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June 2010 Archive of Scientific Literature Reviews

The Canadian Arctic is Greening (01 Jun 2010)
It is often claimed that anthropogenic global warming will have widespread adverse effects on ecosystems; and one of the regions claimed to be most fragile in this regard is the Arctic. This study thus utilizes 25 years of satellite data covering the period of most rapid recent warming (1982 to 1996) to evaluate this claim via... Read More
Enhanced Plant Productivity in the Southern US Over the Past Century: A Model Study (01 Jun 2010)
Terrestrial ecosystems provide food, fiber and various amenities for man and nature alike; and climate change is forecast to negatively impact ecosystem productivity with potentially disruptive consequences for both entities. One way to assess these responses is with models, which is done in this study via a... Read More
Reactive Nitrogen in the Biosphere: Too Little or Too Much? (02 Jun 2010)
Earth's land plants grow best when supplied with optimum levels of soil nitrogen; and when this reactive nitrogen (Nr) is present in soils in concentrations that are less than optimal, terrestrial vegetation grows less vigorously and removes less CO2 from the atmosphere. As a result, climate alarmists contend that less-than-optimal soil nitrogen concentrations will sooner... Read More
Snow-Induced Forest Damage in Finland (02 Jun 2010)
Kilpelainen et al. (2010) write that "within Europe's forests, snow-induced damage" -- due to "accumulation of snow load on tree branches" -- "has accounted for a mean annual amount of almost one million cubic meters of damaged wood in managed forests over the period 1950-2000," due primarily to "stem breakage or bending when the soil is frozen," although they say that "trees can also be uprooted if the soil is not frozen." In addition... Read More
The Spreading of the Bluetongue Virus Throughout Europe (02 Jun 2010)
Conte et al. (2009) write that "the midge Culicoides imicola is the principal vector of bluetongue virus (BTV) that causes an infectious disease of domestic and wild ruminants," and that "over the last ten years, BTV has invaded Mediterranean countries and much of Northern Europe," inducing several scientists (and others!) to contend that the BTV vector had expanded its range northward... Read More
Nitrogen Deposition Boosts U.S. Tree Growth (02 Jun 2010)
Thomas et al. (2010) write that "human activities have greatly accelerated emissions of both carbon dioxide and biologically reactive nitrogen to the atmosphere," and that "as nitrogen availability often limits forest productivity, it has long been expected that anthropogenic nitrogen deposition could stimulate carbon sequestration in forests." However, they note... Read More
Aerosol Impacts on Earth's Climate (02 Jun 2010)
arslaw et al. (2010) write that "the natural environment is a major source of atmospheric aerosols, including dust, secondary organic material from terrestrial biogenic emissions, carbonaceous particles from wildfires, and sulphate from marine phytoplankton dimethyl sulphide emissions," and they state that these aerosols "have a significant effect on many components of the Earth system... Read More
The "Little" Medieval Warm Period in Southeast Tibet (02 Jun 2010)
Late 20th-century temperatures have been described by the IPCC as unprecedented over the past one to two millennia, whereas other researchers have contended that the Medieval Warm Period of a thousand or so years ago was equally as warm as, or even warmer than, it has been recently. In doing so, however, both sides of the debate have neglected to focus attention on... Read More
Fighting Climate Change is "for the Birds" (14 Jun 2010)
In a review of "the impacts of climate change on the annual cycles of birds," Carey (2009) writes that "climate change is causing mismatches in food supplies, snow cover and other factors that could severely impact successful migration and reproduction of avian populations unless they are able to adjust to new conditions," and that... Read More
Effects of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment on Cuttlefish Eggs and Embryo Development (14 Jun 2010)
Lacoue-Labarthe et al. placed fertilized eggs of the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) within five-liter plastic bottles filled with filtered and UV sterilized Mediterranean seawater pumped from a depth of 30 meters at a site adjacent to Monaco Bay, after which the eggs were maintained throughout their full development time at controlled conditions of temperature (16 or 19°C) and pH (8.1, 7.85 or 7.6), the latter of which values were... Read More
