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September 2010 Archive of Scientific Literature Reviews

The Costs of Free Energy (02 Sep 2010)
"It takes energy to produce energy, even when the primary source is energetically cost free, such as solar or wind." So writes Goncalves da Silva, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the State University of Campinas (Brazil) in a recent issue of Energy, where he considers the oft-neglected energy expenditures involved in readying so-called renewable or free energy technologies for the magnitude of deployment that would be required to offset a significant portion of the enormous amount of the world's total energy production that is currently provided by fossil fuels... Read More
The Temperature Sensitivity of Global Biospheric Respiration (02 Sep 2010)
Fourteen authors of an impressive new analysis (Mahecha et al., 2010) write that "the respiratory release of carbon dioxide from the land surface is a major flux in the global carbon cycle," and that "understanding the sensitivity of respiratory processes to temperature is central for quantifying the climate-carbon cycle feedback," which is what they then set out to do. In condensing their explanation... Read More
Greenland Temperatures of the Past Millennium Based on Nitrogen and Argon Isotopic Ratios (02 Sep 2010)
According to Kobashi et al. (2010) "in Greenland, oxygen isotopes of ice (Stuiver et al., 1995) have been extensively used as a temperature proxy, but the data are noisy and do not clearly show multi-centennial trends for the last 1,000 years in contrast to borehole temperature records that show a clear 'Little Ice Age' and 'Medieval Warm Period' (Dahl-Jensen et al., 1998)." However, they note... Read More
The Naturally Oscillating Climate of Northern Norway (02 Sep 2010)
Working with distributions of dinoflagellate cyst assemblages obtained from sediment cores retrieved from Malangen Fjord in northern Norway (69°27.67'N, 18°23.64'E), Rorvik et al. (2009) sought to determine the thermal and hydrologic characteristics of the region over the prior 1500 years... Read More
The Power of Acclimation: How Trees Respond to Warming in Natural Settings (02 Sep 2010)
In discussing "the long-term impacts of atmospheric warming on forest productivity and composition," authors Gunderson et al. (2010) write that "because range boundaries often follow temperature gradients, it is inferred that species differ in temperature sensitivity, such that climatic warming would cause extensive range shifts and local extinctions." But is this really so?... Read More
The Effects of Warming on Alpine Vegetation in the Swiss Alps (02 Sep 2010)
According to Rammig et al. (2010), "alpine shrub- and grasslands are shaped by extreme climatic conditions such as a long-lasting snow cover and a short vegetation period," and they say that "such ecosystems are expected to be highly sensitive to global environmental change." In a unique experiment, which they describe as "the first quantitative and spatially explicit estimates of climate change impacts on future growing season length and... Read More
Mann and Company Still Malign the Medieval Warm Period (03 Sep 2010)
In the 27 November 2009 issue of Science, Michael Mann and eight coauthors describe how they used a global climate proxy network consisting of data derived from ice core, coral, sediment and various other records to reconstruct a Northern Hemispheric surface air temperature history covering the past 1500 years for the purpose of determining the characteristics of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period. And, once again, they have used Mann's "Nature Trick" of "ClimateGate" fame, truncating the... Read More
The Ever-Increasing Productivity of Amazonian Forests: Fact or Artifact? (03 Sep 2010)
Gloor et al. (2009) write that "analysis of earlier tropical plot data has suggested that large-scale changes in forest dynamics are currently occurring in Amazonia (Phillips and Gentry, 1994; Phillips et al., 2004), and that an increase in aboveground biomass has occurred, with increases in mortality tending to lag increases in growth... Read More
The Duke Forest FACE Experiment at the Twelve-Year Point of Its Continuance ... (03 Sep 2010)
Working with loblolly pine stands at the Duke Forest FACE facility, Jackson et al. (2009) describe new belowground data they obtained there, after which they present a synthesis of these and other results obtained over the period running from 1996 through 2008, seeking to determine "which, if any, variables show evidence for a decrease in their response to atmospheric CO2 during that time frame."... Read More
A Century of Water Use Efficiency Information Obtained from Brazilian Conifer Trees (03 Sep 2010)
Authors Silva et al. (2009) describe Araucaria angustifolia as "an indigenous conifer tree restricted to the southern region of South America that plays a key role in the dynamics of regional ecosystems where forest expansion over grasslands has been observed [italics added]." Working with various types of tree-ring data obtained from A. angustifolia trees growing in both forest and grassland sites in southern Brazil... Read More
Holocene Glaciers of the European Alps (03 Sep 2010)
