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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #39 2022


Skeptical Science New Research for Week #39 2022

Posted on 29 September 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Pantone Chart of moral staining

In the daily grind of cranking out PR engineered to soothe consumers and keep them cemented into undesirable behaviors, it’s probably an unconscious matter to become distant from disturbing thoughts such as “1/3rd of a country of 220 million went underwater last month and I likely helped to submerge it or er, uh, them.”  But  campaigns of deception can and do inflict harm. We can see this in any given week of New Research listings; various multi-decade campaigns of deceit have quite definitely resulted in burgeoning harm, measured as facts on the ground and now becoming quantified in such crisply finger-pointing, responsibility-assigning concepts as “loss and damage”— and compensation.  Accountability happens.

Media changes even as human nature does not. Over the past 15 years or so a broad new avenue for enlisting consumers as reliable agents of harm has opened up: social media. Initially social media was unalloyed “hip and cool.” Lots of top talent was attracted to this exciting new medium. How has this pool of genius been employed? Not entirely for the good, as we can see from this week’s report from our government/NGO section, Three Shades of Green(washing): Content Analysis of Social Media Discourse by European Oil, Car, and Airline CompaniesThis product of Harvard University and the Algorithmic Transparency Institute identifies a taxonomy of calculated deceptive communications, and goes on to quantify employment of each technique. Methods include:

    • Climate silence
    • Greenwashing
    • Misdirection
    • Nature-rinsing
    • Demographic greening and misdirection

These headwaters of a mighty river of bad suggestions of course are a result of clever strategic and tactical planning leading to targets and objectives, identified metrics of success— of a sort.  Ater all, nobody wants to waste a dollar no matter how we may earn it, and big money is being spent and earned on this work. It’s all “in cold blood,” so to speak, commissioned, premeditated mental mayhem performed by people who in their hearts probably know better. Creatives so involved might think to ask Lord & Lady Macbeth: how’d it wash out for you? Do equations and calculus, profit and loss end up with respectable net balance? Is it something to proudly relate to friends and family, on social media?

Elsewhere we can find ambitious communications efforts that are more complicated in their motivations even as they may be confusingly sourced. These are actually easier to understand, arguably easier to defend and even somwhat encouraging, after we peel back some complexities. Sustainability spectacle and ‘post-oil’ greening initiatives by Natalie Koch and just published in Environmental Politics delves into this. The abstract: 

Sustainability projects are being promoted around the world with a large dose of spectacle, including those in the Arabian Peninsula where governments have invested heavily in large greening projects and events. This article examines these spectacular projects in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which are typically dismissed by Western observers as mere PR and ‘greenwashing.’ Moving past this simplistic critique, I contextualize ‘sustainability spectacle’ as a broad cultural phenomenon, with deep roots in Western countries. Based on ethnographic research on sustainability events, sites, and initiatives in the UAE, I show how ‘post-oil’ greening initiatives use sustainability spectacle to promote a positive narrative about the ‘modern’ national self, and reflect the growing international imperative to be green.

Human nature again, but not only unalloyed, unimaginative self-interest?

Other notables:

Capturing complexity: Environmental Change and Relocation in the North Slope Borough, Alaska. Coping with climate change isn’t effortless for any community, but some face particular challenges. “Just pick up and leave” features the widely employed and universally annoying euphemism “just,” after all. It’s just not that easy, and it’s not remotely simple. 

Homogenisation of Swedish mean monthly temperature series 1860–2021. Unfortunately there are no surprises here. Trends are as expected. “It’s not happening?” Nope. 

Charging infrastructure access and operation to reduce the grid impacts of deep electric vehicle adoption. In a nutshell, charging EVs at home means increasing stress on electric grids, because home charging concentrates demand into fewer clock hours. The authors demonstrate that more diverse charging locations will offer many benefits, and suggest that policymakers (all of us, ultimately) take this into account. 

Accelerating ice flow at the onset of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream. Given the overall circumstances, the authors’ findings of accelerating shear margins in this interior ice stream (which reaches farther into the ice sheet than any other) are concerning. Their results bolster expectations for a prolonged ice mass (volume) loss from Greenland, with commensurate sea level rise. 

All of the above open access and free to read. 

