Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2022

Stashing renewable energy

Do a little internet sleuthing on renewable energy via your favorite search engine and you'll likely notice some honest critique and— much more— dishonest misinformation (aka disinformation) to the effect that photovoltaic and wind generation are twitchy, fickle energy supplies, over-abundant in some periods and absent in others. There's a grain of truth to this— and superficially it sounds (conveniently, for the disinformation artist) hopeless, if we pretend that we're not very clever and that we are missing our actual, abundant population of skilled and enthusiastic engineers. "Superficial" is perfectly useful, decent treatment when one's objective is to delay progress, of course.

In reality, what is formally known as "variable renewable energy" (VRE) is a proving to be an enjoyable challenge for imaginative, creative engineers (a chronically restless group). Already a lot of fun has been had in this department. There's the old and proven "pumped hydro" storage technique, accompanied to some extent by pure thermal as well as electrochemical thermal batteries. As various lithium chemistries have been tamed, we're seeing older methods joined by more recently refined electrochemical implementations, both directly and increasingly in reversible motive power (EV) storage. But there are other more subtle ways of tucking away energy for use later, some of them not very intuitive, such as "overcooling" deep cold storage facilities. The latter approach begins to resemble a form of energy algebra, with negatives canceling positives and terms being rearranged on either side of "=" to get nifty results.

"Storing" energy by overcooling foodstuffs is simple and practically free: fundamentally, storing enerygy in the mass of foodstuffs only needs bringing some information about electrical grid status to cold storage facility thermostats. 

In  Simulated co-optimization of renewable energy and desalination systems in Neom, Saudi Arabia Riera et al. explore another imaginative means of "storing" renewable energy: as fresh water. Currently desalinization and water reuse consumes some 1% of global electricity production. Energy consumption for production of fresh water is expected to double over the next 18 years. In highly populated, arid parts of the planet desalinization is a major consumer of generation capacity, reaching 20%, and here there is opportunity for engineering athletics, a jungle gym of machinery, systems and numbers to swing from.

Riera and crew produce an achievable-in-the-real-world model for systems integration of renewable energy powered desalinization in a particular challenging geographic context. In the scenario in question, stored desalinated water becomes a significant indirect means of energy storage. Depending on the objectives and situation of the system, this storage can be increased or shrunk as needed to help make the whole system economically and— in practical terms— operationally viable.

It's worth noting that somewhat akin (but not quite as dramatically cheaper) to the earlier example of storing energy in refrigeration systems, tankage for desalinated water is one of the least expensive components of the system Riera's model describes. It's potentially very "deep" storage; an integrated system could build up a significant amount of kilowatt-equivalent-hours of energy available for other purposes in times of system stress, in the form of water that doesn't need to be desalinated "now."

What's the use of this research?  Generation system operators can look at this model and make more informed, more confident, better decisions about plant investment. The result is swifter and larger uptake of renewable energy sources and faster retirement of fossil fuels, and a technically more robust and competent generation suite. 

"Energy storage" in the form of a (vital) physical product is a great card to have in our hand, and seeing energy storage potential from this new perspective opens up possibilities. The highly comprehensive, parametrically adjustable model described in the paper is a sharp tool to add to our kit.

There's lots more to explore in energy storage and ample engineering talent on tap; we'll certainly be improving our abilities in the "tuck it away in non-obvious places" category as we figure out how to project our civilization beyond a handful of decades. 

Other notables

Improved Quantification of the Rate of Ocean Warming. Increasing skill with analytical methods allows us to sharpen our focus on a key metric governing our fate. The authors find ocean warming over our whole globe undergoing "robust acceleration" over the 1958-2020 period. Specifically, "0 to 0.06 ± 0.08 W m−2 for 1958–73 to 0.58 ± 0.08 W m−2 for 2003–18." The same signal is contemporaneous over all four major ocean basins; internal variability can be dismissed as a significant factor. 

