Skeptical Science New Research for Week #51, 2019

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Are they really suffering? 

The New York Times this week highlighted a paper looking at academic work habits, Working 9 to 5, not the way to make an academic living: observational analysis of manuscript and peer review, by Barnett, Mewter and Schroter. It won't come as a surprise to anybody with a researcher available for observation to see suspicions confirmed: scientists are "on" year 'round, like firefighters or police. From the Times

Jay Van Bavel, a social neuroscientist at New York University, is vowing not to work during the Christmas holidays.

A few years ago, Dr. Van Bavel had agreed to conduct peer review on a couple of manuscripts before the end of the semester. But he got really busy and ended up having to do one on Christmas Day and another on New Year’s Eve, while his family was visiting.

“I felt like I let down myself and my family,” said Dr. Van Bavel, who gets asked to conduct peer-review 100 to 200 times a year. But he says he has now learned his lesson, and is not planning to do any work in the Christmas holidays this year, except perhaps the odd email.

Emphasis ours, and not to sound too skeptical but... fat chance! Something will come up— it always does. This writer has ample anecdotes available: boats held at docks while emails were downloaded at a crawl via telephone modem, driving in the dead of the night "on holiday" to find a fax machine and being chased away from a tiny regional airport (fax terminal!) by the police, searching for cellular access because a deadline is imminent. Overcommitment is the natural condition of the flourishing academic. And really, this crew seems to thrive on relentless throughput,  for the most part.

So Happy Holidays to the scientific army and enjoy your gift of several days of no PhD or steering or hiring or faculty committee/council meetings, so you can work more on the good stuff. :-)

51 articles:

Physical science of global warming

Clouds damp the impacts of Polar sea ice loss (open access)

Observations & observational methods of global warming & effects

Evidence for accelerated weathering and sulfate export in high alpine environments

Divergent consensuses on Arctic amplification influence on midlatitude severe winter weather

Changing characteristics of runoff and freshwater export from watersheds draining northern Alaska (open access)

Spatiotemporal variation of snow depth in the Northern Hemisphere from 1992 to 2016 (open access)

Remote sensing of ice motion in Antarctica – A review

On the role of the Atlantic ocean in exacerbating Indian heat waves

Unraveling the influence of atmospheric evaporative demand on drought and its response to climate change

Coincidence of increasingly volatile winters in China with Arctic sea-ice loss during 1980–2018

Climate diagnostics of the extreme floods in Peru during early 2017 (open access)

Modeling & simulation of global warming & global warming effects

Global and regional impacts differ between transient and equilibrium warmer worlds

Climate change in the Paraná state, Brazil: responses to increasing atmospheric CO 2 in reference evapotranspiration

Compensatory climate effects link trends in global runoff to rising atmospheric CO 2 concentration

Climate change impact on energy demand in building-urban-atmosphere simulations through the 21st century

Inundation modelling for Bangladeshi coasts using downscaled and bias-corrected temperature

Climate model advancement

Seasonal and CO2-induced shifts of the ITCZ: testing energetic controls in idealized simulations with comprehensive models

What Drives Upper-Ocean Temperature Variability in Coupled Climate Models and Observations?

Global biosphere–climate interaction: a causal appraisal of observations and models over multiple temporal scales (open access)

Gauging the performance of CMIP5 historical simulation in reproducing observed gauge rainfall over Kenya

An evaluation of the CORDEX regional climate models in simulating future rainfall and extreme events over Mzingwane catchment, Zimbabwe

Numerical methods for entrainment and detrainment in the multi‐fluid Euler equations for convection

Biology & global warming

Trading water for carbon: Maintaining photosynthesis at the cost of increased water loss during high temperatures in a temperate forest

Biomass increases attributed to both faster tree growth and altered allometric relationships under long‐term carbon dioxide enrichment at a temperate forest

Tree growth influenced by warming winter climate and summer moisture availability in northern temperate forests

Bee body size and global change: Growing with the task?

Molecular mechanisms of acclimation to long‐term elevated temperature exposure in marine symbioses

Sea ice loss increases genetic isolation in a high Arctic ungulate metapopulation

Elevated CO2 affects anxiety but not a range of other behaviours in juvenile yellowtail kingfish

Rainfall, not soil temperature, will limit the seed germination of dry forest species with climate change

How do we overcome abrupt degradation of marine ecosystems and meet the challenge of heat waves and climate extremes?

Natural history collections document biological responses to climate change

GHG sources & sinks, flux

Drivers of change in China’s energy-related CO2 emissions (open access)

Estimation of global grassland net ecosystem carbon exchange using a model tree ensemble approach

Global carbon sequestration is highly sensitive to model‐based formulations of nitrogen fixation

The potential of OCO-2 data to reduce the uncertainties in CO2 surface fluxes over Australia using a variational assimilation scheme (open access)

Soil GHG fluxes are altered by N deposition: New data indicate lower N stimulation of the N2O flux and greater stimulation of the calculated C pools

High predictability of terrestrial carbon fluxes from an initialized decadal prediction system

Climate change communications & cognition

Did TV ads funded by fossil fuel industry defeat the Washington carbon tax?

Three roles for education in climate change adaptation (open access)

Humans dealing with our global warming

Peripherality as key to understanding opportunities and needs for effective and sustainable climate-change adaptation: a case study from Viti Levu Island, Fiji (open access)

An agenda for ethics and justice in adaptation to climate change (open access)

Tree plantation and soil water conservation enhances climate resilience and carbon sequestration of agro ecosystem in semi-arid degraded ravine lands

Adverse weather conditions for UK wheat production under climate change

Physical and policy pathways to net‐zero emissions industry

Impact of climate and population change on temperature-related mortality burden in Bavaria, Germany

Identifying trade-offs and co-benefits of climate policies in China to align policies with SDGs and achieve the 2 °C goal

Understanding Adaptive Capacity of Smallholder African Indigenous Vegetable Farmers to Climate Change in Kenya

The climate change double whammy: flood damage and the determinants of flood insurance coverage, the case of post-katrina new orleans


A low climate threshold for south Greenland Ice Sheet demise during the Late Pleistocene (open access)


Obtaining legal copies of "paywalled" articles

We know it's frustrating that many articles we cite here are not free to read. Here's an excellent collection of tips and techniques for obtaining articles, legally. 


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.

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

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


Posted by doug_bostrom on Wednesday, 25 December, 2019

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