Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3 2022

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Cloud tops fade from sight at a critical juncture

Employing the Earth orbiting instrument MISR, Travis Aerenson et al. appear to confirm subtle hints by prior observations& tracking what climate models broadly predict: a gradual increase in the topping altitude of high clouds. Their paper When Will MISR Detect Rising High Clouds& (pdf) details this work. This seems an important finding, as high clouds have a significant positive feedback effect on Earth's surface temperature. The article shines in offering a full education on the subject via references, but in a nutshell these clouds rising still higher produce the net effect of impeding the escape of longwave radiation, making our original CO2 problem worse.&

The authors find this initial detectable signal in clouds over the oceanic southern hemisphere. With modeling they show that emergence of this feature in the tropics and northern hemisphere may be imminent, within 3-10 years. This is a significant claim surely deserving of attention and further scrutiny.

The awful rub of this situation is that MISR is carried by the& Terra& (pdf) satellite, launched in 1999 and with the expenditure of its last normal station-keeping reactant budget early last year& no longer able to maintain a precisely& controlled& orbit.& As well, with age (plus damage from an earlier likely orbital debris strike) the spacecraft's batteries are failing. It's highly unlikely the MISR instrument will be able to carry on with observations as the predicted emergence of ascending cloud tops in other regions become visible.&

Ignoring the concerning nature of apparent confirmation of a feedback effect, MISR and Terra serve as yet another object lesson on effects of governmental inability to maintain long attention and funding spans colliding with crowded research agendas. Together these make impossible true operational Earth observational systems of the type we absolutely require. The immediate situation's root causes are akin to the recent& GRACE data gap, a longitudinal series interrupted and hence needing inherently imperfect splicing. There is a relatively paltry lack of money forcing bad choices on researchers. A copy of the first GRACE duo should have been available for orbital deployment before the next more& refined version was developed. Instead as a matter of fiscal reality new research ends up competing with mandatory operational needs.

We can't afford to continue making mistakes. Observations of the type made by MISR are not purely scientific in nature but are also akin to instrumentation on an engine. If an idiot light burns out on our car's dashboard, we can replace it easily and quickly. MISR and GRACE— examples of key instrumentation of critically important Earth systems— are more important than idiot lights.&

Ideally our policy would be to quickly identify experimental instruments that reveal themselves as potentially important operational features and then to ensure that this equipment is practicably available for continuous coverage. In particular, it seems perhaps wise to think about achieving some economy of scale, reduce the need to constantly produce novel space-qualified hardware. Instead, think more along the lines of& meteorological radiosondes. Radiosondes are not redesigned for every launch. The benefits of accomodating this "boredom" are plain to see. In turn, such a pragmatic approach could make congressional relations in seeking& operational budgets easier.&

Obviously radiosondes are a different case than orbital instrumentation. But with the first copy of an instrument& costing so much compared to duplicates and with spacecraft buses far past the point of needing reinvention for each launch, perhaps it would be good to heavily emphasize in planning decisions "is this experimental package likely to be operationally beneficial?"& Then, accomodate in plans routine operation of a given instrument package— including timely orbital replacement— commensurate with that estimation, at the earliest stages of development. Most of all, see and avoid the potential folly of spinning up tooling, skills and vendors to produce only a single copy of an instrument— very expensively. That's a mistake we've already made and we needn't continue repeating.

Other notables:

Atmospheric Rivers Bring More Frequent and Intense Extreme Rainfall Events Over East Asia Under Global Warming. Why should we care, wherever else we are? Not so long ago flooding in the region caused a& multi-year disruption& of computer hardware supply delivery.&

Top Risks 2022& (pdf) in our government/NGO report section describes awkward details of our "today" energy economy colliding with urgent requirements to shift to tomorrow's.

The effectiveness of nudging: A meta-analysis of choice architecture interventions across behavioral domains. "Nudging" is an appealing means to statistically shift our collective behavior in a more friendly way than simple coercion. Does it work?&

Quantifying the climatic impact of crude oil pollution on sea ice albedo& is where we see a kind of irony: "you don't even have to burn it to cause climate problems."

Opposition to Renewable Energy Facilities in the United States& from Columbia University Law School's Sabin Center for Climate Law details the remarkable feature of cavemen trying to hold us all back, by law.