Strong increase in thawing of subsea permafrost in the 22nd century caused by anthropogenic climate change. What's the big deal about some submerged ice melting away? This, perhaps.  We're rapidly dumping pieces of an enormous transdisciplinary accounting puzzle into plain view. Synthesis will reveal how badly our initial belch of CO2 will amplify itself. There are already enough pieces joined up to see a picture we shouldn't ignore.

Perceptions and correspondence of climate change beliefs and behavior among romantic couples. Prepare to have your intutions confirmed— or not.

A climate policy revolution: what the science of complexity reveals about saving our planet. Review of a new book by influential expert on complexity, resilience and energy transition Roland Kupers delineates rapid, systemic changes down to the level of individual behaviors that plausibly might reverse our course to "not living up to our potential" as a species. The scenario of technical competence depicted is also arguably guaranteed to ignite fearful reactions in a broad swath of our population.  

All of the above open access and free to read. Also don't miss our government/NGO reports section, here. 

122 articles in 40 journals by 561 contributing authors

Observations of climate change, effects

Increased extreme warming events and the differences in the observed hydrothermal responses of the active layer to these events in China’s permafrost regions
Zhu et al., Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-022-06155-x

Differential signal of change among multiple components of West African rainfall
Obarein & Lee Lee, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00704-022-04052-1

Modulation of the interdecadal variation of atmospheric background flow on the recent recovery of the EAWM during the 2000s and its link with North Atlantic–Arctic warming
Zhang et al., Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-022-06152-0

Strengthening impacts of spring sea surface temperature in the north tropical Atlantic on Indian Ocean dipole after the mid-1980s
Zhang et al., Climate Dynamics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-021-06128-6

Recent marine heatwaves in the North Pacific warming pool can be attributed to rising atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases
Barkhordarian et al., Communications Earth & Environment, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43247-022-00461-2

Amplified risk of compound heat stress-dry spells in Urban India
Ganguli, Climate Dynamics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-022-06324-y

Linkage of extreme temperature change with atmospheric and locally anthropogenic factors in China mainland
Zhang et al., Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106307

Winds are changing: an explanation for the warming of the Netherlands
Hoogeveen & Hoogeveen, International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7763

Surface water area in a changing climate: Differential responses of Alaska’s subarctic lakes
Rupp & Larsen, PLOS Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000036

Increasing surface runoff from Greenland’s firn areas
Tedstone & Machguth Machguth, Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-022-01371-z

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, contributors, effects

Improved Quantification of the Rate of Ocean Warming
Cheng et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0895.1

Atmospheric Observations of Weather and Climate
Bluestein et al., Atmosphere, Open Access pdf 10.1080/07055900.2022.2082369

From climate to weather reconstructions
Brönnimann, PLOS Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000034

A New Structure for the Sea Ice Essential Climate Variables of the Global Climate Observing System
Lavergne et al., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Open Access pdf 10.1175/bams-d-21-0227.1

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

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

Seasonal extreme rainfall variability over India and its association with surface air temperature
Sardana et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04045-0

Optimal selection of representative climate models and statistical downscaling for climate change impact studies: a case study of Rhode Island, USA
Shrestha & Pradhanang, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04073-w

Precipitation variability over India during the 20th and 21st centuries: investigating natural and anthropogenic drivers
Kishore et al., Climatic Change, 10.1007/s10584-021-03068-2

Projection of changes in late spring frost based on CMIP6 models and SSP scenarios over cold regions of Iran
Helali et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04124-2

Increase in seasonal precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau in the 21st century projected using CMIP6 models
Chen et al., Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106306

Future warming accelerates lake variations in the Tibetan Plateau
Liu & Chen, International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7760

Transitional wave climate regions on continental and polar coasts in a warming world
Odériz et al., Nature Climate Change, Open Access 10.1038/s41558-022-01389-3

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

Seasonal extreme rainfall variability over India and its association with surface air temperature
Sardana et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04045-0

