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Archive for April, 2015

Climate content of Environmental Research Letters

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on April 17, 2015

Environmental Research Letters (ERL) is relatively new scientific journal. It was first published in 2006. ERL deals with different environmental issues and climate change is one such issue. I checked all ERL issues for climate change related papers (between 2006-2014) and the results are presented below.

Papers that relate to climate change are very diverse in their subjects. The papers are dealing with the climate system, the carbon cycle, climate change impacts (in biosphere for example), and climate change mitigation, to name a few. ERL publishes papers on all these. ERL publishes also some perspective articles for the studies published in ERL. Perspective articles have been excluded from this analysis because I wanted to concentrate on original research articles. Also corrections have been excluded (as they only add to an existing study). It should be noted that this analysis is based mostly on paper titles. Only in few cases where title has not been clear but has suggested the possibility of being climate change related, I might have peeked the abstract of the paper in question.

According to my results, ERL has published 1348 research articles in years 2006-2014. Of these, 888 papers relate to climate change. The percentage of climate papers is then about 65.9%. In my opinion, this is quite high percentage. Perhaps it shows that among environmental issues, climate change is an important one.

This also raises a question about whether ERL should concentrate a bit more on the other environmental issues in addition to climate change. With two thirds of papers being climate change related papers, perhaps it could be argued that ERL actually is more a climate journal than environmental journal. A peek to the papers reveals further that among the climate change related papers, ERL has published some papers that are more climate science than environmental science, although this distinction might not be very clear these days. I’m not suggesting that this is a bad thing, though.

Figure 1 shows the evolution of annual paper counts (top panel, total paper count in black and climate paper count in red) and the evolution of annual climate paper percentage in ERL (bottom panel). Paper counts increase from 2006 to 2013, but there is a drop in paper counts from 2013 to 2014. Reason for this is not clear. Between 2013 and 2014, ERL did switch from 4 issues per year to 12 issues per year but I’m not sure how this should affect the published paper count. The climate paper percentage increases from 2006 to 2010 and then drops and stays relatively stable after that. Reason for this is not clear either. Perhaps they noticed that they are turning into climate journal and made some corrective maneuvres.


I won’t include the list of ERL climate change related papers here, but the list (containing the journal volume & issue, publication year, paper title, and paper’s URL) is available upon request.


Posted in Climate science | 2 Comments »

A brief account on using Google Scholar to search for climate change related scientific literature

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on April 15, 2015

Today I fooled around with Google Scholar a bit. During this, I searched for papers matching the exact phrase “climate change” for year 1903. For this search, Google Scholar returned 59 “papers”. But when I looked the results more closely, I was rather disappointed. Let me tell you why.

There’s this website,, that has a link named as “Kew & Climate Change” in their bottom link bar which appears in every page of the site. Google Scholar catches this as a “citation”. This website of Kew Royal Botanic Gardens has in it “Kew Bibliographic Database” which contains entries of scientific papers, and rather lots of them and many are old ones, too. This results in Google Scholar finding that all the papers in the database match the search criteria. For more modern searches this doesn’t matter much as there are plenty of search results for “climate change” so this thing just adds a bit noise to the results. However, when searching for historical papers this flaw can make the search results meaningless as almost all the results are due to the Google Scholar’s flaw.


Fortunately, Google Scholar has an option to exclude the citations from the search (citation results can be useful, but I wonder if they should be included by default). If we exclude citations from the search above, we only get 5 hits.

Of these, 3 are still from

One result is the document:

At first glance it is obvious that this is not a peer-reviewed publication and second glance tells that it’s not from 1903 either. Apparently the document is from 2013. It also is not about climate but seems to contain all kinds of stuff, and one section does mention “a documentary about the effects of climate change on the oceans, as told by a grandfather to his 5-year-old grandson”.

One result is from The British Medical Journal:

The Róle Of Eyestrain In Civilization
George M. Gould, Sept. 19, 1903

Climate is mentioned 2 times in this article. Both of these times the exact phrase used is “change of climate”, so Google Scholar’s exact phrase search doesn’t actually search only for the exact phrase. (CORRECTION: Kevin ONeill notes in the comment section that the text actually contains “climate change”. Text has this sequence of words: ““change of climate,” “change of scene,””, where word climate is followed by word change as long as we forget the special characters, like this: “change of climate change of scene”. So, I was wrong about this, thanks to Kevin for this correction. I’ll also correct the text below for this.)

So, using default Google Scholar exact phrase search for “climate change” returned 59 results but none of them actually matched the intended search. One can argue that the article from The British Medical Journal is a quite good hit but beyond that Google Scholar returned just rubbish – 58 bad hits for one almost good hit.