All of the above open access.&

97 articles in 49 journals by 605 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

Quantifying the climatic impact of crude oil pollution on sea ice albedo
Redmond Roche & King
Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-2021-372

Opportunistic experiments to constrain aerosol effective radiative forcing
Christensen et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2021-559

Quantifying Energy Balance Regimes in the Modern Climate, Their Link to Lapse Rate Regimes, and Their Response to Warming
Miyawaki et al. Journal of Climate
10.1175/jcli-d-21-0440.1

The impact of climate oscillations on the surface energy budget over the Greenland Ice Sheet in a changing climate
Silva et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-2021-388

Observations of climate change, effects

When Will MISR Detect Rising High Clouds?
Aerenson et al.
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10508059.1

Recent upper Arctic Ocean warming expedited by summertime atmospheric processes
Li et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28047-8

Trend analysis of land surface temperature over Iran based on land cover and topography
Moradi & Darand International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
10.1007/s13762-021-03900-3

Evidences of soil warming from long-term trends (1951&-2018) in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Dorau et al. Climatic Change
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-021-03293-9

Glacier change in China over past decades: Spatiotemporal patterns and influencing factors
Su et al. Earth
10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.103926

Urban climate change: A statistical analysis for São Paulo
Valente & Laurini Urban Climate
Open Access 10.1016/j.uclim.2021.101077

Instrumentation & observational methods of climate change, contributors, effects

When Will MISR Detect Rising High Clouds?
Aerenson et al.
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10508059.1

Detection of increase in air temperature in Barrow, AK, USA, through the use of extreme value indices and its impact on the permafrost active layer thickness
Victor Theoretical and Applied Climatology
10.1007/s00704-021-03919-z

Radiative closure and cloud effects on the radiation budget based on satellite and ship-borne observations during the Arctic summer research cruise PS106
Barrientos-Velasco et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2021-1004

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

Projections of changes in maximum air temperature and hot days in Poland
Tomczyk et al. International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7530

Stratification constrains future heat and carbon uptake in the Southern Ocean between 30°S and 55°S
Bourgeois et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-27979-5

Asian summer monsoon responses to the change of land-sea thermodynamic contrast in a warming climate: CMIP6 projections
Qing-Yuan et al. Advances in Climate Change Research
Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2022.01.001

Ocean warming alters the distributional range, migratory timing, and spatial protections of an apex predator, the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)
Hammerschlag et al. Global Change Biology
Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16045

A moderate mitigation can significantly delay the emergence of compound hot extremes
Ma et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
10.1029/2021jd035427

Characteristic changes in climate projections over Indus Basin using the bias corrected CMIP6 simulations
Koteswara Rao et al. Climate Dynamics
10.1007/s00382-021-06108-w

Atmospheric Rivers Bring More Frequent and Intense Extreme Rainfall Events Over East Asia Under Global Warming
Kamae et al. Geophysical Research Letters
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021gl096030

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection GCMA

The interpretation of temperature and salinity variables in numerical ocean model output and the calculation of heat fluxes and heat content
McDougall et al. Geoscientific Model Development
Open Access pdf 10.5194/gmd-14-6445-2021

Evaluating seasonal and regional distribution of snowfall in regional climate model simulations in the Arctic
von Lerber et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2021-1064

Cryosphere & climate change

How does a change in climate variability impact the Greenland ice-sheet surface mass balance?
Zolles & Born
Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-2021-379

Detection of increase in air temperature in Barrow, AK, USA, through the use of extreme value indices and its impact on the permafrost active layer thickness
Victor Theoretical and Applied Climatology
10.1007/s00704-021-03919-z

Glacier change in China over past decades: Spatiotemporal patterns and influencing factors
Su et al. Earth
10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.103926

On the energy budget of a low-Arctic snowpack
Lackner et al. The Cryosphere
Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-16-127-2022

Ice front retreat reconfigures meltwater-driven gyres modulating ocean heat delivery to an Antarctic ice shelf
Yoon et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-27968-8

Sea level & climate change Paleoclimate

Assimilating an expanded tree ring dataset to reconstruct the millennial air temperature fields for the Northern Hemisphere
Fang et al. International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7528

Ice core evidence for major volcanic eruptions at the onset of Dansgaard-Oeschger warming events
Lohmann & Svensson Svensson
Open Access pdf 10.5194/cp-2022-1

The Warm Winter Paradox in the Pliocene High Latitudes
Tindall et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/cp-2021-186