A 35-Year History of Caribbean Coral Reefs (14 Jun 2010)
In a study designed to determine regional-scale trends in coral cover on Caribbean reefs over the last 35 years in each of seven sub-regions, Schutte et al. "analyzed the spatio-temporal trends of benthic coral reef communities in the Caribbean using quantitative data from 3,777 coral cover surveys of 1,962 reefs from 1971-2006." Results indicated that... Read More
On the Fertilization of Sea Urchin Eggs (14 Jun 2010)
Byrne et al. (2010) note that changes in seawater chemistry -- such as the pH decline that may be caused by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations -- have the potential to negatively impact fertilization kinetics in free-spawning marine invertebrates -- but that ocean warming could do the opposite and... Read More
Effects of Oceanic pH Reductions on Large Benthic Foraminifers (14 Jun 2010)
Kuroyanagi et al. (2009) cultured asexually-produced individuals of Marginopora kudakajimensis -- a large calcifying microorganism that contributes to both organic and inorganic carbon production in coral reefs -- under carefully controlled laboratory conditions for a period of 71 days in glass jars containing approximately 110 ml of filtered natural seawater (control pH of about 8.2) and... Read More
Impacts of Elevated CO2 on Growth and Calcification of Two Species of Oyster Larvae (14 Jun 2010)
n an effort designed to evaluate potential CO2-induced changes in estuarine calcification in the years ahead, larvae of two oyster species -- the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) and the Suminoe oyster (Crassostrea ariakensis) -- were grown for up to 28 days in estuarine water in equilibrium with air of four different CO2 concentrations (280, 380, 560 and 800 ppm), which were chosen to... Read More
Climate Models Are Sensitive to Errors in Initial Conditions (14 Jun 2010)
The ability of atmosphere-ocean General Circulation Models (GCMs) to adequately predict the climatic effects of human alterations of greenhouse gases and other factors cannot be tested directly with respect to a point in time a hundred years in the future. However, it is still possible to ask -- and determine -- whether they can in principle make such predictions... Read More
War and Peace ... and Climate Change (18 Jun 2010)
In a study recently published in Climatic Change, Richard Tol and Sebastian Wagner (2010) write that in "gloomier scenarios of climate change, violent conflict plays a key part," noting that in such visions of the future "war would break out over declining water resources, and millions of refugees would cause mayhem." In this regard, the two researchers state... Read More
Storminess in the Northeast Atlantic (18 Jun 2010)
Based on surface pressure data for the period stretching from January 1874 to January 2008, which were obtained from eleven sites scattered throughout the northeast Atlantic region, Wang et al. (2009) computed -- and analyzed trends... Read More
The Little Medieval Warm Period in the Cariaco Basin (18 Jun 2010)
Working with a sediment core extracted in 1990 from the northeastern slope of the Cariaco Basin (10°45.98'N, 64°46.20'W), Black et al. (2007) derived an 800-year Mg/Ca history of the planktic foraminifer Globigerina bulloides, which they correlated with spring (March-May) sea surface temperatures (SSTs) measured between AD 1870 and 1990, which ultimately... Read More
Corals Recover from Bleaching and Hurricane Damage in Marine Reserves (18 Jun 2010)
Mumby and Harborne (2010) indicate that while the efficacy of no-take marine reserves in promoting biodiversity and fish biomass by reducing local-scale stressors, such as fishing, has been widely documented, there remains a need to determine "whether reserves can also build coral resilience and offset the effects of global climate change that... Read More
Effects of Ocean Water pH on Sperm Motility and the Fertilization Kinetics of Oysters (18 Jun 2010)
Many people are worried that projected increases in the air's CO2 content could lead to what is generally referred to as ocean acidification, characterized by pH declines of 0.3 to 0.4 by the year 2100. Most of this concern derives from theoretical considerations that suggest that a pH decline of this magnitude may greatly impede the calcification process in various shellfish and corals... Read More
Net Primary Productivity at the Duke Forest FACE Facility (18 Jun 2010)
