Saturday, December 16, 2017

Paleoclimatological Context and Reference Level of the 2°C and 1.5°C Paris Agreement Long-Term Temperature Limits

Paleoclimatological Context and Reference Level of the 2°C and 1.5°C Paris Agreement Long-Term Temperature Limits. Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt. Front. Earth Sci., December 12 2017.

The Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015 during the COP21 conference stipulates that the increase in the global average temperature is to be kept well below 2°C above “pre-industrial levels” and that efforts are pursued to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above “pre-industrial levels.” In order to further increase public acceptance of these limits it is important to transparently place the target levels and their baselines in a paleoclimatic context of the past 150,000 years (Last Interglacial, LIG) and in particular of the last 10,000 years (Holocene; Present Interglacial, PIG). Intense paleoclimatological research of the past decade has firmed up that pre-industrial temperatures have been highly variable which needs to be reflected in the pre-industrial climate baseline definitions. The currently used reference level 1850–1900 represents the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA). The LIA represents the coldest phase of the last 10,000 years when mean temperatures deviated strongly negatively from the Holocene average and which therefore are hard to justify as a representative pre-industrial baseline. The temperature level reached during the interval 1940–1970 may serve as a better reference level as it appears to roughly correspond to the average pre-industrial temperature of the past two millennia. Placing the climate limits in an enlarged paleoclimatic context will help to demonstrate that the chosen climate targets are valid and represent dangerous extremes of the known natural range of Holocene temperature variability.

Influence of Body Odors and Gender on Perceived Genital Arousal

Influence of Body Odors and Gender on Perceived Genital Arousal. Patrícia Alves-Oliveira et al. Archives of Sexual Behavior,

Abstract: Olfaction is often linked to mating behavior in nonhumans. Additionally, studies in mating behavior have shown that women seem to be more affected by odor cues than men. However, the relationship between odor cues and sexual response—specifically, sexual arousal—has not been studied yet. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the exposure to human body odors (from individuals of the opposite gender) on perceived genital arousal, while these were presented concomitantly to sexually explicit video clips. Eighty university students (40 women) rated their perceived genital arousal (perceived degree of erection/genital lubrication) in response to an audiovisual sexual stimulus, while simultaneously exposed to a body odor from an opposite-gender donor or no odor. Participants also rated each odor sample’s (body odor and no odor) perceived pleasantness, intensity, and familiarity. Findings indicated that odor condition had an effect on women’s (but not men’s) perceived genital arousal, with women showing higher levels of perceived genital arousal in the no odor condition. Also, results showed that women rated body odors as less pleasant than no odor. Notwithstanding, the odor ratings do not seem to explain the association between body odor and perceived genital arousal. The current results support the hypothesis that women, rather than men, are sensitive to odors in the context of sexual response. The findings of this study have relevance for the understanding of human sexuality with respect to chemosensory communication.

Understanding the Relationship Between Facebook, Twitter, and Political Understanding

Siegel, Ruby. 2017. “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Social Media: Understanding the Relationship Between Facebook, Twitter, and Political Understanding”. SocArXiv. December 15.

Abstract: Social media is ubiquitous and holds a significant place in modern society. Social media feeds are inundated with political content and are used by politicians and citizens alike to post political commentary. Neither mass media nor politics are new areas of study in sociology, but the entanglement of the two is proving to be of interest, as some scholarship argues that social media is driving changes in how politics works in the United States. We must consider how the citizenry consumes and processes political information in the modern era in view of the interplay between social media and current events. This study examines how membership and/or regular use of Facebook, and membership and/or regular use of Twitter affects perceived political understanding. I propose that, respectively, Facebook and Twitter use will increase perception of political understanding. Analysis of data from the 2016 General Social Survey reveals that Twitter membership and/or regular use is correlated with political understanding; meaning that those who use Twitter are more likely to believe they have an understanding of the political issues facing our country. The data confirms that the relationship between social media and political understanding must be taken seriously, and warrants deeper exploration. There is a need for future research that explores the kinds of content individuals consume on social media and the time they spend on these sites in order to develop a more robust understanding of exactly how social media use affects political understanding

Other People’s Money: Money’s Perceived Purchasing Power Is Smaller for Others Than for the Self

Evan Polman, Daniel A Effron, Meredith R Thomas; Other People’s Money: Money’s Perceived Purchasing Power Is Smaller for Others Than for the Self, Journal of Consumer Research, , ucx119,

Abstract: Nine studies find that people believe their money has greater purchasing power than the same quantity of others’ money. Using a variety of products from socks to clocks to chocolates, we found that participants thought the same amount of money could buy more when it belonged to themselves versus others—a pattern that extended to undesirable products. Participants also believed their money—in the form of donations, taxes, fines, and fees—would help charities and governments more than others’ money. We tested six mechanisms based on psychological distance, the endowment effect, wishful thinking, better-than-average biases, pain of payment, and beliefs about product preferences. Only a psychological distance mechanism received support. Specifically, we found that the perceived purchasing power of other people’s money decreased logarithmically as others’ psychological distance from the self increased, consistent with psychological distance’s subadditive property. Further supporting a psychological distance mechanism, we found that framing one’s own money as distant (versus near) reduced the self-other difference in perceived purchasing power. Our results suggest that beliefs about the value of money depend on who owns it, and we discuss implications for marketing, management, psychology, and economics.