Biology & climate change

Difficult climate-adaptive decisions in forests as complex social-ecological systems
Findlater et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
10.1073/pnas.2108326119

(provisional link) ailure to advance migratory phenology in response to climate change may pose a significant threat to a declining Nearctic-Neotropical songbird

Swiss stone pine growth benefits less from recent warming than European larch at a dry-inner alpine forest line as it reacts more sensitive to humidity
Obojes et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108788

Shark teeth can resist ocean acidification
Leung et al. Global Change Biology
10.1111/gcb.16052

Are southern pine forests becoming too warm for the southern pine beetle?
Lombardo et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.108813

Genome-wide evolutionary response of European oaks during the Anthropocene
Saleh et al. Evolution Letters
10.1002/evl3.269

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

Greenhouse gas exchange of a NW German peatland, 18 years after rewetting
Schaller et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
10.1029/2020jg005960

Low N2O and variable CH4 fluxes from tropical forest soils of the Congo Basin
Barthel et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-27978-6

(provisional link) Quantifying CO emission rates of industrial point sources from Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument observations

Methane emissions from dairy farms: case study from a coastal district in South India
Pradeep et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability
10.1007/s10668-021-01851-w

Assessing the impacts of agricultural managements on soil carbon stocks, nitrogen loss and crop production — a modelling study in Eastern Africa
Ma et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2021-352

The soil carbon erosion paradox reconciled
Van Oost & Six
Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2022-1

Isotopic Signatures of Methane Emissions from Dairy Farms in California's San Joaquin Valley
Carranza et al.
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10508479.1

The effects of urbanization and urban sprawl on CO2 emissions in China
Cheng & Hu Environment, Development and Sustainability
10.1007/s10668-022-02123-x

Net soil carbon balance in afforested peatlands and separating autotrophic and heterotrophic soil CO2 effluxes
Hermans et al. Biogeosciences
Open Access 10.5194/bg-19-313-2022

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Thinking negatively about negative emissions technologies: the via negativa, carbon thinking, and climate ethics
Clingerman Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
10.1007/s13412-022-00748-y

Uncovering the reaction mechanism behind CoO as active phase for CO2 hydrogenation
Have et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-27981-x

NiO and MgO/activated carbon as an efficient CO2 adsorbent: characterization, modeling, and optimization
Ghaemi et al. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s13762-021-03582-x

Enhancement of CO2 capture through hydrate formation: the effect of tetrahydrofuran (THF) and tertiary amine solutions
Thoutam et al. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
10.1007/s13762-021-03315-0

Decarbonization

How green primary iron production in South Africa could help global decarbonization
Trollip et al. Climate Policy
10.1080/14693062.2021.2024123

Decarbonising the iron and steel sector for a 2 °C target using inherent waste streams
Sun et al. Nature Communications
10.1038/s41467-021-27770-y

A hopeless pursuit? National efforts to promote small modular nuclear reactors and revive nuclear power
Thomas & Ramana WIREs Energy and Environment
10.1002/wene.429

A global inventory of photovoltaic solar energy generating units
Kruitwagen et al. Nature
10.1038/s41586-021-03957-7

Geoengineering climate

Solar geoengineering: The case for an international non-use agreement
Biermann et al. WIREs Climate Change
Open Access pdf 10.1002/wcc.754

Black carbon

Fate of dissolved black carbon in the deep Pacific Ocean
Yamashita et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-27954-0

Aerosols

A Sulfuric Acid Nucleation Potential Model for the Atmosphere
Johnson & Jen Jen
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-35

Opportunistic experiments to constrain aerosol effective radiative forcing
Christensen et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2021-559

Climate change communications & cognition

What shapes cognitions of climate change in Europe? Ideology, morality, and the role of educational attainment
Welsch Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s13412-021-00745-7

The role of climate change perceptions and sociodemographics on reported mitigation efforts and performance among households in northeastern Mexico
González-Hernández et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10668-021-02093-6

A social&-ecological perspective on climate anxiety in children and adolescents
Crandon et al. Nature Climate Change
10.1038/s41558-021-01251-y

Social influence in the adoption of digital consumer innovations for climate change
Vrain et al. Energy Policy
10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112800

Climate change and the future of the Olympic Winter Games: athlete and coach perspectives
Scott et al. Current Issues in Tourism
10.1080/13683500.2021.2023480

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Climate and agronomy, not genetics, underpin recent maize yield gains in favorable environments
Rizzo et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Open Access pdf 10.1073/pnas.2113629119

