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April 2012 Archive of Scientific Literature Reviews

One Hundred Years of Global Temperature Change: 1906-2005 (3 Apr 2012)
How much was anthropogenic-induced and how much was natural? Based on the authors' several findings, the strongest statement they can make on the subject is that "only a marginal anthropogenic contribution cannot be excluded"... Read More
Flavonoid Production in a CO2-Enriched Medicinal Plant (3 Apr 2012)
A daily, two-hour 400-ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration led to a 193% increase in plant leaf biomass, a 264% increase in plant water use efficiency, as well as a 171% increase in leaf total flavonoid content... Read More
Ocean Heat Content Changes Induced by Tropical Cyclones (3 Apr 2012)
New data from the Argo float array suggest that the passage of a tropical cyclone (TC) cools the water beneath it to the extent that it decreases the likelihood of another TC occurring in the same general area as soon as it might have occurred in the absence of the first TC event... Read More
C4 Weeds vs. C3 Crops in a Warmer World: A Finnish Perspective (3 Apr 2012)
Can Amaranthus retroflexus overcome spring barley? Alarmists say "yes", but the results of this scientific study say "no"... Read More
Anthropogenic Inputs of Nitrogen to the Environment (4 Apr 2012)
Should we be worried about them? In a word, no, as increasing levels of nitrogen deposition help alleviate nitrogen limitation. And as a result, this phenomenon has allowed the aerial fertilization effect of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content to significantly stimulate plant growth all over the Earth... Read More
Shrubs, Runoff and Erosion in Arctic Alaska Foothills (4 Apr 2012)
How have the relationships among them changed over the last quarter-century? According to the findings of this study the relationship suggests "a negative feedback" in which the growth of shrubs helps to reduce runoff and soil erosion, thereby "stabilizing soil (including carbon)"... Read More
Effects of Tropical Cyclones on Sea Surface Temperatures (4 Apr 2012)
It's a topsy-turvy world out there, with SSTs impacting TCs, and with TCs impacting SSTs... Read More
Coral Reefs of Northern Tanzania (4 Apr 2012)
How have they fared in the face of increased climatic disturbance and increased fisheries management?... Read More
Evolutionary Response to Environmental Change in Sockeye Salmon (10 Apr 2012)
It is taking place before our very eyes and playing "an important role in protecting species from extinction during ongoing climate change"... Read More
Water-Year Runoff of the Conterminous United States: 1900-2008 (10 Apr 2012)
The authors of this study say that over the past century, "precipitation accounts for almost all of the variability (98%) in mean water-year United States runoff," noting that, in contrast, temperature effects on runoff have been small for most locations in the country, "even during periods when temperatures for most of the United States increased significantly"... Read More
Are Himalayan Glaciers Headed to Hell in a Handbasket? (10 Apr 2012)
The IPCC once tried to convince us they are; but a team of researchers from India suggests otherwise... Read More
The Impact of Warming on the Flowering of Crop and Wild Plants (10 Apr 2012)
According to the author of this study, "whether cultivated or not, species and genotypes that developed tolerance and/or avoidance strategies to temperature stress are, indeed, very interesting genetic reservoirs of potential temperature-tolerance genes," the characterization of which "might increase our understanding of how plants naturally cope with fluctuating environmental conditions," which knowledge should enable us "to design target-oriented conservation strategies and efficient plant breeding programs under the current scenario of global climate change... Read More
Climatic Impacts of Intermittent Tropical Cyclone-Induced Alterations in Sea Surface Temperature (11 Apr 2012)
In the words of the researchers who conducted this study, "simulations with TC-resolving climate models will be necessary to fully understand the role of tropical cyclones in climate," adding in this regard, that "the current generation of GCMs are only slowly approaching this limit and are still unable to reproduce many characteristics of the observed hurricanes, especially of the strongest storms critical for the ocean mixing"... Read More
Sphagnum Mosses: Could They Take the Heat of a Warmer World? (11 Apr 2012)
Two Italian scientists scale the Alps in an attempt to find out, ultimately determining that "heat waves, even stronger than ever recorded, will unlikely bring about die-off of Sphagnum mosses in bog ecosystems unless high temperatures are coupled with drought"... Read More
The Current Warm Period: Anthropogenic-Induced or Natural? (11 Apr 2012)
Using a new technique for identifying the character of natural climatic variations by means of Fourier and wavelet analyses, the results of this paper suggest it is the latter... Read More
Amazonian Plant Extinctions (11 Apr 2012)
The greatest threat to the Amazon's biodiversity is not the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content, but the taking of land from nature to satisfy the biofuel craze... Read More
The Siberian High in a Supposedly Warming World (17 Apr 2012)
It isn't quite doing what global climate models say it's supposed to be doing. After "a pronounced declining trend ... from the late 1960s to the early 1990s," the Siberian High has reversed its course, experiencing "a fast recovery over the last two decades"... Read More
Biodiversity and the Multi-Functionality of Ecosystems (17 Apr 2012)
Many studies have revealed causal linkages between biodiversity and a number of different ecosystem services, which characteristic has come to be known as multifunctionality. However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifuctionality has never before been assessed globally in natural ecosystems; and so the authors of this report begin the effort (and it's a big one) by reporting on what they discovered in a global empirical analysis that relates plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which ecosystems, in their words, "collectively cover 41% of Earth's land surface and support over 38% of the human population"... Read More
