June 2014 Archive of Scientific Literature Reviews

Source:  NIPCC
redwood trees


Old Trees: The Bigger They Are, The More Carbon They Sequester (3 Jun 2014)
New data overturn an old concept, revealing that “rapid growth in giant trees is the global norm” and “it appears to hold regardless of competitive environment”… Read More

Growing More Tasty and Health-Promoting Greenhouse Tomatoes (3 Jun 2014)
Tomato fruit plucked from plants growing in a greenhouse with CO2-enriched air looked better, felt better, smelled better, tasted better and were better for one’s health. What more could one possibly ask? … especially of what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wrong-headedly calls an air pollutant?Read More

The Medieval Warm Period on the Northeastern Tibetan Plateau (3 Jun 2014)
According to the authors of this study, the “statement of the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about the unprecedented nature of the current warming is unjustified”… Read More

War and Peace in China: The Roles of Drought and Sweet Potatoes (3 Jun 2014)
Atmospheric CO2 enrichment not only enhances plant growth and productivity, but it enables them to better tolerate the adverse effects of drought. And these phenomena likely contributed to a weakened ability of drought to foster civil unrest and, in the worst of circumstances, warfare, in historical China… Read More

Birds Evolving Tolerance to Avian Malaria in Hawai’i (4 Jun 2014)
The authors of this new study discovered and documented what they describe as the “emergence of tolerance rather than resistance to avian malaria in a recent rapidly-expanding low-elevation population of Hawai’I ‘Amakihi (Hemignathus virens) on the island of Hawai’i”… Read More

Temperatures Rising in Wheat Fields? There’s a Cultivar for That! (4 Jun 2014)
A two-decade study out of Romania provides a glimpse of the incredible genetic potential of one of man’s most important food crops to cope with one of the most important vagaries of nature… Read More

A Multi-Regional Climate Model Hindcast for Africa (4 Jun 2014)
How well does it represent recent reality? Not very — at least according to the authors of this study who note, among other shortcomings, “the systematic variations in RCM skill may indicate common weaknesses in physics parameterizations used in these models”… Read More

Does Temperature Change Necessarily Imply Stream Flow Change? (10 Jun 2014)
This question is investigated in a study of the U.S. Colorado River Basin… Read More

Amphibians and Reptiles Facing the Challenge of Climate Change (10 Jun 2014)
“Overall, plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change” and could thus “dampen some of the doom and gloom associated with research on biotic responses to climate change”… Read More

The Virtual Water Content of Chinese Crops (10 Jun 2014)
According to the authors of this study, “climate change is likely to benefit food security and help alleviate water scarcity in China”… Read More

5,000 Years of Great Basin Temperatures Derived from Tree Rings (10 Jun 2014)
As has been demonstrated time and time again, by a variety of means employed by a host of different researchers, late 20th-century and early 21st-century temperatures were neither unusual, unnatural nor unprecedentedRead More

Dietary Plasticity as a Strategy for Surviving Changes in Climate (11 Jun 2014)
A new study describes a prime example of the phenomenon… Read More

Twenty-five Climate Models Can’t All Be Wrong … Or Can They? (11 Jun 2014)
A recent major review suggests they can all be wrong … even when they appear to be right, because “areas of substantial agreement among models may not imply more confidence that projections are correct, as common errors or deficiencies in model parameterizations may provide false confidence in the robustness of future projections”… Read More

The Impacts of Elevated CO2 on Potato Biomass and Quality (11 Jun 2014)
For the 96% increase in the air’s CO2 content employed in this study, new potato tuber biomass was 49% greater in the CO2-enriched treatment, both starch and soluble sugar contents were higher in the high-CO2 air, and “elevated CO2 protected the leaves from ozone injury.”… Read More

Marine Phytoplankton Evolving to Cope with Ocean Acidification (17 Jun 2014)
According to the authors of this study, “every indication so far suggests that marine phytoplankton have the potential to evolve in response to global change, both by sorting standing variation in fitness and by using de novo mutation.” And, therefore, they say the likelihood that “large phytoplankton populations can evolve on timescales of years or decades is not surprising”… Read More

