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September 2011 Archive of Scientific Literature Reviews

Here Comes the Sun ... Again! (6 September 2011)
So what does the newest of many long-term reconstructions of solar irradiance suggest?... Read More
The Global Land Carbon Sink (6 September 2011)
Two U.S. researchers report that the results of their analyses indicate that the global land carbon sink is intensifying, and that it is doing so at a rate of 0.057 PgC/year/year, resulting in 1.65 PgC of additional uptake over the period examined (1980-2008)... Read More
Atmospheric Models: Keeping It Simple (6 September 2011)
When using global climate models to generate or examine future climates, modelers like to use the most recent and complex models. But even the best models have well-known problems which have been highlighted on this website before. Occasionally, this complexity can produce seemingly contradictory results, which then leads to incorrect conclusions. Thus, when using a numerical model to learn how our atmosphere works, Occam's Razor (keep it simple!) is a useful guide... Read More
Historical Land Cover Changes in Australia (6 September 2011)
The six scientists authoring this study conclude that (1) "the conversion of native vegetation to crops and pastures has resulted in an increased fraction of available energy at the land surface used for sensible heating, which has contributed to higher average surface temperatures and more hot days," and that (2) "the increased number of hot days has contributed to a drier lower atmosphere, resulting in a decrease in regional rainfall and evapotranspiration"... Read More
Mitigating Soil Salinity Stress by Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment (6 September 2011)
The authors of this paper explore the possibility that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations might mitigate salinity stress in sesbania, enabling rotation cover-crops to more effectively "fix" atmospheric nitrogen and deposit the plant-usable form of it in the soil, where it can help promote the growth of such important agricultural staples as wheat and rice... Read More
The Medieval Climate Anomaly (7 September 2011)
This study suggests a scenario by which Europe may have experienced significantly elevated warmth a thousand years ago, while recognizing the fact that the rest of the globe also likely existed in a significantly altered climatic state at that time... Read More
The Potential and Problems of Large-Scale Bioenergy Production (7 September 2011)
Researchers find that "if energy crops are not restricted to abandoned and surplus agricultural land, the spatial expansion of agricultural activities could affect a large number of natural ecosystems, many of which already are under significant pressure from habitat loss and fragmentation"... Read More
Coastal Dunes Reflect Past Climate Along the Southern Baltic Sea (7 September 2011)
Foredune instability is "related to aeolian sand mobilisation within phases of a decreased plant cover caused by colder and stormier conditions." And numerous sets of dune-derived data reveal the millennial-scale climate oscillation that has sequentially brought the world the Roman Warm Period, the Dark Ages Cold Period, the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the Current Warm Period naturally... Read More
Tropical Storms in the North Atlantic: Projections and Observations (7 September 2011)
Model projections suggest they will increase in number, observations suggest they have not... Read More
CO2 vs. UV Radiation: Effects on Yield Components of Canola (7 September 2011)
Three Iranian researchers learn that "an increase in UV exposure deceases plant growth and development," but that "elevated CO2 ameliorate(s) the adverse effects of UV radiation in the final yield, seed weight, oil percentage, oil yield, plant height, specific leaf area and number of branches per plant," leaving the authors to conclude that an increase in the atmosphere's CO2 concentration "could improve yield, yield components and growth parameters for plants subjected to elevated levels of UV radiation"... Read More
Global Tropical Cyclone Activity (13 September 2011)
The latest study reveals it has reached "a historical low"... Read More
The World's Seagrass Species: On the Road to Potential Extinction? (13 September 2011)
If localized impacts of human activity could somehow be dramatically reduced, there would likely be a dramatic improvement in the ability of seagrasses to withstand the threats of anthropogenic-induced global warming and ocean acidification... Read More
Drought in China Since 1950 (13 September 2011)
How has it varied? ... and what does it suggest about the future?... Read More
That's One Tough Protist! (13 September 2011)
It can tolerate exposure to CO2 concentrations beyond the wildest imaginations of the world's climate alarmists and still come bounding back... Read More
Historical Increases in the Water Use Efficiency of Ponderosa Pines (13 September 2011)
Significant improvements in radial growth rates during drought years demonstrate the beneficial impact of the air's rising CO2 content on tree water use... Read More
Non-CO2-Induced Acidification of Near-Shore Ocean Waters (14 September 2011)
What are the local causes?... what are the local fixes? ... and what are the local consequences?... Read More
Wind-Caused Catastrophes in the United States (14 September 2011)
There has been no upward or downward trend in the annual data of wind-caused catastrophes over the past half-century... Read More
Keeping Up With Climate Change (14 September 2011)
It is possible for animals to migrate fast enough to stay within their "comfort zones" in a rapidly warming world... Read More
Oil-Palm Biofuel Plantations: Doubly Bad for the Biosphere (14 September 2011)
Eleven researchers hailing from seven different nations conclude that "as countries strive to meet obligations to reduce carbon emissions under one international agreement (Kyoto Protocol), they may not only fail to meet their obligations under another (Convention on Biological Diversity) but may actually hasten global climate change" if they replace tropical forests or peatlands with oil-palm plantations... Read More
Foliar Isoprene Emissions: Now and in the Future (14 September 2011)