118 articles in 51 journals by 740 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

On the energy–consistent plume model in the convective boundary layer
Vraciu, Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 10.1016/j.dynatmoce.2022.101330

Wavier jet streams driven by zonally asymmetric surface thermal forcing
Moon et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2200890119

Observations of climate change, effects

Bottom-associated phytoplankton bloom and its expansion in the Arctic Ocean
Shiozaki et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16421

Changes in Large-Scale Fall Extreme Precipitation in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States, 1979–2019
Henny et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0953.1

Characteristics of Wind Speeds and Outdoor Thermal Sensation Considering the Effect of Wind Speeds: An Analysis Based on Hourly Data From 1995 to 2021 in Poland
Sachindra & Nowosad, International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7880

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drive Global Dryland Expansion but Not Spatial Patterns of Change in Aridification
Feng et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0103.1

Homogenisation of Swedish mean monthly temperature series 1860–2021
Joelsson et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7881

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, effects

Accounting for the spatial structure of weather systems in detected changes in precipitation extremes
Zhang et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100499

Decadal and Intra-Annual Variability of the Indian Ocean Freshwater Budget
Gunn et al., Journal of Physical Oceanography, 10.1175/jpo-d-22-0057.1

Digitising historical sea level records in the Thames Estuary, UK
Inayatillah et al., Scientific Data, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41597-022-01223-7

TermPicks: a century of Greenland glacier terminus data for use in scientific and machine learning applications
Goliber et al., The Cryosphere, Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-16-3215-2022

The science-policy interfaces of the European network for observing our changing planet: From Earth Observation data to policy-oriented decisions
Pirrone et al., Environmental Science & Policy, 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.09.006

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

An Optimal Atmospheric Circulation Mode in the Arctic Favoring Strong Summertime Sea Ice Melting and Ice–Albedo Feedback
Baxter & Ding, Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0679.1

Climate-driven deterioration of future ozone pollution in Asia predicted by machine learning with multisource data
Li et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-550

Evaluation of extreme precipitation climate indices and their projected changes for Brazil: From CMIP3 to CMIP6
Jeferson de Medeiros et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100511

Future projection for climate extremes in the North China plain using multi-model ensemble of CMIP5
Zhao et al., Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, 10.1007/s00703-022-00929-y

Modeling radiative and climatic effects of brown carbon aerosols with the ARPEGE-Climat global climate model
Drugé et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-226

Multi-year drought storylines for Europe and North America from an iteratively perturbed global climate model
Gessner et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100512

Projection of lightning over South/South East Asia using CMIP5 models
Chandra et al., Natural Hazards, 10.1007/s11069-022-05379-8

Using large climate model ensembles to assess historical and future tropical cyclone activity along the Australian east coast
Bruyère et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100507

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

Adjustment of extreme wind speed in regional climate downscaling over Southwestern South Atlantic
da Silva et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7876

An improved representation of fire non-methane organic gases (NMOGs) in models: emissions to reactivity
Carter et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-438

Changes in Poleward Atmospheric Energy Transport over a Wide Range of Climates: Energetic and Diffusive Perspectives and A Priori Theories
Merlis et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0682.1

Consistent and flexible thermodynamics in atmospheric models using internal energy as a thermodynamic potential. Part II: Non-equilibrium regime
Bowen & Thuburn, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 10.1002/qj.4373

Storylines of South Pacific Convergence Zone Changes in a Warmer World
Narsey et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0433.1

The added value of high-resolution EURO-CORDEX simulations to describe daily wind speed over Europe
Molina et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7877

Cryosphere & climate change

Accelerating ice flow at the onset of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream
Grinsted et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-32999-2

An Optimal Atmospheric Circulation Mode in the Arctic Favoring Strong Summertime Sea Ice Melting and Ice–Albedo Feedback
Baxter & Ding, Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0679.1

Snow depth variability across the Qinghai Plateau and its influencing factors during 1980–2018
Ma et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7883

Paleoclimate Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Brain dysfunction during warming is linked to oxygen limitation in larval zebrafish
Andreassen et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2207052119

Contemporary biodiversity pattern is affected by climate change at multiple temporal scales in steppe on the Mongolian Plateau
Li et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2022-173

Contributions of urban green spaces for climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation in Dessie city, Northeastern Ethiopia
Muluneh & Worku, Urban Climate, 10.1016/j.uclim.2022.101294