Optimal selection of representative climate models and statistical downscaling for climate change impact studies: a case study of Rhode Island, USA
Shrestha & Pradhanang, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04073-w

Precipitation variability over India during the 20th and 21st centuries: investigating natural and anthropogenic drivers
Kishore et al., Climatic Change, 10.1007/s10584-021-03068-2

Projection of changes in late spring frost based on CMIP6 models and SSP scenarios over cold regions of Iran
Helali et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04124-2

Increase in seasonal precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau in the 21st century projected using CMIP6 models
Chen et al., Atmospheric Research, 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106306

Future warming accelerates lake variations in the Tibetan Plateau
Liu & Chen, International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7760

Transitional wave climate regions on continental and polar coasts in a warming world
Odériz et al., Nature Climate Change, Open Access 10.1038/s41558-022-01389-3

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection

Probabilistic forecasts of near-term climate change: verification for temperature and precipitation changes from years 1971–2000 to 2011–2020
Räisänen, Climate Dynamics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-022-06182-8

CMIP6 Intermodel Spread in Interhemispheric Asymmetry of Tropical Climate Response to Greenhouse Warming: Extratropical Ocean Effects
Geng et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0541.1

Frequency-intensity-distribution bias correction and trend analysis of high-resolution CMIP6 precipitation data over a tropical river basin
Jose & Dwarakish, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04078-5

Assessing the influence of sea surface temperature and arctic sea ice cover on the uncertainty in the boreal winter future climate projections
Cheung et al., Climate Dynamics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-022-06136-0

The pacific decadal precession and its relationship to tropical pacific decadal variability in CMIP6 models
Rogers et al., Climate Dynamics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-021-06114-y

Relationship between the Indo-western Pacific Ocean capacitor mode and Indian summer monsoon rainfall in CMIP6 models
Darshana et al., Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-021-06133-9

Validation of a fully-coupled radiative transfer model for sea ice with albedo and transmittance measurements
Jin et al., , Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-2022-106

Representation of moist convective processes in CMIP5 and CMIP6 models for the simulation of Indian Summer Monsoon intraseasonal variability
Tirkey et al., International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.7765

Benefits of simulating precipitation characteristics over Africa with a regionally-coupled atmosphere–ocean model
Weber et al., Climate Dynamics, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-022-06329-7

Evaluation of CMIP6 models for simulations of surplus/deficit summer monsoon conditions over India
Konda & Vissa, Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-022-06367-1

Think big and model small
, Nature Climate Change, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-022-01399-1

A Scaling Theory for the Diffusivity of Poleward Eddy Heat Transport Based on Rhines Scaling and the Global Entropy Budget
Chang & Held, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 10.1175/jas-d-21-0242.1

Cryosphere & climate change

Climatology and Surface Impacts of Atmospheric Rivers on West Antarctica
Maclennan et al., , Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-2022-101

Comparison between Large-Scale Circulation Anomalies Associated with Interannual Variability and Decadal Change of Summer Arctic Sea Ice
Li et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0803.1

Comparison of Arctic and Southern Ocean sea ice between the last nine interglacials and the future
Wu et al., Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-022-06140-4

The stability of present-day Antarctic grounding lines – Part A: No indication of marine ice sheet instability in the current geometry
Urruty et al., , Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-2022-104

Strong increase in thawing of subsea permafrost in the 22nd century caused by anthropogenic climate change
Wilkenskjeld et al., The Cryosphere, Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-16-1057-2022

Sea level & climate change

Urban dynamics and potential vulnerability of coastal urban areas to sea level rise in the southeastern Levantine Basin
Abdrabo et al., Urban Climate, 10.1016/j.uclim.2022.101212

Paleoclimate

Sea-glacier retreating rate and climate evolution during the marine deglaciation of a snowball earth
Zhao et al., Global and Planetary Change, 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103877

Improving temperature reconstructions from ice-core water-isotope records
Markle & Steig Steig, Climate of the Past, Open Access pdf 10.5194/cp-18-1321-2022

