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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #46

November 18, 2018 - 4:07pm

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... SkS in the News... Photo of the Week... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 

Story of the Week... Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming

A major study claimed the oceans were warming much faster than previously thought. But researchers now say they can’t necessarily make that claim.

The sun sets over sea ice floating on the Victoria Strait along the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago during the summer of 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Scientists behind a major study that claimed the Earth’s oceans are warming faster than previously thought now say their work contained inadvertent errors that made their conclusions seem more certain than they actually are.

Two weeks after the high-profile study was published in the journal Nature, its authors have submitted corrections to the publication. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, home to several of the researchers involved, also noted the problems in the scientists' work and corrected a news release on its website, which previously had asserted that the study detailed how the Earth’s oceans “have absorbed 60 percent more heat than previously thought.”

“Unfortunately, we made mistakes here,” said Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at Scripps, who was a co-author of the study. “I think the main lesson is that you work as fast as you can to fix mistakes when you find them.”

Scientists acknowledge key errors in study of how fast the oceans are warming by Chris Mooney & Brady Dennis, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, Nov 14, 2018 

Toon of the Week...


SkS in the News

[To be added.]


Photo of the Week...

In this aerial photo, a burned neighborhood is seen in Paradise, California on November 15, 2018. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / GETTY IMAGES

California Wildfires: Where Is the Climate Change Outrage? by Bruce Melton, Environment & Health, Truthout, Nov 17, 2018 

SkS Highlights... New weather app 'a quantum leap' for understanding extreme events


Dr Soderholm says extreme weather can be missed by instruments because weather radars could not see close to the ground.

New weather app 'a quantum leap' for understanding extreme events by Shelley Lloyd, Weather, ABC News (Australia), Nov 21, 2018

Coming Soon on SkS...
  • The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change (Sarah Finnie Robinson)
  • Did bombing during second world war cool global temperatures? (Alan Robock)
  • New findings on ocean warming: 5 questions answered (Scott Denning)
  • Global coal use may have peaked in 2014, says latest IEA World Energy Outlook (Simon Evans)
  • New research this week (Ari Jokimäki)
  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47 (John Hartz)
  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #47 (John Hartz)
Poster of the Week...


SkS Week in Review... 

2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #46

November 17, 2018 - 12:27pm
A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sunday, Nov 11 through Saturday, Nov 17. Editor's Pick Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds

Ranking of countries’ goals shows even EU on course for more than double safe level of warming

Vendors near a state-owned coal-fired power plant in China. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China, Russia and Canada’s current climate policies would drive the world above a catastrophic 5C of warming by the end of the century, according to a study that ranks the climate goals of different countries.

The US and Australia are only slightly behind with both pushing the global temperature rise dangerously over 4C above pre-industrial levels says the paper, while even the EU, which is usually seen as a climate leader, is on course to more than double the 1.5C that scientists say is a moderately safe level of heating.

The study, published on Friday in the journal Nature Communications, assesses the relationship between each nation’s ambition to cut emissions and the temperature rise that would result if the world followed their example.

The aim of the paper is to inform climate negotiators as they begin a two-year process of ratcheting up climate commitments, which currently fall far short of the 1.5-to-2C goal set in France three years ago.

The related website also serves as a guide to how nations are sharing the burden of responding to the greatest environmental threat humankind has ever faced.

Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds by Jonathan Watts, Environment, Guardian, Nov 16, 2018

Links posted on Facebook

Sun Nov 11, 2018

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Fri Nov 16, 2018

Sat Nov 17, 2018

New research, November 5-11, 2018

November 16, 2018 - 4:32pm

A selection of new climate related research articles is shown below.

Climate change mitigation

Zero CO2 emissions for an ultra-large city by 2050: case study for Beijing

Climate change communication

Developing a model of climate change behavior among adolescents

Petro-hegemony and the matrix of resistance: What can Standing Rock’s Water Protectors teach us about organizing for climate justice in the United States?

Information leverage: The adoption of clean cooking fuel in Bhutan

Storylines: an alternative approach to representing uncertainty in physical aspects of climate change (open access)

Climate Policy

When less is more: limits to international transfers under article 6 of the Paris Agreement (open access)

Combining Carbon Taxation and Offset Payments: A New Approach to Climate Policy in Low-Income Countries

Cap-and-trade versus carbon taxes: which market mechanism gets the most attention?

Empirical assessment of sustainable energy markets in the EU-28

Active Learning and Optimal Climate Policy

Evaluating the quality of municipal climate change plans in Canada

Energy production

Deforestation risks posed by oil palm expansion in the Peruvian Amazon (open access)

Carbon emissions accounting for China’s coal mining sector: invisible sources of climate change

Undesirable and desirable energy congestion measurements for regional coal-fired power generation industry in China

Implementation of EU energy policy priorities in the Baltic Sea Region countries: Sustainability assessment based on neutrosophic MULTIMOORA method

Summer co-variability of surface climate for renewable energy across the contiguous United States: role of the North Atlantic subtropical high

Assessing climate change impacts on California hydropower generation and ancillary services provision

Emission savings

Energy efficient technology adoption in low-income households in the European Union – What is the evidence?