Effects of climate on salmonid productivity: a global meta-analysis across freshwater ecosystems
Gallagher et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16446

Experimental evolution reveals the synergistic genomic mechanisms of adaptation to ocean warming and acidification in a marine copepod
Brennan et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2201521119

Hardship at birth alters the impact of climate change on a long-lived predator
Sergio et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33011-7

Limited behavioural effects of ocean acidification on a Mediterranean anemone goby (Gobius incognitus) chronically exposed to elevated CO2 levels
Spatafora et al., Marine Environmental Research, 10.1016/j.marenvres.2022.105758

Local stressors mask the effects of warming in freshwater ecosystems
Morris et al., Ecology Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1111/ele.14108

No evidence of canopy-scale leaf thermoregulation to cool leaves below air temperature across a range of forest ecosystems
Still et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 10.1073/pnas.2205682119

Once and future changes in climate and phenology within the Adirondack uplands (New York, USA)
Stager et al., PLOS Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000047

The effects of temperature extremes on survival in two semi-arid Australian bird communities over three decades, with predictions to 2104
Gardner et al., Global Ecology and Biogeography, 10.1111/geb.13591

The influences of diurnal variability and ocean acidification on the bioerosion rates of two reef-dwelling Caribbean sponges
Morris et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16442

Widespread changes in 21st century vegetation cover in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay
Stanimirova et al., Remote Sensing of Environment, Open Access 10.1016/j.rse.2022.113277

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

A Numerical reassessment of the Gulf of Mexico carbon system in connection with the Mississippi River and global ocean
Zhang & Xue, Biogeosciences, Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-19-4589-2022

Analyzing the spatio-temporal patterns of forests carbon sink and sources between 2000 to 2019
Alaniz et al., Earth’s Future, 10.1029/2021ef002560

Dissolved organic matter concentration and composition discontinuity at the peat–pool interface in a boreal peatland
Prijac et al., Biogeosciences, Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-19-4571-2022

Effects of warming and nitrogen input on soil N2O emission from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: a synthesis
Zhang et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109167

Key drivers of the annual carbon budget of biocrusts from various climatic zones determined with a mechanistic data-driven model
Ma et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2022-179

Mediterranean seagrasses as carbon sinks: methodological and regional differences
Escolano-Moltó et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2021-60

Microbial respiratory thermal adaptation is regulated by r-/K-strategy dominance
Chen et al., Ecology Letters, 10.1111/ele.14106

Nocturnal plant respiration is under strong non-temperature control
Bruhn et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33370-1

Oxygen availability regulates the quality of soil dissolved organic matter by mediating microbial metabolism and iron oxidation
Li et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16445

Plant litter chemistry controls coarse-textured soil carbon dynamics
Huys et al., Journal of Ecology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/1365-2745.13997

Respiratory loss during late-growing season determines the net carbon dioxide sink in northern permafrost regions
Liu et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33293-x

Role of oceanic abiotic carbonate precipitation in future atmospheric CO2 regulation
Bialik et al., Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-022-20446-7

Strong methane point sources contribute a disproportionate fraction of total emissions across multiple basins in the United States
Cusworth et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2202338119

Tracking 21st century anthropogenic and natural carbon fluxes through model-data integration
Bultan et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-32456-0

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Confinement effects facilitate low-concentration carbon dioxide capture with zeolites
Fu et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 10.1073/pnas.2211544119

Ecological Civilization in the making: the ‘construction’ of China’s climate-forestry nexus
Weins et al., Environmental Sociology, Open Access pdf 10.1080/23251042.2022.2124623

Limited climate change mitigation potential through forestation of the vast dryland regions
Rohatyn et al., Science, 10.1126/science.abm9684

Scaling smallholder tree cover restoration across the tropics
Shyamsundar et al., Global Environmental Change, Open Access 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2022.102591

Decarbonization

Charging infrastructure access and operation to reduce the grid impacts of deep electric vehicle adoption
Powell et al., Nature Energy, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41560-022-01105-7

Economic analysis of energy storages integrated into combined-cycle power plants
Biber et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113255

Influence of voids on the thermal and light stability of perovskite solar cells
Wang et al., Science Advances, 10.1126/sciadv.abo5977