Effects of Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions on the Growth and Water Use Efficiency of Western U.S. Ponderosa Pine Trees (17 Apr 2012)
According to authors Soulé and Knapp, "if potential climate changes lead to increasing aridity in the western United States, additional increases in intrinsic water-use efficiency associated with future increases in CO2 might ameliorate growth declines associated with drought conditions"... Read More
Extreme Precipitation Events in Northeast Spain (17 Apr 2012)
After some seven and a half decades of supposedly unprecedented global warming - which climate alarmists typically claim should increase the frequency and severity of extreme weather events - the study of Begueria et al. suggests that their dire forecast has not fared very well throughout northeast Spain in the case of precipitation... Read More
What is the Best Frame of Reference for Evaluating the Biological Consequences of Ocean Acidification? (18 Apr 2012)
Is it the time interval of exposure to a specific degree of acidification? ... or is it the developmental stage of the organism?... Read More
Sea Level Change in the German Bight (18 Apr 2012)
For the time period 1924-2008, "regional mean sea level increased at rates between 1.64 and 1.74 mm/year." And although "present rates of regional mean sea level rise in the German Bight are relatively high," they authors of this study conclude that they "are not unusual in the context of historical changes"... Read More
Same-Age Growth Rates of Currently Old and Young Spruce Trees (18 Apr 2012)
Did young trees of a century ago grow at a different rate than trees of the same age today? Yep, and the results of this paper indicate that the radial, height and volume growth rates of those trees were a lot less than they are today... Read More
The Response of Coastal Marshes to Global Warming (18 Apr 2012)
Model projected rates of sea level rise are a potential detriment, but warmer temperatures and rising atmospheric CO2 are advantageous... Read More
Extreme Rainfall Events Throughout the Himalayas (24 Apr 2012)
Over the period of 1951-2007, it appears there has been no net change... Read More
The Hawaiian Corals of Oahu's Kaneohe Bay (24 Apr 2012)
How are they doing in light of the bay's extremely low aragonite saturation state?... Read More
Whither ENSO? (24 Apr 2012)
The authors of this review article state they "expect the climate system to keep exhibiting large-scale internal variations," while adding that "the ENSO variations we see in decades to come may be different than those seen in recent decades." However, they add that "we are not currently at a state to confidently project what those changes will be"... Read More
Effects of Ocean Acidification on Deep-Sea Corals and Seamount Megabenthos (24 Apr 2012)
How are they doing, down in the deep, where carbonate under-saturation often prevails? Data from a new study clearly suggest, in the words of the researchers, that "a change in carbonate saturation horizons per se as a result of ocean acidification is likely to have only a slight effect on most of the live deep-sea biogenic calcifiers," which is a most reassuring result... Read More
More Intense Precipitation Extremes: Are They Linked to Human Activity? (24 Apr 2012)
Modeling studies generally neglect to adequately consider other processes, including natural variability, in projection future trends in extreme precipitation. Yet close inspection of long-term climatologies reveals large numbers of extreme precipitation events occur primarily due to natural variability, while the role of anthropgenic forcing appears to be a distant secondary influence... Read More
One Hundred and Fifty Years of U.S. Gulf Coast Hydroclimatology (25 Apr 2012)
The first two thirds of the record is that of the past century, while the last third is the climate-model-predicted future to AD 2050. The "historical record shows this region as cooling and getting wetter," where "recent temperatures have mostly not reached the highs of previous decades." As for the future, "the models suggest a warmer Gulf Coast region of about 1.5°C ± 1°C," while "precipitation projections are more uncertain, with conflicting increases and decreases projected by the various models"... Read More
Farmer Response to Projected Climate Change in Northern Norway (25 Apr 2012)
Is the prescribed solution worse than the anticipated problem? Kvalvik et al. conclude that farmers in Northern Norway "are highly adaptive, to both changing growing conditions and changing agricultural policies." However, they say that "changes in policy are currently a greater challenge to farmers than climate change," and that "such changes are therefore a more salient driver of vulnerability," implying that the Norwegian government's presumptive cure for the disease of global warming (which is described in some detail in their paper) is probably no cure at all, and possibly worse than the disease itself... Read More
Transgenerational Plasticity: A Third Way of Adapting to Climate Change (25 Apr 2012)
A new paper revives the old adage of "there's more than one way to skin a cat" when it comes to coping with environmental changes... Read More
Water Fleas and Global Warming (25 Apr 2012)
Will they be able to take the heat predicted for the end of the century? According to the results of this study, they have "the capacity for genetic adjustment to temperature changes within a single growing season"... Read More
Genetic Study Reveals the Polar Bear is Old Enough to Have Survived Several Glacial Cycles (25 Apr 2012)
An analysis of nuclear genes suggests that the polar bear is old enough to have survived through several periods that were warmer than today between the Middle Pleistocene and the early Holocene. Can it not therefore survive global warming in the future -- if there is any?... Read More