Methane emissions from dairy farms: case study from a coastal district in South India
Pradeep et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability
10.1007/s10668-021-01851-w

Farmers’ adaptations strategies towards soil salinity effects in agriculture: the interior coast of Bangladesh
Mazumder & Kabir Climate Policy
10.1080/14693062.2021.2024126

Spatial&-temporal changes in risk of climate-related yield reduction of winter wheat during 1973&-2014 in Anhui province, southeast China
Huang et al. Theoretical and Applied Climatology
10.1007/s00704-022-03929-5

(provisional link) Climate change vulnerability and adaptation of crop producers in sub-Saharan Africa: a review on concepts, approaches and methods

Assessing the impacts of agricultural managements on soil carbon stocks, nitrogen loss and crop production — a modelling study in Eastern Africa
Ma et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-2021-352

Carbon footprint and life cycle costing of maize production in Thailand with temporal and geographical resolutions
Moungsree et al. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
10.1007/s11367-022-02021-4

Impact of climate change adaptation on farm productivity and household welfare
Etwire et al. Climatic Change
10.1007/s10584-022-03308-z

Spatio-temporal assessment of frost risks during the flowering of pear trees in Belgium for 1971&-2068
Drepper et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.108822

Biophysical effects of paddy rice expansion on land surface temperature in Northeastern Asia
Liu et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.108820

Smallholder farmers’ engagement with climate smart agriculture in Africa: role of local knowledge and upscaling
Ogunyiola et al. Climate Policy
Open Access 10.1080/14693062.2021.2023451

A trait-based model ensemble approach to design rice plant types for future climate
Paleari et al. Global Change Biology
10.1111/gcb.16087

Timing and magnitude of climate-driven range shifts in transboundary fish stocks challenge their management
Palacios-Abrantes et al.
Open Access pdf 10.1101/2021.08.26.456854

Perception and adaptation to higher temperatures among poultry farmers in Nigeria
Sanou et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability
10.1007/s10668-021-02017-4

Hydrology & climate change

A trade-off analysis of adaptive and non-adaptive future optimized rule curves based on simulation algorithm and hedging rules
Moghaddasi et al. Theoretical and Applied Climatology
10.1007/s00704-022-03930-y

Impacts of global warming on Meiyu&-Baiu extreme rainfall and associated mid-latitude synoptic-scale systems as inferred from 20km AGCM simulations
So et al. Climate Dynamics
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00382-021-06072-5

Assessment of climate change impact on probable maximum floods in a tropical catchment
Sammen et al. Theoretical and Applied Climatology
Open Access 10.1007/s00704-022-03925-9

Projected impacts of climate change on major dams in the Upper Yangtze River Basin
Qin et al. Climatic Change
10.1007/s10584-021-03303-w

Impact of climate change on snow precipitation and streamflow in the Upper Indus Basin ending twenty-first century
Romshoo & Marazi Climatic Change
10.1007/s10584-021-03297-5

Integrated hydrological, power system and economic modelling of climate impacts on electricity demand and cost
Webster et al. Nature Energy
10.1038/s41560-021-00958-8

Climate change economics

Heterogeneous impacts of GVCs participation on CO2 intensity: Evidence from developed and developing countries/regions
Zhi-Da et al. Advances in Climate Change Research
Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2022.01.002

Quantifying the effects of climate and watershed structure changes on runoff variations in the Tao River basin by using three different methods under the Budyko framework
Guan et al. Theoretical and Applied Climatology
10.1007/s00704-021-03894-5

Environmental concern in the era of industrialization: Can financial development, renewable energy and natural resources alleviate some load?
Usman & Balsalobre-Lorente Energy Policy
10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112780

Economic sustainability of energy conservation policy: improved panel data evidence
Petrovi? Environment, Development and Sustainability
10.1007/s10668-021-02104-6

Investigating the nexus between CO2 emissions, renewable energy consumption, FDI, exports and economic growth: evidence from BRICS countries
Iqbal et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability
10.1007/s10668-022-02128-6

The effect of rainfall changes on economic production
Kotz et al. Nature
10.1038/s41586-021-04283-8

Climate change mitigation public policy research

The effectiveness of nudging: A meta-analysis of choice architecture interventions across behavioral domains
Mertens et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Open Access pdf 10.1073/pnas.2107346118