Oscillating light engine realized by photothermal solvent evaporation
Li et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33374-x

The role of renewables for rapid transitioning of the power sector across states in India
Gulagi et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33048-8

The water consumption reductions from home solar installation in the United States
Vengosh & Weinthal, Science of The Total Environment, 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158738

Aerosols

Effects of different types of aerosols on deep convective clouds and anvil cirrus
Zhang et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl099478

Hemispheric-wide climate response to regional COVID-19-related aerosol emission reductions: the prominent role of atmospheric circulation adjustments
Fahrenbach & Bollasina Bollasina, [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-558

Rate of atmospheric brown carbon whitening governed by environmental conditions
Schnitzler et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 10.1073/pnas.2205610119

Uncertainty in aerosol-cloud radiative forcing is driven by clean conditions
Gryspeerdt et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-642

Climate change communications & cognition

Clarifying longitudinal relations between individuals’ support for human rights and climate change beliefs
Athy et al., Journal of Environmental Psychology, 10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101875

Meaning-making in a context of climate change: supporting agency and political engagement
Wamsler et al., Climate Policy, Open Access pdf 10.1080/14693062.2022.2121254

Welcoming climate refugees to the United States: Do attitudes depend on refugee origins, numbers, or permanence?
Wanless, Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications, Open Access 10.1201/9781420010572.pt2b

What Do Twitter Users Think about Climate Change? Characterization of Twitter Interactions Considering Geographical, Gender, and Account Typologies Perspectives
Mouronte-López & Subirán, Weather, Climate, and Society, 10.1175/wcas-d-21-0163.1

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Australian Generation Z and the Nexus between Climate Change and Alternative Proteins
Bogueva & Marinova, Animals, Open Access pdf 10.3390/ani12192512

Effects of climate on salmonid productivity: a global meta-analysis across freshwater ecosystems
Gallagher et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16446

Exploring the uncertainty in projected wheat phenology, growth and yield under climate change in China
Liu et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109187

Implications of exposing mungbean (Vigna radiata L.) plant to higher CO2 concentration on seed quality
Lamichaney et al., International Journal of Biometeorology, 10.1007/s00484-022-02366-3

Severe Weather Experience and Climate Change Belief among Small Woodland Owners: A Study of Reciprocal Effects
Denny et al., Weather, Climate, and Society, 10.1175/wcas-d-21-0176.1

Winter warming post floral initiation delays flowering via bud dormancy activation and affects yield in a winter annual crop
Lu et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Open Access 10.1073/pnas.2204355119

Hydrology, hydrometeorology & climate change

Changes in Large-Scale Fall Extreme Precipitation in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States, 1979–2019
Henny et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0953.1

Dipole response of early-summer rainfall in eastern China to 1.5°C and 2.0°C global warming
Lei et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7879

Projecting Future Precipitation in the Yellow River Basin Based on CMIP6 Models
Sun et al., Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 10.1175/jamc-d-22-0022.1

Quantification of meteorological drought risks between 1.5 °C and 4 °C of global warming in six countries
Price et al., Climatic Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-022-03359-2

Study of climate change impact on hydro-climatic extremes in the Hanjiang River basin, China, using CORDEX-EAS data
Dai et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100509

Climate change economics

Carbon inequality in China: Novel drivers and policy driven scenario analysis
Xu et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113259

Consistent and replicable estimation of bilateral climate finance
Toetzke et al., Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-022-01482-7

Geographically resolved social cost of anthropogenic emissions accounting for both direct and climate-mediated effects
Burney et al., Science Advances, Open Access 10.1126/sciadv.abn7307

International Environmental Agreement and Trade in Environmental Goods: The Case of Kyoto Protocol
Tran, Environmental and Resource Economics, 10.1007/s10640-021-00625-2

Stranded Assets: How Policy Uncertainty affects Capital, Growth, and the Environment
Bretschger & Soretz Soretz, Environmental and Resource Economics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10640-021-00632-3

The Economic and Climate Value of Flexibility in Green Energy Markets
Abrell et al., Environmental and Resource Economics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10640-021-00605-6

Weather-Related Home Damage and Subjective Well-Being
Gunby & Coupé, Environmental and Resource Economics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10640-022-00728-4