Furthermore, this simple little search revealed four flaws in the Google Scholar’s search process; 1) the method for searching the citations is rubbish, 2) returned results are not always scientific documents, 3) the year assigned to document is sometimes wrong, and 4) the exact phrase search returns papers not having the exact phrase the exact phrase search catches extra phrases because it ignores special characters. Also, while not actually a flaw, the choice to include citations (and patents) by default is a poor one, in my opinion.

It might be kind of nice to have an access to real scientific search engines.

Posted in Science | 2 Comments »

New research – February and March 2015

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on April 1, 2015

In February, I stopped providing daily new climate research posts in social media. However, I still keep an eye on new publications. Below are some new climate related papers February and March 2015. They are not ordered by subject but roughly by publication time. There are 155 papers in the list.

Attributing Observed SST Trends and Sub-Continental Land Warming to Anthropogenic Forcing during 1979-2005

Repeated advance and retreat of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet on the continental shelf during the early Pliocene warm period

Climate change and shrinking salamanders: Alternative mechanisms for changes in plethodontid salamander body size

Sharp rise in hurricane and cyclone count during the last century

Land Carbon Sequestration within the Conterminous United States: Regional- and State-level Analyses

Does decadal climate variation influence wheat and maize production in the southeast USA?

Chances of short-term cooling estimated from a selection of CMIP5-based climate scenarios during 2006-2035 over Canada

Projection of Indian Summer Monsoon Climate in 2041-2060 by Multi-Regional and Global Climate Models

Allocation of global temperature change to consumers

Recent trends and drivers of regional sources and sinks of carbon dioxide (open access)

The leading mode of observed and CMIP5 ENSO-residual sea surface temperatures and associated changes in Indo-Pacific climate

Trait-based analysis of decline in plant species ranges during the 20th century: a regional comparison between the UK and Estonia

Disentangling the effects of land-use change, climate and CO2 on projected future European habitat types

Quantifying global dust devil occurrence from meteorological analyses

Black carbon radiative forcing over the Indian Arctic station, Himadri during the Arctic Summer of 2012

Landscape fragmentation affects responses of avian communities to climate change

The legacy of our CO2 emissions: a clash of scientific facts, politics and ethics

Reef-coral refugia in a rapidly changing ocean

China’s carbon flow: 2008–2012

Internal and external forcing of sea level variability in the Black Sea

Carbon leakage: pollution, trade or politics?

Towards quantifying the increasing role of oceanic heat in sea ice loss in the new Arctic (open access)

Acting locally to mitigate globally: climate action in the Anthropocene (open access)

Recent satellite-based trends of tropospheric nitrogen dioxide over large urban agglomerations worldwide (open access)

Evidence for multidecadal variability in U.S. extreme sea level records

Atmospheric initial conditions and the predictability of the Arctic Oscillation

Analysis of spatial and temporal patterns of net primary production and their climate controls in China from 1982 to 2010

Why is socially-just climate change adaptation in sub-Saharan Africa so challenging? A review of barriers identified from empirical cases

Challenges and adaptations of farming to climate change in the North China Plain

Drought over East Asia: A Review

Climate impact on floods: changes in high flows in Sweden in the past and the future (1911–2100) (open access)

Comparing land surface phenology with leafing and flowering observations from the PlantWatch citizen network

Glacier-surge mechanisms promoted by a hydro-thermodynamic feedback to summer melt (open access)

Forestry professionals’ perceptions of climate change, impacts and adaptation strategies for forests in south-west Germany

Assessment of climate variability and change in semi-arid eastern Kenya

Mid-ocean ridge eruptions as a climate valve

Early deglacial Atlantic overturning decline and its role in atmospheric CO2 rise inferred from carbon isotopes (δ13C) (open access)

Global impacts of surface ozone changes on crop yields and land use

The tilt of mean sea level along the east coast of North America

Rapid disappearance of perennial ice on Canada’s most northern lake

Atmospheric impacts of sea ice decline in CO2 induced global warming (open access)

Multiyear ice replenishment in the canadian arctic archipelago: 1997–2013

Observed and projected Changes in temperature and rainfall in Cambodia

Who cares about climate change reporting in developing countries? The market response to, and corporate accountability for, climate change in Bangladesh

Deconstructing the climate change response of the Northern Hemisphere wintertime storm tracks

Causality relationships between renewable energy, nuclear energy and economic growth in France

Causes of Strengthening and Weakening of ENSO Amplitude under Global Warming in Four CMIP5 Models

Growth of the Maritime Continent and its Possible Contribution to Recurring Ice Ages