"The large increases in future isoprene emissions typically predicted in models, which are due to a projected warmer climate, are entirely offset [italics added] by including the CO2 effects"... Read More
Are Models Overly Sensitive to Climate Change? (20 September 2011)
A recent paper by Spencer and Braswell (2011) demonstrates that climate models have difficulty representing the radiative feedback processes which occur naturally within a system as a response to changes temperature. The authors show that climate models are more sensitive than the observed climate to temperature change forcing processes. This implies that climate models would show a greater response to processes causing the climate to warm, and would thus overestimate the potential temperature increase... Read More
Late 20th and Early 21st Century Storminess of the Perth, Australia Region (20 September 2011)
As the earth experienced what the IPCC has characterized as unprecedented warming over the past two decades, Perth has not experienced an increase in storm trends. The results of this study thus lean toward invalidating the hypothesis of a CO2-induced influence... Read More
Surviving the Warmth of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (20 September 2011)
It appears that Earth's plants and animals, both on land and in the sea, may be much better equipped to deal with the environmental changes that climate alarmists claim are occurring in response to anthropogenic CO2 emissions than what many students of the subject have long believed to be possible... Read More
A Review of Global Warming and Malaria (20 September 2011)
According to the author, "future changes in climate may alter the prevalence and incidence of the disease, but obsessive emphasis on 'global warming' as a dominant parameter is indefensible; the principal determinants are linked to ecological and societal change, politics and economics"... Read More
The Little Ice Age in East Antarctica (20 September 2011)
Another study adds to the growing evidence for the global extent of this extremely cold interval of the current interglacial period, and to some important implications about what it implies about 20th-century global warming... Read More
Assessing Model Performance: Are All Models Created Equal? (21 September 2011)
Many studies demonstrate the capability of a particular model or set of models in replicating a particular phenomenon in the climate system. Occasionally, a paper is published that examines model performances or skill. A recent study by Johnson et al. (2011) examines the skill of models in capturing the large-scale climate for three variables on several time scales. Given the recent proliferation of climate change impact studies, the question could be asked, "are all models created equal?" See which model(s) come out on top... Read More
Recent Declines in Northern Rocky Mountain Snow and Runoff (21 September 2011)
How unusual have they been?... Read More
A 2300-Year History of the South American Summer Monsoon (21 September 2011)
Yet more evidence points to the likelihood that the Medieval Warm Period of a thousand or so years ago was equally as warm as, or maybe even a little warmer than, the Current Warm Period has been to date... Read More
Soil as a Sink for Nitrous Oxide? (21 September 2011)
How can that be? ... especially when the IPCC says that soil is the main source of the potent greenhouse gas. What's going on here?... Read More
Impacts of Climate Change on Pacific Northwest Conifers (21 September 2011)
Contrary to what many enamored with the "climate envelope" approach to predicting range responses to climate change have long contended, Ettinger et al. conclude that "the lack of climatic constraints on all range limits suggests that range shifts in a time of climate change will be difficult to accurately predict, particularly in closed-canopy forests where biotic interactions may be important range determinants"... Read More
Urban Warming vs. Global Warming in East China (27 September 2011)
The former could well outstrip the latter... Read More
Aerosol Properties of the Global Atmosphere As Input Data to Climate Models (27 September 2011)
Current knowledge of the global distribution of the aerosol optical thickness and, especially, aerosol microphysical characteristics "remains unsatisfactory"... Read More
Is Western North America's Water Supply Imperiled by the Mere Maintenance of Earth's Current Climate? (27 September 2011)
That could very well be the case... Read More
Impacts of Rising Atmospheric CO2 on the Serpent Starfish (27 September 2011)
Ocean warming and acidification failed to negatively impact the physiological parameters measured in a recent comprehensive experiment... Read More
Amazon Forest Dynamics (27 September 2011)
The increasing forest dynamics, growth and basal area observed in this study "are broadly consistent with the CO2 fertilization hypothesis"... Read More
The Primary Effect of Past Increases in the Air's CO2 Content on Two Amazon Tree Species (28 September 2011)
It's real and it's big... Read More
Methane: Can It Be Produced by Plants? (28 September 2011)
The question has been pretty much settled: it can't. But plants can help to move it around... Read More
New Streamflow Records of Upper Colorado River Tributaries (28 September 2011)
Claims of recent extreme drought in the Upper Colorado River Basin as being either unusual, unnatural or unprecedented -- and, therefore, human-induced -- just doesn't hold water... Read More
The Rooting of Woody Plant Cuttings (28 September 2011)
Elevated atmospheric CO2 was effective for the survival and rooting of the majority of the cutting branches "because of its promoting photosynthetic activity in plants and possible synthesis of root promoting factors"... Read More
The History of Malaria in Finland (28 September 2011)
The two authors of this study report that "malaria was a common endemic disease in Finland in the 18th and 19th centuries and prevalent in the whole country," and they say that "mortality during malaria epidemics usually varied between 0.85 and 3%." Thereafter, however, they found that "malaria declined slowly in Finland without any deliberate counter-measures," such that "the last epidemic in Helsinki occurred in 1902" and "during the 1930s malaria was close to extinction." Over the entire period, in fact, they report that "malaria frequency decreased from about 20,000-50,000 per 1,000,000 people to less than 1 per 1,000,000 people"... Read More