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April 2010 Archive of Scientific Literature Reviews

A New Analysis of the Urban Heat Island Effect (21 April 2010)
The urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon, as described by the authors, is "caused by a reduction in latent heat flux and an increase in sensible heat in urban areas as vegetated and evaporating soil surfaces are replaced by relatively impervious low-albedo paving and building materials," which replacement "creates a difference in temperature between urban and surrounding non-urban areas." Most studies of this phenomenon... Read More
The Medieval Warm Period in Greenland (21 April 2010)
Vinther et al. introduce the report of their new study by writing that "during the past 10 years studies of seasonal ice core δ18O records from the Greenland ice sheet have indicated, that in order to gain a firm understanding of the relationships between Greenland δ18O and climatic conditions in the North Atlantic region, it is important to have not only annually resolved, but... Read More
Health Effects of Seasonal Cold in Arctic Regions (21 April 2010)
The authors write that "Arctic populations, especially indigenous people, could be considered as 'vulnerable,' because their health status generally shows disparities when compared to the national or more southern populations," and that "it is not known if the harsh climate, and especially cold temperatures, could be a contributing or causative factor of the observed health inequalities." In an effort to... Read More
Effects of Elevated CO2 on the Productivity of Two CAM Plants (21 April 2010)
Weiss et al. introduce the report of their newest study by writing that the crassulacean acid metabolism or CAM cacti Hylocereus undatus (red pitaya) and Selenicereus megalanthus (yellow pitaya) "are cultivated in a dozen countries around the world and were introduced into and developed in Israel as export fruit crops (Mizrahi et al., 1997)." They say that... Read More
Butterfly Responses to 35 Years of Regional Warming and Land Use Change in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California (21 April 2010)
Forister et al. analyzed 35 years of butterfly presence-absence data that had been collected by a single observer -- at ten sites approximately every two weeks -- along an elevation gradient stretching from sea level to an altitude of 2,775 meters in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California (USA), during which period (1) both maximum and minimum temperatures rose, (2) low-altitude habitat... Read More
Will Global Warming Reduce Crop Yields? (21 April 2010)
In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Schlenker and Roberts (2009) compared U.S. county-level yields of corn, soybeans and cotton for the years 1950-2005 with fine-scale weather datasets that incorporated the entire distribution of temperatures that occurred within each day and across all days of the crops' growing seasons, in order to... Read More
Ocean Acidification: How Bad Can it Get? (28 April 2010)
In a special issue of Oceanography published in December of 2009, Feely et al. review what is supposedly known about the current pH status of the world's oceans, as well as what they say is likely expected by the end of the current century. Getting right to the crux of the matter... Read More
Windstorms of Europe (28 April 2010)
The author writes that "on 18 January 2007, windstorm Kyrill battered Europe with hurricane-force winds killing 47 people and causing 10 billion US$ in damage," and in light of the dire predictions of climate alarmists such as Mann and Kump (2008), many people wonder if such storms -- and even stronger ones -- are a sign of what is to come, especially if the globe begins to warm again. Hence... Read More
The Medieval Warmth of China (28 April 2010)
The authors write that "knowledge of past climate can improve our understanding of natural climate variability and also help address the question of whether modern climate change is unprecedented in a long-term context," which is perhaps the most burning scientific question of our day... Read More
Effects of Way-Above-Average Warming on Tasmanian Reefs (28 April 2010)
Stuart-Smith et al. write that "despite increasing scientific and public concerns [about] the potential impacts of global ocean warming on marine biodiversity, very few empirical data on community-level responses to rising water temperatures are available." In an effort designed to help fill this important data void... Read More
Global Warming-Induced Hybridization in Flying Squirrels (28 April 2010)
Garroway et al. write that "many species have responded to contemporary climate change through shifts in their geographic ranges," and they say that "this could lead to increased sympatry [i.e., partially overlapping ranges] between recently diverged species, likely increasing the potential for hybridization." And they further note that... Read More
Effects of Elevated CO2 on a Chesapeake Bay (USA) Wetland (28 April 2010)
The authors write that "wetlands evapotranspire more water than other ecosystems, including agricultural, forest and grassland ecosystems," but they say that "effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration on wetland evapotranspiration (ET) are largely unknown." To help fill this data void... Read More