Friday, June 21, 2013

2012 ISI Impact Factors Released

I'm in Malaga, Spain (above) on a circuitous route to the IPCC Working Group III 4th lead author meeting in Addis Ababa. I just saw that the 2012 Journal Citations Report is out. PLoS ONE's impact factor fell to 3.73 (exactly as a reader recently predicted in the comments on my post from last year). It's five year impact factor for 2012 is 4.244, which is also down a bit from last year.

Also of interest to me is Nature Climate Change, which debuts with an impact factor of 14.472!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Uncertainty in Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions

There is considerable uncertainty about levels of greenhouse gas emissions particularly for those associated with land use change as well as for fugitive emissions associated with oil and gas extraction and coal mining. Estimates of emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels have the least degree of uncertainty, but do vary depending on the data source. In 2007 estimates of emissions from fossil fuel combustion varied by only 2.7% across data sources (Macknick, 2011). Default uncertainty estimates (2 standard deviations) that have been used by the IPCC for emissions coefficients for fossil fuel combustion range from 7.2% for coal use in industry to 1.5% for diesel used in road transport (Olivier et al., 2010). In summary, the uncertainty for fossil fuel based carbon dioxide emissions is ±5% (UNEP, 2012). There is much greater variation in estimates of carbon dioxide emissions from cement production and gas flaring but these are a relatively small fraction of total emissions (Macknick, 2011). Emissions from agriculture and land-use change are much more uncertain (Tubiello et al., 2013). It is estimated that carbon dioxide emissions associated with land use change have an uncertainty of ±50%. However, this means that total anthropogenic CO2 emissions have an uncertainty of only ±10% (UNEP, 2012).

Fugitive emissions of methane in fossil fuel extraction and supply are very uncertain. Between 2-4% of natural gas may be lost globally in transport and US estimates of fugitive methane emissions have an uncertainty of ±40% (Hayhoe et al., 2002). Estimates of N2O emissions are inherently uncertain (Olivier et al., 2010). Estimated uncertainties for global emissions of methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorine based gases are ±25%, ±30%, and ±20% respectively (UNEP, 2012).


Hayhoe, K., H. S. Kheshgi, A. K. Jain, and D. J. Wuebbles (2002) Substitution of natural gas for coal: Climatic effects of utility sector emissions, Climatic Change 54: 107–139.

Maknick, J. (2011) Energy and CO2 emission data uncertainties, Carbon Management 2(2): 189-205.

Olivier, J. et al. (2010) Application of the IPCC uncertainty methods to EDGAR 4.1 global greenhouse gas inventories, 3rd International Workshop on Uncertainty in Greenhouse Gas Inventories, Lviv.

Tubiello, F. N. et al. (2013) The FAOSTAT database of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, Environ. Res. Lett. 8: 015009.

UNEP (2012) The Emissions Gap Report 2012: A UNEP Synthesis Report, United Nations Environment Programme.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Elsevier Journal Finder

A new tool from Elsevier gives you information on suitable journals for your paper, but more importantly average times to first editorial decision and acceptance rates. You just need to type in your paper title and paste your abstract. Times from acceptance to publication online seem to be over-estimated relative to current practice at Elsevier. The finder did pick the correct journal for my most recently published paper, though the alternatives were a bit odd. I would have expected Energy Policy to be the second choice, but it wasn't even on the list.

First International Workshop on Econometric Applications in Climatology: Report

I spent last week in the US and Canada including attending the First International Workshop on Econometric Applications in Climatology. There was a spectrum of presentations on the scepticism dimension. I don't think anyone convinced anyone else but it was all very civilised. There were also both economists and natural scientists, papers on paleo and recent data etc. The papers are available from the conference website. I thought the most interesting presentation was by Shaun Lovejoy. He expanded more in his presentation along the lines of his recent paper "The climate is not what you expect". Christopher Essex's presentation was also very interesting. He presented long-time exposure (6 months - an example above) photos that show that what is visible on that time scale is different than our everyday experience. Cars on roads disappear but cars in parking lots become like quantum mechanical probability peaks. I got some helpful comments on my paper too.