Causes of the weak emergent constraint on climate sensitivity at the Last Glacial Maximum
Renoult et al., , Open Access pdf 10.5194/cp-2022-52

Late Paleocene CO2 drawdown, climatic cooling and terrestrial denudation in the southwest Pacific
Hollis et al., , Open Access pdf 10.5194/cp-2021-122

Arctic glaciers and ice caps through the Holocene:a circumpolar synthesis of lake-based reconstructions
Larocca & Axford, Climate of the Past, Open Access pdf 10.5194/cp-18-579-2022

Simulating the Holocene deglaciation across a marine-terminating portion of southwestern Greenland in response to marine and atmospheric forcings
Cuzzone et al., , Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-2022-47

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Environmental change and the rate of phenotypic plasticity
Burton et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access 10.1111/gcb.16291

Current breeding distributions and predicted range shifts under climate change in two subspecies of Black-tailed Godwits in Asia
Zhu et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16308

Applying space-for-time substitution to infer the growth response to climate may lead to overestimation of tree maladaptation: Evidence from the North American White Spruce Network
Wu et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16304

The MicroClimate Screen – A microscale climate exposure system for assessing the effect of CO2, temperature and UV on marine microalgae
Xie et al., Marine Environmental Research, 10.1016/j.marenvres.2022.105670

The fuel–climate–fire conundrum: How will fire regimes change in temperate eucalypt forests under climate change?
McColl?Gausden et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16283

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

Ecosystem CO2 release driven by wind occurs in drylands at global scale
Moya et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16277

Contrasting trends between peak photosynthesis timing and peak greenness timing across seven typical biomes in Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes
Ge et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109054

Updated estimation of forest biomass carbon pools in China, 1977–2018
Yang et al., Biogeosciences, Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-19-2989-2022

Microbiome assembly in thawing permafrost and its feedbacks to climate
Ernakovich et al., Global Change Biology, Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16231

Observation-constrained estimates of the global ocean carbon sink from Earth System Models
Terhaar et al., , Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2022-134

Subarctic soil carbon losses after deforestation for agriculture depend on permafrost abundance
Peplau et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16307

Retrieving vegetation biophysical parameters and GPP using satellite-driven LUE model in a National Park
Marandi et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-021-01815-0

Methane emissions responsible for record-breaking atmospheric methane growth rates in 2020 and 2021
Feng et al., , Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-425

Human impacts as the main driver of tropical forest carbon
Pyles et al., Science Advances, 10.1126/sciadv.abl7968

Regional and seasonal partitioning of water and temperature controls on global land carbon uptake variability
Wang et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-31175-w

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Climate change mitigation potential of Atlantic Forest reforestations
Manes et al., Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 10.1007/s11027-022-10012-x

A global evaluation of the effectiveness of voluntary REDD+ projects at reducing deforestation and degradation in the moist tropics
Coutiño et al., Conservation Biology, 10.1111/cobi.13970

Decarbonization

Research on short-term output power forecast model of wind farm based on neural network combination algorithm
Qu et al., Wind Energy, Open Access pdf 10.1002/we.2763

Efficient biodiesel production from oleic and palmitic acid using a novel molybdenum metal–organic framework as efficient and reusable catalyst
Ghorbani-Choghamarani et al., Scientific Reports, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41598-022-14341-4

Assessment of floating solar photovoltaic potential in India’s existing hydropower reservoirs
Mamatha & Kulkarni, Energy for Sustainable Development, 10.1016/j.esd.2022.05.011

Simulated co-optimization of renewable energy and desalination systems in Neom, Saudi Arabia
Riera et al., Nature Communications, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-31233-3

Cost, emission, and macroeconomic implications of diesel displacement in the Saudi agricultural sector: Options and policy insights
Elshurafa et al., Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113090

Geoengineering climate

Sensitivity of tropical monsoon precipitation to the latitude of stratospheric aerosol injections
Krishnamohan & Bala, Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-021-06121-z

