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December 2012 Archive of Scientific Literature Reviews

The Trouble with Clouds (4 December 2012)
It's hard to reduce to a set of mathematical equations an entity that can appear out of nowhere and disappear in like manner, as clouds do; but climate modelers have to be able to do it - and do it well - if they are ever going to be able to adequately determine Earth's thermal response to atmospheric CO2 enrichment... Read More
Could the Black Katy Chiton Survive a Period of Rapid Oceanic Warming? (4 December 2012)
Or would it go extinct, as climate alarmists contend will soon be the fate of many of Earth's aquatic and terrestrial life forms?... Read More
Has There Been an Increase in Multi-Day Temperature Variability in Austria in Response to 20th-Century Warming? (4 December 2012)
Is Earth's weather getting more extreme and variable in response to the warming that plucked the planet out of the chilly grip of the Little Ice Age? Climate alarmists claim that it should have been doing so, but Hiebl and Hofstatter conclude that concerns about "an increasing number and strength of temperature extremes in terms of deviations from the mean state in the past decades cannot be maintained"... Read More
The Tripartite Greening of Northern Quebec, Canada: 1986-2010 (4 December 2012)
The province's grasses, shrubs and trees have taken advantage of recent warmth in the region... Read More
The Biofuels Mandate and U.S. Corn Prices (5 December 2012)
There are unintended consequences of mandating corn ethanol usage and some of the future policy decisions the United States may make "could substantially exacerbate the impacts of climate change"... Read More
CO2 Effects on Nitrogen Fixation in Soybeans (5 December 2012)
According to the Chinese researchers who conducted this study, "variation in N2 fixation ability in response to elevated CO2 should be used as a key trait for selecting cultivars for future climate with respect to meeting the higher N demand driven by a carbon-rich atmosphere"... Read More
A 370-Year History of Tropical Cyclones in the Lesser Antilles (5 December 2012)
What does it reveal about the impact - of the so-called (by climate alarmists) unprecedented warming of the Little Ice Age-to-Current Warm Period transition - on the region's yearly number and intensity of tropical depressions, storms and hurricanes?... Read More
Going Back in Time: The (un)Predictability of Climate (5 December 2012)
Revisiting a classic paper by Lorenz (1963), comments can be made about the predictability of climate. In this paper, the behavior of periodic and non-periodic flows was examined using a low order model. This kind of technique uses the simplest representation of key variables in a system. In particular, Lorenz (1963) examines the behavior of convection in a fluid. He demonstrates that the behavior of non-periodic flows can be complex, and that even though the laws of motion are known, predictability is limited... Read More
Climate Change and Winter Wheat Yields in Northern China (11 December 2012)
It would appear that the greater warming of daily minimum temperatures, as compared to daily maximum temperatures, has been a great boon to winter wheat production in Northern China... Read More
Streamflow Trends in Nepal Since the 1960s (11 December 2012)
How have they responded to the concomitant warming of the globe? Apparently (and quite obviously so), however unnatural or unprecedented the global warming of the past few decades may (or may not) have been, it has had next to no impact on the annual amount of water coursing through the many rivers and streams of Nepal... Read More
If Temperatures Rise, Can Earth's Corals Take the Heat? (11 December 2012)
In a word, YES! In the concluding sentence of their paper's abstract, Carilli et al. say their study indicates that "coral reefs in locations with more frequent warm events may be more resilient to future warming," which suggests that taking a little extra heat every once in a while prepares corals to better deal with less frequent but more extreme heat waves when they inevitably do occur... Read More
Coral vs. Algal Competition As Influenced by Human Activity (11 December 2012)
Barrott et al. conclude that their data suggest that "human disruption of the reef ecosystem may lead to a building pattern of competitive disadvantage for corals against encroaching algae, particularly turf algae, potentially initiating a transition towards algal dominance." And this extra pressure on Earth's corals also makes them more susceptible to high-temperature-driven coral bleaching and the potential negative effects of ocean acidification... Read More
Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment and Pine Bark Beetles (12 December 2012)
Does the former phenomenon have any effect on what the latter creatures have for dinner? Yes. Elevated CO2 significantly increased resin flow in treatment trees by a whopping 140%, indicating that, in the future, pine trees "may become increasingly protected from bark beetle attacks in an elevated CO2 climate"... Read More
Carbon Dioxide and Cassava: Feeding the World's Undernourished (12 December 2012)
What can the rising atmospheric CO2 concentration do to help? It would appear that the rise will likely play a major positive role in helping to provide the doubled global food needs of mankind that will prevail at the turn of the century, which is but a mere 38 years from now... Read More
Effects of Global Warming on Precipitation in Guangdong Province, China (12 December 2012)
Has the former phenomenon raised havoc with the latter, as climate alarmists often contend it has? No. Rather than becoming more extreme in the face of 1956-2000 global warming, Liu et al.'s analysis of the pertinent data suggest that precipitation in China's Guangdong Province has become both less extreme and less variable. And the temporal precipitation patterns that do emerge upon proper analysis suggest that the primary player in their determination is the sun... Read More
The Result is Clear: A Weather Forecast Model has Trouble with Clouds (12 December 2012)
