Archive of Scientific Literature Reviews, February 2014

Source: NIPCC Reportglobe in hands

Atmospheric CO2 Helps Oak Trees Recover from Natural Disasters (4 Feb 2014)

Following massive aboveground destruction caused by both fires and hurricanes, atmospheric CO2 enrichment is able to bring scrub-oak ecosystemsback from the brink of death, so to speak, to once again flourish, as the life-giving gas stimulates root production and the acquisition of needed-but-scarce soil nutrients… Read 

Modelling Decadal to Centennial Climate in the Equatorial Pacific (4 Feb 2014)
It might just be too difficult to do with any dependable and/or useful degree of accuracy, as the authors of this paper write their findings “imply that the response of the tropical Pacific to future forcings may be even more uncertain than portrayed by state-of-the-art models because there are potentially important sources of century-scale variability that these models do not simulate.” Such uncertainties must be adequately addressed before model projections can be taken seriously… Read More

Four Decades of “Global Warming” on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii (4 Feb 2014)
The trend in the diurnal temperature range “shows a decline during the past 39 years with a stronger decreasing trend during the recent 25 years.” What might such declines portend for the island’s inhabitants?… Read More

Arctic Copepods Getting Acidified … Under Sea Ice … in the Dark! (4 Feb 2014)
Noting that marine species “living across a range of physicochemical conditions, are likely capable of surviving change,” the findings of this study suggest Arctic copepods will likely survive future ocean acidification conditions… Read More

Including the Stratosphere in Models of Global Climate Change (5 Feb 2014)

When “quantifying uncertainty in past and future climate change predictions, it [is] important to consider the systematic errors introduced by the choices made on how the upper atmosphere is represented in the model”… Read More

Can Migrating Corals Outpace Ocean Warming and Acidification? (5 Feb 2014)
Several lines of evidence suggest that they can. In the words of the authors of this study, “contrary to expectations, the combined impact of ocean surface temperature rise and acidification leads to little, if any, degradation in future habitat suitability across much of the Atlantic and areas currently considered ‘marginal’ for tropical corals, such as the eastern Equatorial Pacific”… Read More

Modelling the Asian Summer Monsoon: Another Revealing Analysis (5 Feb 2014)
There exists a long list of problems in modelling the Asian Summer Monsoon, leaving the scientists who authored this study to state, “given the multitude of physical processes and interactions that influence the monsoon, it is no wonder that simulation and prediction of the monsoon remain grand challenge problems”… Read More

Future Global Water Stress (11 Feb 2014)
better freshwater future is likely in store for humanity in a CO2-enriched world of the future, and that’s a good thing!… Read More

Simulating the South Asian Monsoon: A Revealing Status Update (11 Feb 2014)
In spite of some significant improvements over earlier versions of the three models studied by the authors of this paper, they report “many biases are still present” and the latest versions of the models “still have simulation errors that need further consideration,” revealing the models’ still have much to improve on… Read More

Are Extreme Climatic Events Caused by Extreme Forcing Factors? (11 Feb 2014)
A case study suggests they need not be. According to the authors of this study, “based on the diagnosis of a spectrum of possible outcomes for precipitation over the Great Plains … it is concluded that the extreme Great Plains drought did not require extreme external forcings and could plausibly have arisen from atmospheric noise alone”… Read More

A 1000-Year SST History of the NE Atlantic and Nordic Seas (11 Feb 2014)
As has been found to be the case in so many land-based assessments of the relative warmth of the Medieval and Current Warm Periods, there is nothing unusual, unnatural, or unprecedented about Earth’s current level of warmth … although it could be thought to be somewhat unusual in that, even with the 120-ppm increase in the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration that occurred over the last 1000 years, it is still not as hot now as it was back in the Medieval Warm Period… Read More

Marine Tubeworms in a CO2-Enriched and Warmer World (12 Feb 2014)
Model projections suggest it will be “down the tube” for the unfortunate creatures, but laboratory observations reveal “predicted coastal warming may not hinder H. elegans ability to build normal tubes even in the face of projected near-future decreases in pH or salinity.” And that is great news for yet another species of marine life!… Read More

Marine Life “Goes with the Flow” of Changing Water Properties (12 Feb 2014)
Recent findings from a massive review of the relevant scientific literature reveal Earth’s marine life is well equipped to deal with predicted changes in the global ocean environment, and is, in fact, already doing so… Read More