Climate change communications & cognition

Electoral appeal of climate policies: The Green New Deal and the 2020 U.S. House of Representatives elections
Carmack et al., PLOS Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000043

Perceptions and correspondence of climate change beliefs and behavior among romantic couples
Goldberg et al., Journal of Environmental Psychology, Open Access pdf 10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101836

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Realization of rainfed wheat and barley production environment based on drought patterns in the northeast Iran
Yaghoubi & Bannayan, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04059-8

Determining the impact of climate change on land suitability for rice paddy cultivation using GIS and RS on FAO maximum limitation approach
Ozsahin & Ozdes, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04033-4

Growing season carbon dynamics differ in intermediate wheatgrass monoculture versus biculture with red clover
Wiesner et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109062

Networking for gender equitable climate-smart agriculture

Friedman et al., Climate and Development, 10.1080/17565529.2022.2076645

Response of a U.S. rice hybrid variety to high heat at Two CO2 concentrations during anthesis and grainfill
Fleisher et al., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109058

Subarctic soil carbon losses after deforestation for agriculture depend on permafrost abundance
Peplau et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16307

Cover crop functional types differentially alter the content and composition of soil organic carbon in particulate and mineral-associated fractions
Zhang et al., Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.16296

An assessment of the impact threshold and risk of spring-wheat production to climate change in Inner Mongolia, China
Dong et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04119-z

Climate change adaptation in smallholder agriculture: adoption, barriers, determinants, and policy implications
Lamichhane et al., Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11027-022-10010-z

Hydrology, hydrometeorology & climate change

Contrasting changes in precipitation events during active and break spells of Indian summer monsoon in recent decades
Kumari & Kumar, Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-022-06162-y

Twentieth century precipitation trends in the upper Mzingwane sub-catchment of the northern Limpopo basin, Zimbabwe
Maviza et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00704-022-04040-5

Spatial and temporal drought projections of northwestern Turkey
Ye?ilköy & ?aylan, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04029-0

Evapotranspiration in hydrological models under rising CO2: a jump into the unknown
Lemaitre-Basset et al., Climatic Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-022-03384-1

Climate change economics

Models of deforestation for setting reference levels in the context of REDD: A case study in the Peruvian Amazon
Viscarra & Zutta, Environmental Science & Policy, 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.05.015

Climate change policy and carbon pricing
Santos, Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112985

Sustainable economic activities, climate change, and carbon risk: an international evidence
Khan et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10668-021-01842-x

Revealing the complexity in the environmental Kuznets curve set in a European multivariate framework
Borozan, Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-021-01817-y

Impact of renewable electricity on utility finances: Assessing merit order effect for an Indian utility
Jain & Shrimali, Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113092

Chinese and multilateral development finance in the power sector
Sauer et al., Global Environmental Change, Open Access 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2022.102553

Climate change mitigation public policy research

A review of existing policy for reducing embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions of buildings
Skillington et al., Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112920

Updated nationally determined contributions collectively raise ambition levels but need strengthening further to keep Paris goals within reach
den Elzen et al., Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11027-022-10008-7

Carbon disclosure project: Chinese chief executive officer background and corporate voluntary climate change reporting
Khalid et al., Carbon Management, Open Access pdf 10.1080/17583004.2022.2083983

Reconciling the flexibility mechanisms of climate policies towards the inclusiveness of developing countries: commitments and prospects
Atici, Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-021-01834-x

The (Non) impact of the Spanish “Tax on the Sun” on photovoltaics prosumers uptake
Tomasi, Energy Policy, Open Access 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.113041

Non- and sub-state climate action after Paris: From a facilitative regime to a contested governance landscape
Marquardt et al., WIREs Climate Change, 10.1002/wcc.791

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Cooling island effect of urban lakes in hot waves under foehn and climate change
Le Phuc et al., Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 10.1007/s00704-022-04085-6