Finance and the Earth system – Exploring the links between financial actors and non-linear changes in the climate system

Measuring what works: quantifying greenhouse gas emission reductions of behavioural interventions to reduce driving, meat consumption, and household energy use (open access)

The greenhouse gas cost of agricultural intensification with groundwater irrigation in a Midwest U.S. row cropping system (open access)

Deforestation and secondary growth in Costa Rica along the path of development


Global streamflow and flood response to stratospheric aerosol geoengineering (open access)

Solar Geoengineering Research in India (open access)

Climate change

Predictability of European winter 2016/2017 (open access)

Shifts in timing of local growing season in China during 1961–2012

Temperature, precipitation, wind

Analysis of Climate Trends and Leading Modes of Climate Variability for MENA Region

The Uneven Nature of Daily Precipitation and Its Change

Extreme temperature and precipitation changes associated with four degree of global warming above pre‐industrial levels

Heterogeneity of scaling of the observed global temperature data

Extreme events

Poleward migration of the destructive effects of tropical cyclones during the 20th century

On the instabilities of tropical cyclones generated by cloud resolving models (open access)

Global estimates of damaging hail hazard (open access)

A Statistical Analysis of Hail Events and Their Environmental Conditions in China during 2008-2015

Drought occurrence in the sub-humid eco-climatic zone of Nigeria

Uncertainty Analysis of Simulations of the Turn‐of‐the‐Century Drought in the Western United States

Forcings and feedbacks

Probabilistic reasoning about measurements of equilibrium climate sensitivity: combining disparate lines of evidence (open access)

The role of the nonlinearity of the Stefan-Boltzmann law on the structure of radiatively forced temperature change

The Arctic Cloud Puzzle: Using ACLOUD/PASCAL Multi-Platform Observations to Unravel the Role of Clouds and Aerosol Particles in Arctic Amplification (open access)

Balanced Cloud Radiative Effects Across a Range of Dynamical Conditions Over the Tropical West Pacific

Exploring the temporal trends and seasonal behaviour of tropospheric trace gases over Pakistan by exploiting satellite observations

Decadal shifts in wind patterns reduced continental outflow and suppressed ozone trend in the 2010s in the lower troposphere over Japan

Aerosol vertical distribution and sources estimation at a site of the Yangtze River Delta region of China


Meteorological Drivers and Large-Scale Climate Forcing of West Antarctic Surface Melt

The aftermath of Petermann Glacier calving events (2008‐2012): Ice island size distributions and meltwater dispersal

Interannual sea ice thickness variability in the Bay of Bothnia (open access)

Understanding End‐of‐century Snowpack Changes Over California's Sierra Nevada


Future wave conditions of Europe, in response to high‐end climate change scenarios

Use of satellite soil moisture to diagnose climate model representations of European soil moisture ‐ air temperature coupling strength

Environmental and biological controls on monthly and annual evapotranspiration in China’s Loess Plateau

Atmospheric and oceanic circulation

Contrasting mechanisms of summer blocking over western Eurasia

Last century warming over the Canadian Atlantic shelves linked to weak Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

Climate‐Driven Change in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans Can Greatly Reduce the Circulation of the North Sea (open access)

Carbon and nitrogen cycles

Ecosystem carbon transit versus turnover times in response to climate warming and rising atmospheric CO2 concentration (open access)

Predominance of methanogens over methanotrophs in rewetted fens characterized by high methane emissions (open access)

Impacts of temperature and soil characteristics on methane production and oxidation in Arctic tundra (open access)

Resolving shelf‐break exchange around the European north‐west shelf

Carbon sequestration in riparian forests: A global synthesis and meta‐analysis (open access)

Natural forests exhibit higher carbon sequestration and lower water consumption than planted forests in China (open access)

Global soil nitrous oxide emissions since the pre‐industrial era estimated by an ensemble of Terrestrial Biosphere Models: Magnitude, attribution and uncertainty

Greenhouse gas production and transport in desert soils of the southwestern USA

Climate change impacts 


Extreme temperature and mortality: evidence from China

Climate conditions and work-related fatigue among professional drivers (open access)

Risk perception and decision-making: do farmers consider risks from climate change? (open access)

Climate change perceptions and adaptations of smallholder farmers in Eastern Kenya

Impacts of climate change on apple tree cultivation areas in Iran

Analysis of the spatiotemporal variability of droughts and the effects of drought on potato production in northern China


21st century climate change impacts on marine animal biomass and ecosystem structure across ocean basins

Compositional response of Amazon forests to climate change (open access)

Protected areas act as a buffer against detrimental effects of climate change—Evidence from large‐scale, long‐term abundance data (open access)

Chlorophyll‐a in Antarctic landfast sea ice: a first synthesis of historical ice‐core data

Predicting shifts in the functional composition of tropical forests under increased drought and CO2 from trade‐offs among plant hydraulic traits

Variability of bio-climatology indicators in the Southwest China under climate warming during 1961–2015

Spatial variation in herbivory, climate and isolation predicts plant height and fruit phenotype in Plectritis congesta populations on islands

Melting Arctic sea ice: Implications for nonindigenous species (NIS) spread in the United States

Stand basal area and solar radiation amplify white spruce climate sensitivity in interior Alaska: evidence from carbon isotopes and tree rings

Local adaptation primes cold‐edge populations for range expansion but not warming‐induced range shifts

Past the climate optimum: Recruitment is declining at the world's highest juniper shrublines on the Tibetan Plateau

Variations in land surface phenology and their response to climate change in Yangtze River basin during 1982–2015

Climate change does not affect seafood quality of a common targeted fish

Other impacts

Hierarchical sensitivity analysis for simulating barrier island geomorphologic responses to future storms and sea-level rise

Other papers

General climate science

A roadmap to climate data rescue services (open access)


Burning-derived vanillic acid in an Arctic ice core from Tunu, northeastern Greenland (open access)

Global Cooling Contributed to the Establishment of a Modern‐Like East Asian Monsoon Climate by the Early Miocene