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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2019

Posted on 24 September 2019 by doug_bostrom

36 articles with 8 as open access

Natural variability

With search variables held constant, our collection of articles this week is relatively small compared to others. It's likely not a secular trend. Could it be the time of year? Given how journal editors must hound reviewers for comments on papers, the chronological smearing effect of procrastination means seasonality is an unlikely candidate for paltry search results. Publication schedules are as much aspirational as they are material and submission dates of articles are entirely disconnected from appearance in print. With reviewers not being paid and academics typically working at 110% capacity, editors have little leverage ensuring results returned  according to a plan. Harsher methods such as "kompromat" are a nonstarter because unlike (for instance) some arriviste politicians, scientific researchers tend to be hung up on "truth" and "honesty." So, when 2:00 am strikes and there's a class to teach later in the morning but review work is not finished, sleep spiced with guilt supersedes keeping to schedule. A soothing round of golf or therapeutic playtime with a Sharpie(tm) are not in the cards at any time. No immediate remedy to the stochastic herky-jerky emergence of research findings suggests itself. 

The title is too modest

In a workmanlike, richly developed and very useful paper Sixty Years of Widespread Warming in the Southern Middle and High Latitudes Jones et al combine and exploit decades of surface temperature, SST and sea level pressure observations and reanalysis data from the  extratropical Southern Hemisphere to expand  and solidify our picture of global warming in the lower portion of the lower hemisphere of the planet. From the abstract:

The results confirm statistically significant cooling in station observations and SST trends throughout the AP region since 1999. However, the full 60-yr period shows statistically significant, widespread warming across most of the Southern Hemisphere middle and high latitudes. Positive SST trends broadly reflect these warming trends, especially in the midlatitudes. After confirming the importance of the southern annular mode (SAM) on southern high-latitude climate variability, the influence is removed from the station temperature records, revealing statistically significant background warming across all of the extratropical Southern Hemisphere. Antarctic temperature trends in a suite of climate models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) are then investigated. Consistent with previous work the CMIP5 models warm Antarctica at the background temperature rate that is 2 times faster than that observed. However, removing the SAM influence from both CMIP5 and observed temperatures results in Antarctic trends that differ only modestly, perhaps due to natural multidecadal variability remaining in the observations.

Deep Argo

Not long before his untimely demise Paul Allen helped to fund up-scaled deployment of Deep Argo floats, beefier and deeper-running versions of instruments in the existing, shallower (although still respectable at 2km) Argo array. The earlier implementation of the Argo project has transformed our understanding of various features of Earth's ocean system. In matters public and private Allen left a track record of successful investment decisions and his support of Deep Argo is no exception. The swift and dramatic success of the Deep Argo system is reflected in early reporting of results such as are described in Report on the 2nd Deep Argo Implementation Workshop, a synopsis not only offering a useful precis of the Deep Argo system but also reporting various concerning news about the behavior of abyssal and deep basin waters. Observations from earlier station revisits employing older hydrographic measurement methods indicating changes in the behavior and properties of the deep ocean appear to be confirmed and extended. Looking forward, in this week's How deep Argo will improve the deep ocean in an ocean reanalysis Gasparin et al describe how the Deep Argo array can be expected to vastly solidify our understanding of cold, dark places that are tantalizingly near in absolute terms but very difficult to reach. 


Physical science of anthropogenic global warming

How tropical Pacific surface cooling contributed to accelerated sea ice melt from 2007 to 2012 as ice is thinned by anthropogenic forcing

Observation of global warming and global warming effects

Sixty Years of Widespread Warming in the Southern Middle and High Latitudes(open access)

A century of anthropogenic environmental change in tropical Asia: Multi-proxy palaeolimnological evidence from Singapore’s Central Catchment

How deep Argo will improve the deep ocean in an ocean reanalysis

Singular extreme events and their attribution to climate change: a climate service-centered analysis.

Past (1950–2017) and future (−2100) temperature and precipitation trends in Egypt

Extensive land cover change across Arctic–Boreal Northwestern North America from disturbance and climate forcing

Winter climate change and the poleward range expansion of a tropical invasive tree (Brazilian pepper ‐ Shinus terebinthifolius)

2018 summer extreme temperatures in South Korea and their intensification under 3 °C global warming (open access)

Modeling global warming and global warming effects

Climatological Changes in the Extratropical Transition of Tropical Cyclones in High-Resolution Global Simulations

Towards a Consistent Definition Between Satellite and Model Clear-Sky Radiative Fluxes

CESM2 climate forcing (1950–2014) yields realistic Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance (open access)

Physically-based landfalling tropical cyclone scenarios in support of risk assessment

Humans dealing with our global warming

Lessons from climate-related planned relocations: the case of Vietnam (open access)

Key points of resilience to climate change: a necessary debate from agroecological systems (open access)

Exploring perceptions and influences of local stakeholders on climate change adaptation in Central and Western Tarai, Nepal (open access)

A quantitative analysis of interstitial spaces to improve climate change resilience in Southern African cities (open access)

Estimating the Health‐Related Costs of 10 Climate‐Sensitive U.S. Events During 2012 (open access)

Yield response of field‐grown soybean exposed to heat waves under current and elevated [CO2]

Characterising the biophysical, economic and social impacts of soil carbon sequestration as a greenhouse gas removal technology

Consumers’ willingness to pay for green cars: a discrete choice analysis in Italy

Reconciling global sustainability targets and local action for food production and climate change mitigation

The population structural transition effect on rising per capita CO2 emissions: evidence from China (open access)

Biology and global warming

Increased precipitation offsets the negative effect of warming on plant biomass and ecosystem respiration in a Tibetan alpine steppe

Surprising lack of sensitivity of biochemical limitation of photosynthesis of nine tree species to open‐air experimental warming and reduced rainfall in a southern boreal forest

Trait‐based climate vulnerability assessments in data‐rich systems: An application to eastern Bering Sea fish and invertebrate stocks

We need more realistic climate change experiments for understanding ecosystems of the future

The impact of elevated temperature and drought on the ecology and evolution of plant‐soil microbe interactions

Multiple stressor effects on coral reef ecosystems


Harold Fritts and the maturation of dendrochronology: From tree-ring studies to biological science: An obituary



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

The previous edition of Skeptical Science new research may be found here. 



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