Climate change mitigation public policy research

A note on the effectiveness of the decline of the carbon intensity on carbon emissions
Goldemberg, Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113258

Adoption Gaps of Environmental Adaptation Technologies with Public Effects
Antoci et al., Environmental and Resource Economics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10640-021-00561-1

Air quality improvement effect and future contributions of carbon trading pilot programs in China
Weng et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113264

Environmental licensing for offshore wind farms: Guidelines and policy implications for new markets
Vasconcelos et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113248

Estimating the long-run crude oil demand function of China: Some new evidence and policy options
Li et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113244

Liability Structure and Carbon Emissions Abatement: Evidence from Chinese Manufacturing Enterprises
Chen & Zhu, Environmental and Resource Economics, 10.1007/s10640-022-00649-2

Performance of the combination of decarbonisation policy instruments and implications for carbon neutrality in China
Fu & Wang, Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2022.09.007

Potential clean energy transition pathways in the U.S. Virgin Islands using carbon sensitive policy options
Shah, Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2022.09.009

Scaling up climate ambition post-2030: a long-term GHG mitigation analysis for Thailand
Limmeechokchai et al., Climate Policy, Open Access 10.1080/14693062.2022.2126813

Sustainable Power Generation in Europe: A Panel Data Analysis of the Effects of Market and Environmental Regulations
Bigerna et al., Environmental and Resource Economics, 10.1007/s10640-021-00631-4

The Zonal and Seasonal CO2 Marginal Emissions Factors for the Italian Power Market
Beltrami et al., Environmental and Resource Economics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10640-021-00567-9

Towards carbon neutrality: the impact of innovative city pilot policy on corporate carbon intensity in China
Yang & Shi, Climate Policy, 10.1080/14693062.2022.2124224

What makes local energy projects acceptable? Probing the connection between ownership structures and community acceptance
Hogan et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113257

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Adapting to climate change through anticipatory action: The potential use of weather-based early warnings
Coughlan de Perez et al., Weather and Climate Extremes, Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100508

Capturing complexity: Environmental Change and Relocation in the North Slope Borough, Alaska
Anne et al., Climate Risk Management, Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100460

Evaluating the climate change adaptation barriers of critical infrastructure in rural Alaska
Taylor et al., Climate and Development, 10.1080/17565529.2022.2123698

Going Mobile to Address Emerging Climate Equity Needs in the Heterogeneous Urban Environment
Lamer et al., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Open Access pdf 10.1175/bams-d-21-0336.1

Learning from the past in moving to the future: Invest in communication and response to weather early warnings to reduce death and damage
Coughlan de Perez et al., Climate Risk Management, Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100461

Preparing for real-time weather risk management: the decision models of household evacuation under uncertainty for Taiwanese and US residents
Lyu & Adams, Natural Hazards, 10.1007/s11069-022-05395-8

Climate change impacts on human health

Climate Change and Homicide: Global Analysis of the Moderating Role of Information and Communication Technology
Wei et al., Weather, Climate, and Society, 10.1175/wcas-d-22-0001.1

Climate change impacts on thermal stress in four climatically diverse European cities
Katavoutas et al., International Journal of Biometeorology, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00484-022-02361-8

Heat stress during Arba’een foot-pilgrimage (World’s largest gathering) projected to reach “dangerous” levels due to climate change
Choi & Eltahir, Geophysical Research Letters, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2022gl099755

Predicting the evolution of the Lassa virus endemic area and population at risk over the next decades
Klitting et al., [journal not provided], Open Access pdf 10.1101/2021.09.22.461380

Other

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

Effects of temperature on the toxicity of waterborne nanoparticles under global warming: Facts and mechanisms
Zhang et al., Marine Environmental Research, 10.1016/j.marenvres.2022.105757

Rapid vertical exchange at fronts in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
Qu et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-33251-7

Sustainability spectacle and ‘post-oil’ greening initiatives
Koch, Environmental Politics, Open Access pdf 10.1080/09644016.2022.2127481

The summer cooling effect under the projected restoration of Aral Sea in Central Asia
He et al., Climatic Change, 10.1007/s10584-022-03434-8

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Getting to 100%: Six strategies for the challenging last 10%
Mai et al., Joule, Open Access 10.1016/j.joule.2022.08.004