Ten Millennia of Pacific Ocean Heat Content and Temperature (12 Feb 2014)
In addition to providing further evidence for the greater warmth of the Medieval Warm Period compared to that of the Current Warm Period, the “inferred similarity in temperature anomalies at both hemispheres is consistent with recent evidence from Antarctica, thereby supporting the idea that the middle Holocene Thermal Maximum, Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were global events”… Read More

CO2 Enrichment of a Highly-Prized Chinese Medicinal Herb (18 Feb 2014)
As the air’s CO2 content risea, the abundance of health-promoting adenosine derived from the roots of the Chinese Woad plant should grow right along with it, to the benefit of many people with a number of different health problems… Read More

A Climate Model that Apparently Produces No Realistic Predictions (18 Feb 2014)
So say the authors of a study examining the influence of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation variability on atmospheric circulation… Read More

Is Global Climate Becoming More Variable? (18 Feb 2014)
Many people claim that it is. However, working with global temperature data for the period 1984-2006, the authors of this study demonstrate “the time-evolving standard deviation of globally averaged temperature anomalies has been stable”… Read More

Effects of Ocean Acidification on Juvenile Massive Porites Corals (18 Feb 2014)
The findings of this study “indicate that juvenile massive Porites spp. are resistant to short exposures to OA in situ,” and that “they can increase calcification at low pH and low ?arg if [HCO3] is elevated,” while this latter finding lead the authors to conclude juvenile Porites spp. may actually “be limited by dissolved inorganic carbon under ambient pCO2 condition”… Read More

Relating to the Reliability of Seasonal to Decadal SST Forecasts (19 Feb 2014)
A new study suggests climate modelers still have a way to go … even for short-term forecasts… Read More

A 2500-Year Temperature History of the Northern Tibetan Plateau (19 Feb 2014)
There is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about either the timing or the degree of warming experienced by the northern Tibetan Plateau over the past century or so… Read More

Central Asia Wheat Production in Two Climate Change Scenarios (19 Feb 2014)
The overall simulated impact of climate change on wheat productivity in Central Asia was found in this study to be positive, with the authors stating “a warmer climate explains most of this positive impact” and “CO2 fertilization adds to it”… Read More

Risk of Warming via Methane Release by Permafrost Degradation (25 Feb 2014)
Several researchers have speculated that high-latitude methane emissions, which could potentially represent a strong feedback to the climate system, might increase as climate change warms and melts permafrost. This new study suggests otherwise… Read More

Aging Japanese Cedar Plantations Still Sucking CO2 Out of the Air (25 Feb 2014)
As more CO2 goes into the atmosphere, Japanese cedar plantations keep removing some of it, even as they exceed their initially allotted life span…Read More

Errant CMIP5 Modelling of South American Tropical Precipitation (25 Feb 2014)
In comparing the CMIP5 models with the CMIP3 models, some progress is noted; but there is still a long, long way to go before climate reality is replicated by computers… Read More

Reef-Building Corals Acclimating to Elevated Water Temperatures (25 Feb 2014)
According to the authors of this new study, “there is now a growing body of evidence to support the notion that corals inhabiting more thermally unstable habitats outperform conspecifics from reefs characterized by more stable temperatures when exposed to elevated temperatures”… Read More

Longwave Feedbacks in Climate Models (26 Feb 2014)
Apparently, there exists “no consensus in terms of the sign of the longwave cloud feedback among the GCMs,” at least under the parameters of this study. And such sad state of affairs will likely persist for some time to come, as “more studies are still required to understand how clouds modify global warming, even with regard to the longwave aspect alone,” before progress can be achieved… Read More

Four AR5 Climate Models Attempting to Replicate the AMO (261 Feb 2014)
In their closing remarks about the far-less-than-perfect abilities of the four AR5 models to adequately replicate real-world observations of the AMO, Kavvada et al. almost too graciously state that “without a proper incorporation of low-frequency natural variability in climate simulations, decadal predictability and the accuracy of climate projections under different climate change scenarios remain compromised”… Read More

Plant Responses to Very Low Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations (26 Feb 2014)
A meta-analysis of low CO2 growth experiments reveals the planet’s vegetation suffered greatly back in the CO2-depleted air of glacial times compared to the CO2-enriched air of today… Read More