The timing of autumn senescence is affected by the time of spring phenology: implications for predictive models

The summer 2012 Greenland heat wave: in situ and remote sensing observations of water vapour isotopic composition during an atmospheric river event

Anthropogenic influence on the changing likelihood of an exceptionally warm summer in Texas, 2011

Climate Forcing of Unprecedented Intense-Hurricane Activity in the Last 2,000 Years (open access)

The impact of atmospheric pCO2 on carbon isotope ratios of the atmosphere and ocean

Early signatures of ozone trend reversal over the Antarctic (open access)

Global trends in extreme precipitation: climate models versus observations (open access)

Recent changes in the global and regional carbon cycle: analysis of first-order diagnostics (open access)

Arctic sea ice thickness loss determined using subsurface, aircraft, and satellite observations (open access)

Higher Laurentide and Greenland ice sheets strengthen the North Atlantic ocean circulation

The influence of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation on Temperature and Precipitation over the Globe

Seasonal distribution and variability of atmospheric freeze/thaw cycles in Norway over the last six decades (1950–2013)

Comment on:”Soon, W., and Legates, D. R., “Solar irradiance modulation of equator-to-pole (Arctic) temperature gradients: Empirical evidence for climate variation on multi-decadal timescales. journal of atmospheric and solar-terrestrial physics 93 (2013) 45–56.”

Response to the comment on: “Soon, W., and Legates, D.R., solar irradiance modulation of equator-to-pole (Arctic) temperature gradients: empirical evidence for climate variation on multi-decadal timescales. journal of Atmospheric and solar-terrestrial physics, 93, (2013) 45-56” by F. Meunier and A. H. Reis

Pacific Sea Surface Temperature and the Winter of 2014

Quantifying atmospheric methane emissions from the Haynesville, Fayetteville, and northeastern Marcellus shale gas production regions (open access)

The Influence of the Indian Ocean Dipole on Antarctic Sea Ice

Arctic Sea Ice Reemergence: The Role of Large-Scale Oceanic and Atmospheric Variability

Land surface temperature retrieval over circumpolar Arctic using SSM/I–SSMIS and MODIS data

Quantitative reconstruction of Holocene temperatures across the Canadian Arctic and Greenland

Global estimates of boreal forest carbon stocks and flux

Projected changes in wildlife habitats in Arctic natural areas of northwest Alaska

The Fate of Amazonian Ecosystems over the Coming Century Arising from Changes in Climate, Atmospheric CO2 and Land-use

Framing, partisan predispositions, and public opinion on climate change

Examining differences in public opinion on climate change between college students in China and the USA

Declining uncertainty in transient climate response as CO2 forcing dominates future climate change

How obliquity cycles powered early Pleistocene global ice-volume variability

Daily minimum and maximum surface air temperatures from geostationary satellite data

Observed anomalous atmospheric patterns in summers of unusual Arctic sea ice melt

Quantifying sources of inter-model diversity in the cloud albedo effect (open access)

Limits to future expansion of surface-melt-enhanced ice flow into the interior of western Greenland

Envisat-derived elevation changes of the Greenland ice sheet, and a comparison with ICESat results in the accumulation area

Accelerated Mass Loss from Greenland Ice Sheet: Links to Atmospheric Circulation in the North Atlantic

Decreased calcification in the Southern Ocean over the satellite record

External influences on modeled and observed cloud trends

Contraction of the Northern Hemisphere, lower tropospheric, wintertime cold pool over the last 66 years

Estimating the anthropogenic sea surface temperature response using pattern scaling

Positive feedback of elevated CO2 on soil respiration in late autumn and winter (open access)

Detection of earlier snowmelt in the Wind River Range, Wyoming, using Landsat imagery, 1972–2013

Estimation of subsurface temperature anomaly in the Indian Ocean during recent global surface warming hiatus from satellite measurements: A support vector machine approach

A correlated shortening of the North and South American monsoon seasons in the past few decades

Too much of a good thing: sea ice extent may have forced emperor penguins into refugia during the last glacial maximum

Removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reduce global warming: a modelling study

Inter-comparison of satellite sensor land surface phenology and ground phenology in Europe

Observing multi-decadal trends in Southern Ocean CO2 uptake: What can we learn from an ocean model?