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

Drought Impacts on Hydroelectric Power Generation in the Western United States, Turner et. al., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The megadrought in the Southwestern United States is the driest—and longest—in the last 1,200 years, depleting water reservoir levels to critically low levels over the past 22 years. This persistent drought has policymakers and system planners concerned about the reliability of the electric grid under worsening drought conditions and climbing temperatures. Droughts particularly impact hydroelectric power dams as well as some thermoelectric power plants that require large amounts of water for cooling. The authors suggest that the relationship between drought and hydroelectric power is more nuanced than it might seem. To get an accurate picture, the authors combined 20 years of annual power generation data from more than 600 hydroelectric power plants with historical precipitation data from eight distinct hydropower climate regions of the western United States. Each hydropower region faces unique climatic conditions. Unique reservoir operating conditions also add complexity. Using these data, the authors extrapolated hydropower generation as far back as 1900. They found that, even during the most severe droughts being observed over the last two decades, hydropower has sustained 80 percent of average power generation levels, which equates to about 150 terawatt-hours of renewable electricity—or approximately 20 percent of electricity demand across the West. This flexible power also helps to balance supply and demand in the western grid.

Nuclear Energy Projects: DOE Should Institutionalize Oversight Plans for Demonstrations of New Reactor Types, Rusco et al., Government Accountability Office

The Department of Energy (DOE) supports the research, development, and demonstration of new types of nuclear reactors. In line with that role, in fiscal year 2021, the department made three multi-year awards totaling $4.6 billion to support the demonstration of one small modular reactor and two advanced reactors. DOE has taken several actions to manage risks associated with the three demonstration awards, including using project management practices such as budget controls and milestone tracking. DOE also said that additional project management practices will apply to all large DOE energy demonstration awards, regardless of which DOE offices are managing those awards. However, the authors found that neither office has institutionalized its plans by documenting these additional project management practices. Documenting these processes, including the use of external independent reviews, would allow DOE to share best practices across offices during the course of these multi-year awards, potentially resulting in stronger federal oversight of the projects and improved project performance.

Offshore Wind Can Lower Energy Prices and Beat Out Oil and Gas, Michael Freeman, Center for American Progress

The author found that, per acre, Americans are getting significantly more return on investment from offshore wind energy leasing than they are from oil and gas leasing. This is true across the board, from taxpayer revenue to energy production, consumer energy costs, and carbon emissions. The average acre from an offshore wind lease sale brings in nearly 12,500 percent more revenue for taxpayers than 1 acre of oil while providing enough electricity to drive an electric vehicle almost 65 times farther than a gasoline-powered vehicle.

The Biofuels Myth: Why ‘Sustainable Aviation Fuels’ Won’t Power Climate-Safe Air Travel, Fleming et al., Center for Biological Diversity

After failing to set aircraft emissions standards that yield meaningful reductions, the Biden administration has opted to promote “sustainable aviation fuels,” or SAFs, instead. Sustainable aviation fuels are defined as alternative jet fuels that achieve at least a 50% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fuel. The Biden administration announced the “Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge” in September 2021, with the goal of fully replacing U.S. airline jet fuel demand with SAFs by 2050. Right now SAFs make for just 0.05% of jet fuel globally, so it would take a monumental effort to achieve this goal. This is especially so given that many currently available feedstocks are either in limited supply or come with significant pollution and environmental harms, further complicating the goal. The authors assessed the potential for SAFs to meet the goal set in the aviation challenge. Of the feedstocks put forth for use in sustainable aviation fuels, only a subset of them keeps greenhouse gas emissions and environmental harms to a minimum. Of these potentially sustainable feedstocks, virtually all are limited in supply and, as waste materials, must remain so. Therefore, these feedstocks cannot be expected to satisfy all jet fuel demand by 2050. As a result, current conversions of refineries to alternative fuel production point to future reliance on problematic feedstocks that are not sustainable to satisfy demand, such as food-based feedstocks that contribute to indirect land-use change and deforestation.

The Third Assessment of The Effects of Climate Change on Federal Hydropower, Kao et al., Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Understanding the future changes in projected water supplies is a vital objective for federal hydropower facilities tasked with providing low-cost, reliable electricity across a large regional footprint that encompasses a growing customer base, alternative market structures for marketing the electricity, and a more diverse generation asset mix than was historically present when a majority of federal hydropower facilities were built. The authors evaluate the effects of climate change on hydroelectric energy generated from 132 US federal hydropower plants marketed by four Department of Energy (DOE) Power Marketing Administrations.