Good practice policies to bridge the emissions gap in key countries
Baptista et al. Global Environmental Change
10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2022.102472

Potential for cascading impacts of environmental change and policy on indigenous culture
Yletyinen et al. Ambio
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s13280-021-01670-3

Industrial clustering as a barrier and an enabler for deep emission reduction: a case study of a Dutch chemical cluster
Janipour et al. Climate Policy
Open Access pdf 10.1080/14693062.2022.2025755

A moderate mitigation can significantly delay the emergence of compound hot extremes
Ma et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
10.1029/2021jd035427

The effects of urbanization and urban sprawl on CO2 emissions in China
Cheng & Hu Environment, Development and Sustainability
10.1007/s10668-022-02123-x

Research on credit pricing mechanism in dual-credit policy: is the government in charge or is the market in charge?
De Grauwe The Limits of the Market
Open Access 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198784289.003.0009

Evaluation of challenges for sustainable transformation of Qatar oil and gas industry: A graph theoretic and matrix approach
Sarrakh et al. Energy Policy
10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112766

Planning for urban green infrastructure: addressing tradeoffs and synergies
Depietri Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Open Access 10.1016/j.cosust.2021.12.001

Toward a just energy transition: A distributional analysis of low-carbon policies in the USA
García-Muros et al. Energy Economics
Open Access 10.1016/j.eneco.2021.105769

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Difficult climate-adaptive decisions in forests as complex social-ecological systems
Findlater et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
10.1073/pnas.2108326119

Effective coastal adaptation needs accurate hazard assessment: a case study in Port Resolution, Tanna Island Vanuatu
Faivre et al. Climatic Change
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-021-03304-9

Impact of climate change adaptation on farm productivity and household welfare
Etwire et al. Climatic Change
10.1007/s10584-022-03308-z

Climate change impacts on human health

Global labor loss due to humid heat exposure underestimated for outdoor workers
Parsons et al. Environmental Research Letters
Open Access 10.1088/1748-9326/ac3dae

Other

Impact Pathways from Climate Services to SDG2 (“Zero Hunger”): A Synthesis of Evidence
Hansen et al. Climate Risk Management
Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100399

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Opinion: Coordinated Development of Emission Inventories for Climate Forcers and Air Pollutants
Smith et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2021-1059

Inferring the effects of partial defoliation on the carbon cycle from forest structure: challenges and opportunities
Gough et al. Environmental Research Letters
Open Access 10.1088/1748-9326/ac46e9

Thinking negatively about negative emissions technologies: the via negativa, carbon thinking, and climate ethics
Clingerman Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
10.1007/s13412-022-00748-y

An actionable understanding of societal transitions: the X-curve framework
Hebinck et al. Sustainability Science
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s11625-021-01084-w

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

Top Risks 2022& (pdf)& Eurasia Group

[Section 7] It’s an especially disruptive time in the global transition from fossil fuels to renewables. The result will be both higher energy prices for consumers and a near-term policy collision with climate goals. In 2022, long-term decarbonization targets will collide with short-term energy needs. We saw this last year as governments raced to make mid-century net-zero commitments but then took a detour toward subsidies and other policy interventions as economic distortions created by Covid-19 and supply chain disruptions created energy shortages. This upward pressure on costs will intensify in 2022 and force governments to make an unpleasant choice: mollify anxious voters with a policy that delays climate goals or tough it out in a hostile and unpredictable energy market environment.

Tackling Deforestation and Protecting Investors: Material Financial Risks from Tropical Commodities& (pdf),& Niamh McCarthy and Matt Piotrowski,& Climate Advisors

In anticipation of the Security and Exchange Commission releasing new proposals for regulating climate-related financial risks, Climate Advisers has published a report on the risks to investors from tropical commodities. Tropical commodities accounted for nearly a quarter of U.S. imports by dollar value in 2020 and has significant links to climate-warming emissions, creating significant risk for private investors. The authors provide an analysis on how these climate-related factors create risks for investors and show how U.S. leadership can benefit the private sector. The authors recommend that the SEC take steps to regulate these risks within the financial sector to protect investors, the economy, and the climate.