The Duke Forest Free-Air CO2-Enrichment or FACE study is a long-term experiment that was designed to investigate the effects of an extra 200 ppm of atmospheric CO2 on the growth and development of a plantation of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) trees with an understory of various broadleaf species (Liriodendron tulipifera, Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer rubrum, Ulmus alata, Cornus florida) plus various other trees, shrubs and vines... Read More
Local Health Effects of Locally-Emitted Carbon Dioxide (24 Jun 2010)
In a paper published online in Environmental Science & Technology on 10 March 2010, Mark Jacobson of Stanford University's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering suggests that the anthropogenic CO2 emissions that create the localized urban CO2 domes of large metropolitan areas also produce localized increases in surface-level ozone (O3) and fine (2.5µ) particulate matter (PM2.5), and that the localized increases in these pollutants lead to localized increases in premature deaths. Consequently,... Read More
The Medieval Warm Period in Northwest Lithuania (24 Jun 2010)
Stancikaite et al. (2009) carried out interdisciplinary research at the Impiltis hill fort and settlement area of Northwest Lithuania in order "to study the climate and the human impact on the landscape, the development of the settlement and the hill fort, the types of agriculture employed there, and changes in the local economy,"... Read More
Simulating the South American Monsoon System (24 Jun 2010)
Based on real-world data pertaining to the onset, end and total rainfall of the South American Monsoon System (SAMS) -- as characterized by precipitation data for the period 1979-2006, which they derived from the Global Precipitation Climatology Project -- Bombardi and Carvalho (2009) evaluated the ability of ten IPCC global coupled climate models (with distinct physics and resolutions) to simulate real-world SAMS characteristics. So what did they learn?... Read More
Effects of Elevated CO2 and Climate Change on Leaf Spot Disease of Redbud and Sweetgum Trees (24 Jun 2010)
Leaf spot disease, which is characterized by chlorotic to necrotic localized leaf lesions, is caused by the Cercospora (a large genus of ascomycete fungi) that affect, in the words of McElrone et al. (2010), "numerous economically important plant species around the world, including grapes, cereals, soybeans, peanuts, orchids, coffee, alfalfa and potatoes (Sinclair et al., 1987)," as well as... Read More
Acidified Seawater's Effects on Coral Larvae and Polyps (24 Jun 2010)
Suwa et al. (2010) employed controlled infusions of pure CO2 to create mean pH values of 8.03 ± 0.03, 7.64 ± 0.12 and 7.31 ± 0.11 (corresponding to atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 400-475, 905-1660 and 2115-3585 ppm, respectively) in filtered seawater that flowed continuously through three sets of multiple tanks into which they had introduced the gametes of two Acropora coral species... Read More
Coral Reefs, Temperature and CO2: Their Long-Term Interactions (24 Jun 2010)
Climate alarmists contend that global warming and ocean acidification -- both of which phenomena they attribute to anthropogenic CO2 emissions -- will shortly spell the end of earth's coral reefs, unless mankind brings a halt to the use of nearly all fossil fuels, and unless this is done rapidly. In the present study... Read More
Acknowledging Recent Natural Cooling (25 Jun 2010)
In a paper entitled "A strong bout of natural cooling in 2008," which was published in Geophysical Research Letters, Perlwitz et al. (2009) recount some interesting facts about which many climate alarmists would rather the public remained unaware, including the fact that there was, in Perlwitz et al.'s words, "a precipitous drop in North American temperature in 2008... Read More
British Coastal Temperature Anomalies of the Last Millennium (25 Jun 2010)
From a broad sediment shelf at a water depth of 56 meters in the main basin of Loch Sunart -- a fjord on the northwest coast of Scotland (56°40.20'N, 05°52.22'W) -- authors Cage and Austin (2010) extracted several sediment cores from which they developed a continuous record of various physical and chemical properties of the sediment that spanned the last millennium and extended all the way up to AD 2006. Of particular interest... Read More
Global Tropical Storm Days (25 Jun 2010)
Wang et al. (2010) write that "the impact of the rising sea surface temperature (SST) on tropical cyclone (TC) activity is one of the great societal and scientific concerns," and that "with the observed warming of the tropics of around 0.5°C over the past four to five decades, detecting the observed change in the TC activity may shed light on the impact of the global warming on TC activity... Read More