A new paper by Ahlgrimm and Forbes (2012) examines the impact of low clouds on surface short wave radiation in a numerical weather prediction model over the Southern Great Plains. They show that the model has a radiation bias in the shortwave down part of the full radiation budget in the region. They find that this is due to the model biases in deep convection, thick midlevel clouds, and low clouds in general. They also find that two particular meteorological situations produce a shortwave down bias. The implication is that the ECMWF would have a net warm bias in these situations. As cloud parameterizations eventually make their way into climate models, this kind of warm bias may contribute at least in part to the warmth of climate scenarios... Read More
Health-Promoting Properties of Three Varieties of Kacip Fatimah (18 December 2012)
With respect to the implications of their several findings, Jaafar et al. say they point to "the possible improvement of [the] health-promoting quality of Malaysian L. pumila under high CO2 enrichment conditions, as atmospheric CO2 enrichment increased the quantity of several phenolic and flavonoid compounds between 100 and 1100 percent!... Read More
A Global Analysis of Historical Tropical Cyclone Landfalls (18 December 2012)
Does it support the climate-alarmist contention that they are increasing in frequency and/or intensity in response to global warming? In a word, NO!... Read More
The Responses of Pinus taeda Seedlings to Elevated CO2 and Temperature at Both Cool and Warm Sites (18 December 2012)
What do they suggest about the trees' ability to survive in a future climate such as that which is envisioned by the world's climate alarmists?... Read More
Effects of Elevated CO2 on Photosynthetic Induction in two Populus Species (18 December 2012)
Tomimatsu and Tang write that their study suggests that "leaf carbon gain would increase under high CO2 environments in response to light fluctuations based on the reduction in photosynthetic induction observed" in their experiment. The implications of such findings are that "the stimulation of photosynthesis under high CO2 and fluctuating light conditions may lead to increases in seedling growth and future survival in the understory," which is a positive outcome for plants struggling to grow in darker conditions in the understory... Read More
Paleofloods of the Mediterranean French Alps (19 December 2012)
Once again, we have another example of climate-alarmist (IPCC) contentions widely missing the mark when it comes to predicting which temperature extreme - hot or cold - produces both more frequent and more intense precipitation events, as well as the flooding that accompanies them... Read More
How Corals Can Overcome Ocean Acidification & Global Warming (19 December 2012)
From a strictly chemical and kinetic perspective, model projections indicate that "ocean acidification combined with rising ocean temperatures should have only minimal effects on coral calcification," which they describe as "a direct outcome" of corals' ability to up-regulate pH at the site of calcification... Read More
Elevated CO2 Helps Barley Cope with Soil Salinity (19 December 2012)
When increasing soil salinity hurts the most, atmospheric CO2 enrichment helps the most... Read More
Sea Surface Temperatures of the Southern Okinawa Trough (25 December 2012)
Were they unusual during the 20th century? No, not during the past two millennia, as this study suggests that modern warming cannot be distinguished from warming induced by "natural processes," which ultimately suggests there is no compelling reason to attribute modern warming to anthropogenic CO2 emissions... Read More
Cyanobacteria of the Subtropical North Atlantic Ocean (25 December 2012)
How do they respond to atmospheric CO2 enrichment? Quoting the team of researchers that conducted the study, their results for Trichodesmium, along with the similar results of several other marine scientists, suggest that "ocean acidification would likely result in a positive feedback on the growth and physiology of natural populations, resulting in a positive change in their role in ocean carbon and nitrogen cycles," which is, of course, great news for the biosphere!... Read More
The Greenland Ice Sheet: What It's Been Doing Lately (25 December 2012)
A new report "challenges predictions about the future response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to increasing global temperatures"... Read More
Ocean Acidification Effects on Two Predator-Prey Relationships (25 December 2012)
In which direction do they shift as acidification occurs: in favor of the predator or its prey? ... or do they shift at all? Results of this study "illustrate that different stress effects on interacting species may not only enhance but also buffer community level effects," further emphasizing that "when stress effects are similar (and weak) on interacting species, biotic interactions may remain unaffected"... Read More
Marine Reserves May Ameliorate the Negative Consequences of Both Local and Global Stressors of Sea Life (26 December 2012)
Is there actually something out there in "we-should-do-it land" that climate alarmists and skeptics can agree upon? It would seem they both would deem it wise to establish more marine reserves throughout the world's oceans, in order to help prevent the deleterious effects of (1) verified local threats and (2) postulated global threats to the well-being of Earth's marine life... Read More
Just How Icy was the Little Ice Age? (26 December 2012)
The question is very important, as the interglacial record cold of the Little Ice Age was the springboard from which modern global warming was launched... Read More
Earth's Land and Water Surfaces: Net Sources or Sinks for CO2? (26 December 2012)
Real-world evidence trumps coupled climate/carbon-cycle models ... and in a really big way, as "although present predictions indicate diminished C uptake by the land and oceans in the coming century, with potentially serious consequences for the global climate, as of 2010 there is no empirical evidence that C uptake has started to diminish on the global scale." In fact, as their results clearly indicate, just the opposite appears to be the case, with global carbon uptake actually doubling over the past half-century... Read More