Using laboratory experiment to inform local adaptation policies for extreme heat events
Yang et al., Environmental Science & Policy, 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.06.002

What motivates urban dwellers to adapt to climate-driven water insecurity? An empirical study from Lima, Peru
Flórez Bossio et al., Environmental Science & Policy, 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.05.009

The triple differential vulnerability of female entrepreneurs to climate risk in sub-Saharan Africa: Gendered barriers and enablers to private sector adaptation
Gannon et al., WIREs Climate Change, Open Access pdf 10.1002/wcc.793

Climate change impacts on human health

The effect of climate change on malaria transmission in the southeast of Iran
Nili et al., International Journal of Biometeorology, 10.1007/s00484-022-02305-2

Heat stress in Africa under high intensity climate change
Parkes et al., International Journal of Biometeorology, Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00484-022-02295-1

Other

Effect of land cover change and elevation on decadal trend of land surface temperature: a linear model with sum contrast analysis
Abdulmana et al., , Open Access pdf 10.21203/rs.3.rs-603120/v1

Explaining the energy mix in China’s electricity projects under the belt and road initiative
Liu et al., Environmental Politics, Open Access pdf 10.1080/09644016.2022.2087355

The role of sea surface temperature variability in changes to global surface air temperature related to two periods of warming slowdown since 1940
Xu et al., Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-022-06139-x

A gridded 30 year Days of Thunder climatology for the UK.
Stone et al., Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 10.1002/qj.4336

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

How the ocean melts Antarctic ice
Stammer, Journal of Geophysical Research, Open Access pdf 10.1029/2006jc004079

The most important GHG accounting concept you may not have heard of: the attributional-consequential distinction
Brander, Carbon Management, Open Access pdf 10.1080/17583004.2022.2088402

Sustainable development goals and ethics: building “the future we want”
Guerra et al., Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10.1007/s10668-021-01831-0

The small scales of the ocean may hold the key to surprises
Hewitt et al., Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-022-01386-6

Ambitious partnership needed for reliable climate prediction
Slingo et al., Nature Climate Change, 10.1038/s41558-022-01384-8

Think big and model small
, Nature Climate Change, Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-022-01399-1

New Perspectives on Climate Equity and Environmental Justice
Smith & Wodajo , Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Open Access pdf 10.1175/bams-d-22-0032.1

Book reviews

A climate policy revolution: what the science of complexity reveals about saving our planet
Terwilliger, Environmental Politics, Open Access pdf 10.1080/09644016.2022.2079213


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

Chile Adopts New Climate Change Framework Law: A Paradigm Shift, Robert Currie Ríos, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

In June 13, 2022, Chile published its Climate Change Framework Law (“the Climate Act”). The Climate Act includes a binding goal of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, following the recommendations of the IPCC. It creates regulatory instruments, a new crosscutting governance, and opportunities for public participation. The Climate Act also creates important challenges and opportunities for Chile’s private sector.

Costs and Benefits of Climate-Related Disclosure Activities by Corporate Issuers and Institutional Investors, ERM International Group

ERM conducted a survey to determine what private sector organizations are currently spending on measuring and managing key climate change data and disclosure activities. ERM found that on average corporate issuers are spending $533,000 annually on climate-related disclosure, whereas institutional investors are spending an average of $1,372,000 annually to collect, analyze, and report climate data to inform their investment decisions. The survey was designed to help inform mandatory and voluntary climate disclosure guidelines and methods being developed by regulators, such as the Security and Exchange Commission, standard setters, and individual firms.