National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2035, The People’s Republic of China

The strategy puts forward the guiding ideology, basic principles, and main objectives of China’s adaptation to climate change to 2035 based on an in-depth assessment of climate change risks and impacts, the effectiveness of climate change adaptation work, and its challenges and opportunities. Based on the exposure and vulnerability of various areas and regions to the adverse impacts and risks of climate change, it further clarifies the key areas, regional patterns, and assurance measures for China’s climate change adaptation work. This strategy’s target period goes to 2035 and adjustments will be made during its practical implementation based on changing circumstances and work requirements.

The Energy Bomb. How Proof-of-Work Cryptocurrency Mining Worsens the Climate Crisis and Harms Communities Now, DeRoche et al., Sierra Club and Earthjustice

The cryptocurrency mining industry is opaque. There are few, if any, reporting standards, and there is little or no formal tracking of mining operations The report is the first attempt to comprehensively document the explosive growth of cryptocurrency mining in the United States and examine how this industry is impacting utilities, energy systems, emissions, communities, and ratepayers — based on public filings before utility and financial regulators, investor presentations and reports, and local media reports.

Electricity System and Market Impacts of Time-based Attribute Trading and 24/7 Carbon-free Electricity Procurement, Qingyu Xu and Jesse Jenkins, Zero-carbon Energy Systems Research and Optimization Laboratory, Princeton University

The next frontier in clean energy procurement is efforts to match a buyer’s electricity demand, hour-by-hour, 24/7, with carbon-free electricity generation from within the same electricity grid region as the buyer’s operations. This is 24/7 carbon-free electricity (CFE) procurement. Enabling vibrant markets for 24/7 carbon-free electricity procurement will depend on the implementation of time-based energy attribute certificates, or T-EACs, a new, hourly approach for verifying clean energy matching, and a critical tool to enable the most cost-effective procurement of 24/7 CFE by all participating customers. This is the first study to model T-EACs in a detailed electricity system optimization model and assess the impact and benefits of new markets for the exchange of T-EACs. THe authors found that T-EACs trading can lower the cost of 24/7 CFE procurement, especially for buyers who face limited options for direct procurement from carbon-free generators, create hourly price signals that incentivize the deployment of clean energy at the times when the grid is dirtiest, and could help buyers and generators of carbon-free electricity hedge the impacts of uncertain demand and generation forecasts. Additionally, the value of T-EACs trading increases as voluntary procurement goals approach 100% carbon-free electricity, which means T-EACs can help buyers meet the demand for ‘the last 10%’ of carbon-free generation needed to match their demand 24/7 at a lower cost.

Three Shades of Green(washing): Content Analysis of Social Media Discourse by European Oil, Car, and Airline Companies, Supran and Hickey, Harvard University and Algorithmic Transparency Institute

The authors report the results of a pilot study as a first step towards establishing a major new research initiative that will monitor, analyze, and expose digital climate discourse and deception. They performed a textual and visual content analysis of 2,325 organic social media posts generated by 22 major European Union-based fossil fuel producers, car manufacturers, and airlines on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube during the summer of 2022. They found the following.

  • Climate silence: During a summer of unprecedented European heat waves, droughts, and wildfires, only a negligible handful of posts made any explicit reference to climate change or global heating.
  • Greenwashing: Two-thirds of oil and gas (72%), auto (60%), and airline (60%) companies’ social media posts paint a ‘Green Innovation’ narrative sheen on their ‘Business-as-usual’ operations, which are given less air time. This ratio of ‘green-to-dirty’ in each industry’s public communications (3-to-1, 4-to-1, and 1.2-to-1, respectively) misrepresents their contemporary commitments to decarbonization, implying that at least some of their social media content constitutes greenwashing. The authors interpret greenwashing by the fossil fuel industry to be most blatant, whereas that by airlines is notably subtle.
  • Misdirection: One-in-five oil and gas (23%), auto (22%), and airline (15%) company posts feature sports, social causes, and/or fashion. The overarching theme of this narrative of ‘Misdirection’ is to focus the audience’s attention on engaging topics unrelated to companies’ core business operations. This can variously (1) legitimize fossil fuel interests’ social license to operate; (2) distract attention away from firms’ core business roles, responsibilities, and contributions to the climate crisis; and (3) market brands as exclusive, desirable, and relevant.
  • Nature-rinsing (formally termed ‘executional greenwashing’): Statistical analysis reveals fossil fuel interests’ systematic use of nature-evoking imagery to enhance the ‘greenness’ of their brand image on social media. To the author’s knowledge, this subtle intentionality to fossil fuel interests’ ‘green’ messaging has never previously been quantified.
  • Demographic greening and misdirection: Statistical tests show that companies (particularly car manufacturers) variously leverage not just the imagery of nature, but also of female-presenting people, non-binary-presenting people, non-Caucasian-presenting people, young people, experts, sportspeople, and celebrities to reinforce their messages of ‘Green Innovation’ and/or ‘Misdirection’.