Observed and Projected Changes in Idaho’s Climate& (pdf),& Abatzoglou et al.,& James A. & Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research, University of Idaho

Projected changes to Idaho’s climate suggest very high confidence in warming trends, limited changes in total annual precipitation albeit a significant reduction in the proportion of precipitation falling as snow, and high potential for increased frequency of certain types of droughts. The magnitude of future changes is a function of global greenhouse gas emissions and sequestration pathways, with global pathways in conjoined climate and energy policies having measurable impact on changes in climate over the latter half of the 21st century. Natural climate variability, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, is projected to continue to exert influence on Idaho’s climate through the 21st century. The fusion of natural climate variability with shifting baselines imposed by climate change is likely to yield significant changes in certain climate and meteorological extremes. These changes pose serious challenges for the state’s economic and cultural dependence on snow, water resources, forests, agriculture, and outdoor recreation.

THE NEW COAL. PLASTICS & CLIMATE CHANGE& (pdf),& Bennington College

The report documents the plastic sector’s staggering contribution to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States which is now poised to surpass those of coal-fired power plants. Plastic is the new coal. Key findings include the following, plastics manufacturing is currently a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States; the petrochemical industry’s plastics infrastructure is expanding, and emissions are slated to increase dramatically; the health impacts of emissions released by the plastics industry are disproportionately felt by low-income communities and people of color; “chemical recycling” shares more in common with incinerating than recycling waste.

Reckoning with the U.S. Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste,& National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

An estimated 8 million metric tons (MMT) of plastic waste enters the world's ocean each year - the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck of plastic waste into the ocean every minute. Plastic waste is now found in almost every marine habitat, from the ocean surface to deep-sea sediments to the ocean's vast mid-water region, as well as the Great Lakes. This report responds to a request in the bipartisan Save Our Seas 2.0 Act for a scientific synthesis of the role of the United States both in contributing to and responding to global ocean plastic waste.

Storage Futures Study. Grid Operational Impacts of Widespread Storage Deployment& (pdf),& Jorgenson et al., National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Department of Energy

Due to rapid technology cost declines and the significant potential value of energy storage, we could see hundreds of gigawatts of storage on the future grid. The Storage Futures Study (SFS) is designed to explore the potential role and impact of energy storage in the evolving electricity sector of the United States, specifically how energy storage technology advancement could impact the deployment of utility-scale and distributed storage, and the implications for future power system infrastructure investment and operations. This report—the sixth in the series— assesses the hourly operations of high storage power systems in the U.S., with storage capacities ranging from 213 GW to 932 GW. The assessment builds upon a previously published report in the Storage Futures Study in which NREL added new capabilities to its publicly available Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model to build least-cost scenarios for a range of cost and performance assumptions for energy storage. Scenarios showed the potential for U.S. storage capacity to exceed 125 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2050, even in the most conservative estimates—a more than a fivefold increase over current U.S. storage capacity.

Leak detection methods for natural gas gathering, transmission, and distribution pipelines& (pdf),& Strange et al.,& Highwood Emissions Management

The report presents operators and regulators with a cohesive understanding of the technologies available for detecting natural gas leaks from pipelines across the supply chain. The authors perform a comprehensive literature review and supplement it with targeted, semi-structured interviews with industry experts, including pipeline operators, researchers, innovators, and technology solution providers. The authors then establish a method for categorizing methane leak detection methods for pipelines. Key findings include the following, pipeline methane emissions are an important environmental and safety concern; methane emissions from pipelines vary dramatically across space and time; methane leaks from pipelines can be persistent and typically require detection to be resolved; the effectiveness of legacy detection methods remains unclear, despite forming the basis of most regulations.

Protecting Californians Amidst Extreme Heat: A State Action Plan to Build Community Resilience& (pdf),& California Natural Resources Agency

California’s best climate science projects that every corner of our state will be impacted in years and decades to come by higher average temperatures and more frequent and severe heat waves. Extreme heat threatens public health and safety; economic prosperity; and communities and natural systems. It also poses profoundly disproportionate consequences for the most vulnerable among us. This plan outlines a strategic and comprehensive set of state actions to address extreme heat, and serves as an update to the “Preparing California for Extreme Heat Guidance and Recommendations” report released in 2013.

