fleets. One way to support the rapid adoption of electric MHDVs would be to socialize certain distribution system and site infrastructure upgrade costs through an electric vehicle make-ready program. The net impact on electricity ratepayers from such a program will depend on whether the increased distribution revenue from MHDV electricity sales can offset the costs of distribution system upgrades (including make-ready programs). In this analysis, the authors examined the impact on rates of a MHDV make-ready program in two areas of New York: Con Edison’s service area in New York City and the western part of National Grid’s service territory in upstate New York. They calculated the cost of the distribution system upgrades necessary to support 100 percent electric MHDV sales by 2045, consistent with state targets, as well as make-ready program costs. They then compared these costs to the expected revenues generated from MHDV electrification under existing utility tariffs.
Growing Pains: The Renewable Transition in Adolescence, Michael Cembalest, JP. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management
Renewables are growing but do not always behave the way you want them to. For this year’s Eye on the Market Energy Paper, this year’s topics include the impact of rising clean energy investment and new energy bills, how grid decarbonization is outpacing electrification, the long-term oil demand outlook, the flawed concept of levelized cost when applied to wind and solar power, the scramble for critical minerals, the improving economics of energy storage and heat pumps, the transmission quagmire, energy from municipal waste, carbon sequestration, a why-hydrogen update, the Russia-China energy partnership, methane tracking, and some futuristic energy ideas that you can just ignore for now.
100% Renewable Energy for the United Kingdom, Diesing et al., 100% Renewable UK
The authors researched several different scenarios for reaching 100% renewable energy for the UK energy system by 2050 and compared them to the UK Government’s present net zero strategy. They found that a 100% renewable energy scenario will save well over 120 €billion in achieving net zero by 2050 compared to the UK Government’s strategy for net zero by 2050 which includes nuclear power and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage. A 100% renewable energy scenario will achieve net zero by 2050 with over 20% less cumulative carbon emissions compared to the present UK Government pathway. The preferred scenario is dominated by offshore wind but also includes large amounts of inter-annual energy storage to cope with fluctuations in wind power outputs within and between years. The authors also found that storing renewable energy as renewable electricity-based methane in conventional natural gas storage facilities is the most cost-effective means of inter-annual storage.
State of the Global Climate 2022, World Meteorological Organization
The authors provide a summary of the state of the climate indicators in 2022 including global temperatures trends and their distribution around the globe; the most recent finding on greenhouse gases concentration, ocean indicators; cryosphere with a particular emphasis on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, Greenland ice sheet and glaciers and snow cover; stratospheric ozone; analysis of major drivers of inter-annual climate variability during the year including the El Niño Southern Oscillation and other ocean and atmospheric indices; global precipitation distribution over land; extreme events including those related to tropical cyclones and wind storms; flooding, drought and extreme heat and cold events. The publication also provides the most recent findings on climate-related risks and impacts including food security, humanitarian and population displacement aspects, and impact on ecosystems. Overall, the global mean temperature in 2022 was 1.15 [1.02–1.28] °C above the 1850–1900 average. The years 2015 to 2022 were the eight warmest in the 173-year instrumental record. The year 2022 was the fifth or sixth warmest year on record, despite ongoing La Niña conditions. The year 2022 marked the third consecutive year of La Niña conditions, a duration which has only occurred three times in the past 50 years.
State of the Air 2023 Report, Lefohn et al., American Lung Association
The goal of the report was to identify the number of days that 8-hour daily maximum concentrations in each county occurred within the defined ranges. This approach provided an indication of the level of pollution for all monitored days, not just those days that fell under the requirements for attaining the national ambient air quality standards. Therefore, no data capture criteria were applied to eliminate monitoring sites or to require a number of valid days for the ozone season. The authors included the exceptional, e.g., wildfires and natural events, e.g., stratospheric intrusions, that were identified in the database and identified the dates and monitoring sites that experienced such events. Some data have been flagged by the state or local air pollution control agency to indicate that they had raised issues with EPA about those data. For each day across all sites within a specific county, the highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration was recorded and then the results were summarized by county for the number of days the ozone levels were within the ranges identified above. The authors found that after decades of progress in cleaning up sources of air pollution, nearly 36% of Americans—119.6 million people—still live in places with failing grades for unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution. Overall, this is 17.6 million fewer people breathing unhealthy air compared to last year’s report. The improvement was seen in falling levels of ozone in many places around the country, the continuation of a positive trend that reflects the success of the Clean Air Act. However, the number of people living in counties with failing grades daily spikes in deadly particle pollution was 63.7 million, the most reported in the last 10 years. The findings of the report have added to the evidence that a changing climate is making it harder to protect human health. The three years covered by the report ranked among the seven hottest years on record globally. High ozone days and spikes in particle pollution related to heat, drought, and wildfires are putting millions of people at risk and adding challenges to the work that states and cities are doing across the nation to clean up air pollution.
Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, Bureau of Reclamation
The strategy affirms the Bureau of Reclamation’s commitment to bringing leading science and engineering to the significant challenge of climate change. Reclamation is working to respond to the issues of today and diligently prepare for those to come. To do this, they are building upon over a decade of Reclamation’s investments in climate science and studies that have yielded tools, data, and experience to respond appropriately. This foundation, coupled with new infusions of funding and priority—such as the authorizations included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—provide the basis and means for responsible, necessary action. The strategy is divided into four goals including continuing efforts to increase water management flexibility and enhancing climate adaptation planning.
Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2021, US. Environmental Protection Agency
An inventory that identifies and quantifies a country’s anthropogenic sources and sinks of greenhouse gas emissions and removals is essential for addressing climate change. This Inventory adheres to both (1) a comprehensive and detailed set of methods for estimating national sources and sinks of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, and (2) a common and consistent format that enables Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to compare the relative contribution of different emission sources and greenhouse gases to climate change. In 2021, total gross U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were 6,340.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMT CO2 Eq.). Total U.S. emissions have decreased by 2.3 percent from 1990 to 2021, down from a high of 15.8 percent above 1990 levels in 2007. Emissions increased from 2020 to 2021 by 5.2 percent (314.3 MMT CO2 Eq.). Net emissions (including sinks) were 5,586.0 MMT CO2 Eq. in 2021. Overall, net emissions increased by 6.4 percent from 2020 to 2021 and decreased by 16.6 percent from 2005 levels.
North American Seasonal Fire Assessment and Outlook, National Interagency Fire Center, National Interagency Fire Center, Natural Resources Canada, and Servicio Meteorológico Nacional
The April 1 seasonal forecast predicts a large broken area of above-normal activity from southern British Columbia to the Ontario-Quebec border and extending northward to Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. June may be dry in western Canada, increasing fire potential. Below-normal temperatures are likely across much of the northern Great Basin, southeast Oregon, and portions of the northern Plains through June. Above-normal temperatures are forecast from the Southwest into the southern Plains, Appalachians, eastern Great Lakes, and Gulf and East Coasts, while equal chances of above or below-normal temperatures are forecast along the West Coast and in portions of the Rockies, central Plains, and western Great Lakes. Given the recent temperature, precipitation, and drought trends across Mexico, along with the precipitation and temperature forecast, fire potential is expected to be near to slightly above normal from April through June in almost all of Mexico. Above-normal fire, the potential would be most prevalent in April and May before the wet season commences.
Selecting the right clean energy project sites can maximize IRA benefits, Parmar et al., ICF
The Inflation Reduction Act is poised to transform the U.S. energy landscape by lowering the cost of solar, wind, storage, and other zero-emissions technologies. However, only a fraction of land across the U.S. is suitable for developing these renewable projects. Siting power projects presents a host of challenges that could limit how much clean energy is brought to market and how fast the transition happens. The authors provide data and technology to identify the best locations for clean energy projects.
Addressing Climate Security Risks in Central America, Cynthia Brady and Lauren Risi, Wilson Center
Recently, the project team applied a framework in an examination of climate-related risks connected to violence and migration in the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, through a series of workshops held in 2021 and 2022. The authors distill key insights and policy recommendations derived from the Central American case study. The framework that was used informs an understanding of climate-related disruptions as proximate events that can have a cascading effect, compounding risks in ways that are often difficult to understand and complicated to unpack. Through the application of the framework, links can be made between assessments of risks spanning different durations and recommended resiliency measures that can have a long-term effect in addition to the short-term emergency response often prescribed in crisis mode.