Evaluating the Capabilities of Behind-the-Meter Solar-plus-Storage for Providing Backup Power during Long-Duration Power Interruptions, Gorman et al., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The study estimates the performance of behind-the-meter solar PV-plus-energy-storage-systems (PVESS) in providing critical-load or whole-building backup across a wide range of geographies, building types, and power interruption conditions. The study also considers a set of 10 historical long-duration power outage events and evaluates how PVESS could have performed in providing backup power during those specific events. This study, which relies on simulated end-use level building loads, solar generation, and storage dispatch, is intended to provide a baseline set of performance estimates and to illustrate key performance drivers.

Why Climate Policy Scenarios are Important, How to Use them, and What Has Been Learned, Fernando et al., Brookings Institution

The policy brief has two goals. The first is to inform policymakers about existing scenario approaches and how scenarios that are applied to large-scale models should be used first to understand the nature and scale of possible climate shocks and then develop and evaluate alternative policy approaches to respond to climate change. A key message for policymakers who are increasingly using scenarios for stress testing financial systems is to not force convergence of results across different types of models. The differences in model projections help policymakers to understand the nature of uncertainty and what policies might help minimize those uncertainties. For example, integrated assessment models (IAMs) focus on technologies required to reduce emissions, whereas economic models focus more on changing the behavior of households and firms and endogenous structural change in economies in order to reduce emissions. The second goal of the paper is to draw some policy conclusions for climate policy design that have emerged from recent scenario exercises. There are significant climate risks with potentially large economic costs, such as physical risk from chronic climate change and extreme climate events as well as shocks to economies from changes in climate policies (transition risk). The authors also summarize the various types of scenarios that have been considered and outline the types of models generally used for long-term and short-term scenario development.


Obtaining articles without journal subscriptions

We know it’s frustrating that many articles we cite here are not free to read. One-off paid access fees are generally astronomically priced, suitable for such as On a Heuristic Point of View Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light”  but not as a gamble on unknowns. With a median world income of US$ 9,373, for most of us US$ 42 is significant money to wager on an article’s relevance and importance. 

  • Unpaywall offers a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that automatically indicates when an article is freely accessible and provides immediate access without further trouble. Unpaywall is also unscammy, works well, is itself offered free to use. The organizers (a legitimate nonprofit) report about a 50% success rate

  • The weekly New Research catch is checked against the Unpaywall database with accessible items being flagged. Especially for just-published articles this mechansim may fail. If you’re interested in an article title and it is not listed here as “open access,” be sure to check the link anyway. 

How is New Research assembled?

Most articles appearing here are found via  RSS feeds from journal publishers, filtered by search terms to produce raw output for assessment of relevance. 

Relevant articles are then queried against the Unpaywall database, to identify open access articles and expose useful metadata for articles appearing in the database. 

The objective of New Research isn’t to cast a tinge on scientific results, to color readers’ impressions. Hence candidate articles are assessed via two metrics only:

  • Was an article deemed of sufficient merit by a team of journal editors and peer reviewers? The fact of journal RSS output assigns a “yes” to this automatically. 
  • Is an article relevant to the topic of anthropogenic climate change? Due to filter overlap with other publication topics of inquiry, of a typical week’s 550 or so input articles about 1/4 of RSS output makes the cut.

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

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

Suggestions

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Journals covered

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

Previous edition

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



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