Woody Plant Encroachment and Groundwater Recharge (25 Jun 2010)
In a review of all large FACE studies conducted over the prior 15 years, Ainsworth and Long (2005) reported that the greatest CO2-induced benefits were accrued by trees, which experienced a mean biomass increase of 42% in response to a 300-ppm increase in the atmosphere's CO2 concentration. In comparison, they found... Read More
Tropospheric Ozone Trends Around the World (25 Jun 2010)
Logan et al. (2010) describe and discuss what was revealed at a "Tropospheric Ozone Changes Workshop" held in Boulder, Colorado (USA) on 14-16 October 2009, where they say that "long-term ozone records from regionally representative surface and mountain sites, ozonesondes, and aircraft were reviewed by region... Read More
Ischemic Heart Disease and Recent Climate Change in Canada (25 Jun 2010)
Employing a generalized additive statistical model that blends the properties of generalized linear models with additive models, Bayentin et al. (2010) analyzed the standardized daily hospitalization rates for ischemic heart disease (IHD) and their relationship with climatic conditions up to two weeks prior to the day of admission -- controlling for time trends, day of the season and gender -- in order to determine the short-term effects of climate conditions on the incidence of IHD... Read More
Coccolithophores: Are They Genetically Prepared for Ocean Acidification? (30 Jun 2010)
Writing in the Journal Club section of Nature, Stoll (2009) restates the climate-alarmist mantra that "ocean acidification in response to excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could become a problem for marine organisms, especially those that make skeletons or shells out of calcium carbonate," including "the coccolithophorids -- microscopic algae that are, by volume, the most important shell producers." She, however, has a much more optimistic view... Read More
Solar-Planetary Interactions May Be Major Drivers of Climatic Oscillations on Earth (30 Jun 2010)
It has long been known that glacial episodes are controlled by earth's orbital variations, and that the 11- and 22-year sunspot cycles appear to result from the effects of planetary tidal forces on the sun. This study thus seeks to determine whether other solar-planetary interactions might also be capable of influencing earth's climate... Read More
Global Warming vs. Other Causes of Shifts in Bird Ranges (30 Jun 2010)
Hockey and Midgley (2009) write that "in the influential fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rosenzweig et al. (2007) tested several thousand time-series data sets for changes in species behavior and geographic range consistent with climate change, reaching the conclusion that it is very likely that climate change is driving changes in natural biological systems." However, they say that... Read More
Impacts of Warming on Reproductive Output of a Forest Herb (30 Jun 2010)
De Frenne et al. collected seeds of Anemone nemorosa L. -- a model species for slow-colonizing herbaceous forest plants -- found in populations growing along a 2400-km latitudinal gradient stretching from northern France to northern Sweden during three separate growing seasons (2005, 2006 and 2008), after which they conducted sowing trials in incubators, a greenhouse, and under... Read More
Effects of Increases in Atmospheric CO2 and Nitrogen Deposition on the Productivity of the Terrestrial Biosphere (30 Jun 2010)
"To investigate feedbacks between climate, atmospheric CO2, atmospheric nitrogen deposition and carbon uptake of the land over almost two centuries [1860-2030]," Churkina et al. (2009) say they coupled "an earth system model of intermediate complexity" with "a biogeochemical process model" that they used with a "carbon and nitrogen allocation routine... Read More
Flooding in Switzerland Since 1850 (30 Jun 2010)
Citing the IPCC (2008), Schmocker-Fackel and Naef (2010) say it is expected that global warming will influence earth's precipitation regime, leading to "changes and trends in streamflow," which at one end of the spectrum of possible changes would be expected to lead to more frequent and severe floods, but which at the other end would be expected to lead to more frequent and severe droughts. In this regard... Read More
Two Centuries of Precipitation and Drought Data from Seoul, Korea (30 Jun 2010)
It has been suggested that in response to global warming, both droughts and floods may become more frequent and severe. Hence, it is important to determine if long-term precipitation data from various places throughout the world provide any evidence for this phenomenon, which one would certainly think would be evident... Read More