Navigating the Intersection of Climate Change and the Law of the Sea: Exploring the ITLOS Advisory Opinion’s Substantive Content, Maria José Alarcon and Maria Antonia Tigre, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
The advisory opinion request to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on State Parties’ obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS, Convention) to prevent, reduce, and control pollution of the marine environment from climate change, and to protect and preserve the marine environment in relation to climate change impacts raises critical legal questions. Despite the ongoing debate on whether ITLOS has jurisdiction to issue an advisory opinion on climate change, if the Tribunal asserts jurisdiction (on jurisdiction, see here and here), there is still much to uncover. The response to the questions posed by the Commission of Small Island States (COSIS) aims to define the regulatory framework applicable to the climate change regime at sea. Assuming the ITLOS will assert jurisdiction, this post’s objective is twofold. First, it discusses the relevant legal framework of the COSIS advisory opinion request. Second, it explains the link between climate change and UNCLOS by summarizing UNCLOS’ central provisions for the ITLOS to answer the questions raised.
Snapshot of EV-Specific Rate Designs Among U.S. Investor-Owned Electric Utilities, Cappers et al., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
There are now more than 1.7 million registered electric vehicles (EV) in the U.S., and this number is expected to grow to over 26 million by 2030 (EEI, 2022). Several factors are driving this growth. EV aesthetics and functionality are rapidly evolving to support and promote changes in consumer preferences, and auto manufacturers now offer more EV models to satisfy consumer demand. A variety of federal and state policies are further driving EV adoption and deployment by seeking to reduce the upfront capital cost and ongoing operating expenses. However, EV-specific electric utility rates have a profound effect on the underlying economics that drive EV adoption. State utility regulators and electric utilities play a critical role in approving and designing EV-specific rates, respectively. Given the nascence of the EV industry coupled with regulators’ and utilities’ very limited experience with EV-specific rate designs suggests there could be substantial benefit from efforts intended to provide a better understanding of how EV-specific rates are actually being designed presently in the United States. To meet that need, the authors developed a database of piloted, proposed, and offered rates among U.S. investor-owned utilities (IOUs) between 2012 and 2022. The database is comprised of 217 electric utility retail rates from IOUs in 37 states and the District of Columbia that either required proof of EV ownership or were otherwise designed for the purposes of reselling energy for use in EV charging (i.e., EV-specific rates). Although the database may not contain the full population of EV-specific rate filings, the authors believe it captures nearly all publicly available regulatory filings of EV-specific rate offerings and is therefore sufficiently representative of the entire investor-owned electric utility industry.
Discourses of Climate Delay in the Campaign Against Offshore Wind: A Case Study from Rhode Island, Brown Climate and Development Lab, Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
Green Oceans, a Little Compton, R.I.-based citizens group that lobbies against offshore wind projects, bases its arguments on techniques of disinformation — skewed and cherry-picked facts, obstruction, denial, delay, fake experts, conspiracy theories, and logical fallacies — that are taken directly from the playbook of national climate change denial organizations and obstructionists funded by the fossil fuel industry. The authors provide a scathing analysis of the ways Green Oceans replicates the disinformation methods used by oil industry-funded think tanks such as the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Caesar Rodney Institute. The anti-wind rhetoric of these groups often disguises itself as pro-environmental. Green Oceans members say they fear the environmental consequences of building hundreds of wind turbines on the Outer Continental Shelf, but the authors say the group is using arguments designed, ultimately, to keep the fossil fuel industry rich.
Certified Disaster: How Project Canary & Gas Certification Are Misleading Markets & Governments, Stockman et al., Oil Change International
The authors examine the gas certification market, specifically one of the current industry leaders, Project Canary. They raise serious concerns about the integrity of gas certification and so-called “Responsibly Sourced Gas” (RSG). Their investigation, which included field observations of oil and gas wells in Colorado monitored by Project Canary, exposed significant shortcomings in its operations and claims. For example, Project Canary monitors consistently fail to detect pollution events and engages in greenwashing.
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.
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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.
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:
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- 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.”
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