A Leaf Out of An Old Book. How the LEAF Coalition Enables Carbon Market Colonialism, Amazon Watch

On April 23rd, 2021, at the Leaders Summit on Climate, representatives of the U.S., U.K., and Norwegian governments announced the formation of the LEAF (Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance) Coalition: a public-private partnership between those governments and a spate of corporate actors intended to mobilize funds for the protection of tropical forests. Although offset programs claim to offer carbon sequestration benefits that contribute to a carbon neutral economy, the governments and corporations that reap the financial and reputational benefits of these programs often show no inclination to halt their extractive practices. Governments’ expansion of mining activities and oil extraction—key drivers of climate change, deforestation, and Indigenous rights violations—generate larger adverse impacts on the environment and Indigenous communities than can be tackled by offset programs. These contradictory activities demonstrate a lack of political commitment to take real steps to tackle structural issues at the core of climate change. Forest carbon market programs are based on the faulty premise that deforestation can be solved with marketization and investment, while ignoring problems of land rights, power relations, and building trust among communities.

Rising Waters. Climate Change Impacts and Toxic Risks to Lake Michigan's Shoreline Communities., Courtney et al., Environmental Law & Policy Center

Climate change is causing more extreme Lake Michigan water levels. High water levels, combined with stronger winds and heavier storms, are causing erosion, beach loss, and damage to residential, commercial, and industrial areas all along the shore. Many sites have toxic materials that pose risks to communities and the lake—risks that need to be understood and viewed in the context of a changing climate. The authors identified 12 areas along Lake Michigan that face flooding and erosion risks, including residential communities, industrial facilities with hazardous materials, and a nuclear waste site. The authors also seek to inform Lake Michigan communities about the risks in their backyards. In addition, they also identify federal, state, and local opportunities to alleviate climate change threats and protect against flooding-induced industrial pollution and damage to the built environment.

California Pensions Fail to Engage. A review of CalPERS’ and CalSTRS’ votes against shareholder climate resolutions., Fossil Free California

As the impacts of climate change begin to wreak havoc on our biosphere, the fossil fuel divestment movement has gained remarkable momentum. Globally, 1,500 institutions representing over $40 trillion in assets have already committed to some level of divestment from the fossil fuel industry. Despite over a decade of pressure from their members, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) continue to invest billions in the fossil fuel industry on behalf of their beneficiaries. Studies have shown that if CalPERS and CalSTRS had divested from fossil fuels in 2010, they would have generated an estimated additional $11.9 billion in returns by 2019.

Clean Portfolio Replacement at Tennessee Valley Authority. Economic and Emissions Benefits for TVA Customers., Wilson et al., Synapse Energy Economics

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), once one of the largest owners and operators of coal-fired capacity in the United States, announced last year its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2050. With more than 33 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, TVA is the sixth largest owner of electric generating capacity in the country and is one of many to have publicly committed to greenhouse gas emission reductions. TVA has also set interim targets of 70 percent emission reductions by 2030 and 80 percent reductions by 2035, and it has stated that these targets are attainable using technologies that exist today. While TVA’s public support for decarbonization is an important step, the author’s modeling demonstrates that achieving these targets will require a steep departure from the utility’s “business-as-usual” approach. TVA’s strategy for meeting these interim goals would retire existing coal-fired capacity and replace it, at least in part, with new gas-fired generation. In the context of TVA’s net-zero emissions goal—and given declining costs for solar, wind, and storage resources—this strategy is risky. Any new gas-fired capacity constructed in the next decade is likely to result in stranded assets, in which a generator with remaining depreciable life has been rendered uneconomic to customers.

The Impact of Extreme Weather on Views About Climate Policy in The United States, National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The report examines serious problems facing U.S. households nationally who have recently experienced extreme weather events, as well as broader public experiences and perspectives on climate change and related policies. Results from this poll show that most U.S. adults say they have been personally affected by extreme weather events in the past five years. Many report these events caused serious health problems, serious financial problems, and property damage. On a range of policy measures, public support for government climate action is higher among U.S. adults who have been personally affected by extreme weather events in the past five years than those who have not. These results suggest that as weather disasters continue to worsen and become more prevalent in the future, public views may gradually shift toward greater support for many policies aimed to limit climate change, as wider shares of the public are personally affected by these severe events.

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How is New Research assembled?

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

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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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Journals covered

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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2022