Difficult decisions: Migration from Small Island Developing States under Climate Change (open access)

Recent changes in the freshwater composition east of Greenland

Contributions of Atmospheric Circulation Variability and Data Coverage Bias to the Warming Hiatus

Attribution of the Recent Winter Sea-Ice Decline over the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean

Chicago’s Heat Island and Climate Change: Bridging the Scales via Dynamical Downscaling

The origin and limits of the near proportionality between climate warming and cumulative CO2 emissions

A link between the hiatus in global warming and North American drought

Standard climate models radiation codes underestimate black carbon radiative forcing (open access)

Variations in global methane sources and sinks during 1910–2010 (open access)

Documentary evidence of historical floods and extreme rainfall events in Sweden 1400–1800 (open access)

Rapid acidification of mode and intermediate waters in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean (open access)

Trends and drivers in global surface ocean pH over the past 3 decades (open access)

Eastern Europe’s forest cover dynamics from 1985 to 2012 quantified from the full Landsat archive

Global and European climate impacts of a slowdown of the AMOC in a high resolution GCM

Decadal changes in tropical cyclone activity over the western North Pacific in the late 1990s

Present and Norse Greenlandic hayfields – Insect assemblages and human impact in southern Greenland

Long-term change of CO2 latitudinal distribution in the upper troposphere

Is climate change implicated in the 2013–2014 California drought? A hydrologic perspective

Spatial Patterns of Global Precipitation Change and Variability during 1901-2010

Human Lives at Risk Due to Eustatic Sea-Level Rise and Extreme Coastal Flooding in the 21st Century

Surface elevation and mass changes of all Swiss glaciers 1980–2010 (open access)

Spatial patterns in glacier characteristics and area changes from 1962 to 2006 in the Kanchenjunga–Sikkim area, eastern Himalaya (open access)

Reviews and Syntheses: Responses of coccolithophores to ocean acidification: a meta-analysis (open access)

Estimation of mass balance of Dongkemadi glaciers with multiple methods based on multi-mission satellite data

Links between media communication and local perceptions of climate change in an indigenous society

Revealing hidden evolutionary capacity to cope with global change

The impact of Arctic warming on the midlatitude jet-stream: Can it? Has it? Will it?

Temperature alone does not explain phenological variation of diverse temperate plants under experimental warming

Predicting a change in the order of spring phenology in temperate forests (open access)

Nighttime lights and population changes in Europe 1992–2012

The time lag between a carbon dioxide emission and maximum warming increases with the size of the emission (open access)

Arctic marine mammal population status, sea ice habitat loss, and conservation recommendations for the 21st century (open access)

Do growing degree days predict phenology across butterfly species?

Predicting long-term carbon sequestration in response to CO2 enrichment: How and why do current ecosystem models differ

Interdecadal change of Eurasian snow, surface temperature and atmospheric circulation in the late 1980s

Climate response to externally mixed black carbon as a function of altitude

Summer-to-winter sea-ice linkage between the Arctic Ocean and the Okhotsk Sea through atmospheric circulation

Rethinking the lower bound on aerosol radiative forcing

Recent California Water Year Precipitation Deficits: A 440-year Perspective

Variability and trends in U.S. cloud cover: ISCCP, PATMOS-x, and CLARA-A1 compared to homogeneity-adjusted weather observations

Changes in the southeast Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, between ~ 1890 and 2010 (open access)

Contending estimates of 2003–2008 glacier mass balance over the Pamir–Karakoram–Himalaya (open access)

North American terrestrial CO2 uptake largely offset by CH4 and N2O emissions: toward a full accounting of the greenhouse gas budget (open access)

Regional atmospheric patterns and the delayed sea-ice freeze-up in the western Arctic

Winter warming as an important co-driver for Betula nana growth in western Greenland during the past century

Managing the nitrogen cycle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from crop production and biofuel expansion

Hasty retreat of glaciers in northern Patagonia from 1985 to 2011

Volume measurements of Mittivakkat Gletscher, southeast Greenland

Quantifying the net contribution of the historical Amazonian deforestation to climate change

An analysis of global aerosol type as retrieved by MISR

Climate radiative feedbacks and adjustments at the Earth’s surface

The impact of geomagnetic spikes on the production rates of cosmogenic 14C and 10Be in the Earth’s atmosphere

North Atlantic stormtrack sensitivity to warming increases with model resolution

Characterizing Arctic Spring Onset

A global data set of the extent of irrigated land from 1900 to 2005

Spatio-Temporal Trend Analysis of Air Temperature in Europe and Western Asia using Data-Coupled Clustering

Bimodality and regime behavior in atmosphere–ocean interactions during the recent climate change

Model structure in observational constraints on transient climate response

The relationship between climate change concern and national wealth

Solar Signals in CMIP-5 Simulations: The Ozone Response

Polarized frames on “climate change” and “global warming” across countries and states: Evidence from Twitter big data

Bridging science and community knowledge? The complicating role of natural variability in perceptions of climate change

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