Simulations of ENSO by CMIP5 Climate Models (17 Jun 2014)
After literally decades of hundreds of researchers attempting to create a mathematical model capable of reasonably accurately representing the full spectrum of the workings of Earth’s global climate system, there likely is still a long, long road yet to be traveled before a satisfactory mathematical construct will be realized… Read More

Evolution or Phenotypic Plasticity: How to Survive Climate Change (17 Jun 2014)
Both phenomena have been documented to occur in nature. And both seem to do what is needed… Read More

Fish Adjusting to Climate Change by Plastic & Evolutionary Means (17 Jun 2014)
There is “abundant evidence that many traits in fish can respond rapidly to changes in environmentally driven selection pressures and that these traits are strongly plastic”… Read More

Modeling Arctic Sea Ice Albedo Under Summer Conditions (18 Jun 2014)
How well does the community of CMIP5 models perform in this regard? Not very. The authors of this study conclude “the Arctic climate system can thus not correctly be simulated (other than with compensating errors) if the large-scale atmospheric and oceanic circulation determining the input of mass, heat and momentum into the Arctic is not correctly simulated.” And they also remark that “strong tuning of the albedo in order to achieve realistic Arctic ice and climate conditions in 20th century simulations might lead to unrealistic amplification rates in future simulations”… Read More

Responses of Terrestrial Invertebrates to Climate Change (18 Jun 2014)
“Overall, depending on the species, both genetic and plastic responses exist in phenology and other life-history traits,” and it is clear “these traits are changing in response to climate”… Read More

Responses of Freshwater Invertebrates to Climate Change (18 Jun 2014)
“Besides genetic changes, also phenotypic plasticity and evolution of plasticity likely will contribute to observed phenotypic changes under global warming in aquatic invertebrates,” which suggests that freshwater invertebrates should be able to weather whatever challenges (in the form of changes) Earth’s climate may thrust upon them… Read More

The Role of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment in Human Nutrition (24 Jun 2014)
Much publicity is currently being given a paper entitled “Increasing CO2 Threatens Human Nutrition,” which was recently published in the British journal Nature, where a team of 20 scientists reports the results of experiments they conducted at seven different Free-Air CO2 Enrichment or FACE facilities, at the conclusions of which they harvested the edible portions of six major food crops — which they had grown in both ambient and CO2-enriched air, and which they analyzed for their concentrations of Zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe), dietary deficiencies of which are said by them to be “a substantial global public health problem.” But is this really the case?… Read More

An Unanticipated Benefit of Drought in Certain Forests (24 Jun 2014)
Under scenarios of moderate drought, “N2 fixation may alleviate the N constraints resulting from low soil moisture and improve the competitive ability of N2-fixing species, and as a result, supply more new nitrogen to [certain ecosystems]”… Read More

The Recent History and Imminent Future of Global Flooding (24 Jun 2014)
According to the researchers of this study, “although media reports of both floods and global flood damage are on the increase, there is still no … record that shows a global increase in flood frequency or magnitude.” Thus, they write that “blaming climate change for flood losses makes flood losses a global issue that appears to be out of the control of regional or national institutions,” which they indicate is not the case… Read More

Old Growth Forests Still Socking Away Carbon and Nitrogen (24 Jun 2014)
The authors of this study conclude their work “supports earlier studies indicating that the old-growth forest at the Hainich National Park is still accumulating OC in soil.” And they say “it adds to the growing number of studies showing that soils of temperate forests are currently C sinks”… Read More

One Hundred Years of European Forest Stand Dynamics (25 Jun 2014)
Forest stands today “presently grow quicker and accumulate a defined standing volume earlier than a century ago.” They also grow “along modified self-thinning lines and move quicker through such trajectories than in the past.” In fact, certain threshold sizes are reached decades earlier compared with the past, and the level of tree growth rate vs. tree size allometry has “increased significantly”… Read More

Searching for Megadroughts in CMIP5 Climate Models (25 Jun 2014)
Are the odds in the models’ favor that they might find some?… Read More

Future Winter Wheat Yields on the North China Plain (25 Jun 2014)
Are they apt to be enhanced, degraded or little affected by predicted climate change?… Read More