Climate and Security in the Middle East and North Africa& (pdf),& Sharp et al.,& Congressional Research Service

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is among the world’s most water-stressed and vulnerable to climate change impacts. Policymakers’ concerns about a changing MENA climate include not only physical and economic impacts but also the potential implications for political stability and security in a volatile region. U.S. national security assessments have described climate change as a threat multiplier that may exacerbate existing tensions in regions facing other challenges, such as intrastate conflict, rapid population growth, urbanization, or poor governance. The chain of linkages from climate and weather events to political stability is complex, with intervening critical factors such as social schisms and governance. In the MENA region, where several countries (e.g., Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon) are divided along ethnic/sectarian lines, armed substate actors and terrorist groups could broaden their appeal to sectors of the population disaffected by physical hardships wrought by climate change.

Assessment of Agricultural Plastics and Their Sustainability. A Call for Action& (pdf),& Gilbert et al.,& Food and Agricultural Organization, United Nations

The authors present the results of a study of agricultural plastic products used globally across different value chains including crop production, livestock, aquaculture, fisheries and forestry, including subsequent processing and distribution. The authors assessed the types and quantities of plastic products, their benefits, and trade-offs. Sustainable alternative products or practices were identified for products assessed as having high potential to cause harm to human and ecosystem health or having poor end-of-life management. The report is based on data derived from peer-reviewed scientific papers, governmental and non-governmental organization’s research reports, as well as from industry experts, including relevant trade bodies.

Addressing Climate Migration. A Review of National Policy Approaches& (pdf),& Blake et al.,& RAND Corporation

One of the most consequential human responses to climate change is and will continue to be the mass movement of people. As the environmental impacts of climate change increase in scope and severity, more and more people will move to new places to preserve or enhance their lives and livelihoods. As individuals, families, and entire communities facing the fallout of a changing climate decide to relocate, it will transform the human geography of the planet. Some places that are thriving population centers today could become entirely uninhabitable, and other places may become better suited for large-scale human settlement. The authors provide a framework for understanding how nation-states are developing policies to respond to climate migration and mobility. They review related policies in six countries: Bangladesh, Kiribati, Kenya, Norway, the United States, and Vanuatu. Each country has different means and faces different climate mobility pressures. By evaluating these case studies, the authors identify a variety of policies and programs that governments are undertaking to prepare for, enable, channel, assist, or prevent the climate-induced human movement that is already ongoing in some places and is expected to increase significantly in both number and geographic scope in the coming decades. They use this analysis to identify the reasons that states pursue climate mobility policies, and they identify categories of policy responses that countries are enacting. These findings can provide policymakers with high-level options when considering the broad needs of climate migrants and their host communities and when designing their own policies.

BiodiverCities by 2030: Transforming Cities’ Relationship with Nature& (pdf),& World Economic Forum

Cities are the engine of the global economy - contributing 80% of the world’s GDP &- but their exponential growth in recent decades has come at the expense of nature. The built environment has grown by two-thirds in the first 12 years of the 21st century, leading to the degradation of local ecosystems and the loss of habitats. Urban areas are also responsible for over 75% of global carbon emissions, accelerating climate change which drives further nature loss. This report provides a vision for cities of the future and the needed systemic shifts to develop BiodiverCities that place nature at the heart of decision-making and infrastructure investments. The report also sets out how public and private urban leaders can utilize nature to both reduce the impact of their cities on biodiversity, increase their climate resilience, and secure significant economic benefits.

Opposition to Renewable Energy Facilities in the United States& (pdf),& Goyal et al., Columbia University Sabin Center for Climate Law

The report provides state-by-state information on local laws to block, delay or restrict renewable energy. These include moratoria on wind or solar energy development; outright bans on wind or solar energy development; regulations that are so restrictive that they can act as de facto bans on wind or solar energy development; and zoning amendments that are designed to block a specific proposed project. While local governments at times enact legislation in response to a specific project proposal some municipalities have banned, placed moratoria on, or significantly restricted wind and solar energy development even absent a proposed project.

UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2022& (pdf),& HM Government, United Kingdom

The UK government has published its third five-year assessment of the risks of climate change on the UK. There is strong evidence that even under low warming scenarios the UK will be subject to a range of significant and costly impacts unless significant further action is taken now. The report presents 61 climate risks cutting across multiple sectors of UK society. It identifies a wide range of potential costly impacts of climate change including on health and productivity, affecting many households, businesses and public services. Impacts range from a deterioration in soil health and agricultural productivity to impacts on water availability and alternative energy supplies. For example, unless action is taken, under the 2°C by 2100 warming scenario annual damages from flooding for non-residential properties across the UK is expected to increase by 27% by 2050 and 40% by 2080. At 4°C this increases to 44% and 75% respectively.


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