Ivy-Ochs et al. (2009) presented "a summary of the evidence for suggested periods of glacier advance during the final phase of the Alpine Lateglacial and the Holocene," interweaving "data obtained from 10Be surface exposure dating, radiocarbon dating of wood and peat washed out from the presently melting glacier tongues, dendrochronological investigations on wood from the glacerized basins, tree-line studies and archaeological evidence... Read More
Andean Glaciation in South America During the Holocene (03 Sep 2010)
Rodbell et al. (2009) updated "the chronology of Andean glaciation during the Lateglacial and the Holocene from the numerous articles and reviews published over the past three decades," noting that the Andes "offer an unparalleled opportunity to elucidate spatial and temporal patterns of glaciation along a continuous 68-degree meridional transect." Results indicated... Read More
Linear Rate of Sea Level Rise Is Detected, With no Acceleration (03 Sep 2010)
Sea level has been rising for the past 100+ years, as has been demonstrated by numerous real-world measurements. An important open question, however, is whether the rate-of-rise has accelerated in recent decades, since an acceleration is implied by greenhouse theory... Read More
Low-Tech CO2 Enrichment for Greenhouse Vegetable Production (08 Sep 2010)
Noting that the CO2 concentrations in greenhouses may range from 100-250 ppm during the daytime due to their being tightly sealed, which concentrations are suboptimal for growth, Jin et al. (2009) recently proposed "a new strategy of CO2 enrichment," wherein they compost crop residues and animal manures (CRAM) "directly in the greenhouse"... Read More
The Mushroom Corals of Singapore: Global vs. Local Challenges (08 Sep 2010)
Authors Hoeksema and Koh (2009) write that Singapore "is one of the busiest ports of the world and land area is very limited," so that "space needed for industrial activities depending on maritime resources [has been] created at the coast or in the sea, which has caused suspended matter to decrease light penetration in coastal waters. In addition, they note that "besides the creation of landfills and dredging activities for port extensions, the seawater may also become... Read More
Woody Plants Acting as Carbon and Nitrogen Magnets (08 Sep 2010)
According to Springsteen et al. (2010), "woody plant expansion within grassland ecosystems is a worldwide phenomenon, and dramatic vegetation shifts from grassland to savanna/woodlands have occurred over the past 50-100 years in North America," while noting that one of the chief factors that has contributed to this phenomenon is believed by many to have been the concomitant historical increase in the air's carbon dioxide concentration, as suggested in... Read More
Effect of Warming on River Flow Rates: Model Projections vs. Reality (08 Sep 2010)
The Breede River, in the words of Lloyd (2010), "is the largest in South Africa's Western Province, and plays a significant part in the province's economy," but he says "models predict that flows into it could be seriously affected by climate change." More specifically, he reports that Steynor et al. (2009) used "a form of neural network" that was "trained on historical climate data," which were "linked to... Read More
Alpine Glaciers (Especially Those of Scandinavia) (08 Sep 2010)
Nesje (2009) compiled, assessed and evaluated "evidence of Lateglacial and Holocene glacier fluctuations in Scandinavia as deduced from ice-marginal features, marginal moraines, proglacial terrestrial and lacustrine sites, especially new information that has become available since the review paper published by Karlen (1988)."... Read More
Belowground Carbon Storage in a Grassland Community (08 Sep 2010)
Adair et al. (2009) employed mass balance calculations to quantify the effects of biodiversity, atmospheric CO2 concentration and soil nitrogen (N) content on the total amount of C allocated belowground by plants (total belowground C allocation or TBCA), as well as ecosystem C storage, in an eight-year experiment that was part of the BioCON study of a periodically-burned Minnesota grassland... Read More
Global Terrestrial Net Primary Productivity: 2000-2009 and Beyond (09 Sep 2010)
In a study published in Science, Zhao and Running (2010) write that "previous studies have shown that climate constraints were relaxing with increasing temperature and solar radiation, allowing an upward trend in NPP [net primary production] from 1982-1999," but that over the past decade (2000-2009), satellite data "suggest a reduction in the global NPP," which finding has caused some alarm among the climate-alarmist community. But is there much cause for such concern?... Read More
The Climate and Glaciers of Holocene Iceland (09 Sep 2010)
Geirsdottir et al. (2009) compared regional glacier variations based on lake and marine sediment studies to regional climatic proxy series, which allowed them to "identify the climatic factors triggering prominent advances and retreats and to analyze their coherence for several key locations in Iceland during the Holocene"... Read More
Photosynthetic Overcompensation for Nocturnal Respiration Enhancement Due to Nighttime Warming (09 Sep 2010)
In a temperate steppe grassland located in Duolun County, Inner Mongolia, China (42°02'N, 116°17'E, 1324 meters above sea level), Wan et al. (2009) suspended infrared radiators 2.25 meters above the ground over 24 plots divided into four temperature treatments: (1) control, (2) day (06:00-18:00, local time) warming, (3) night (18:00-06:00) warming, and (4) diurnal (24-hour) warming, after which they measured diurnal cycles of net ecosystem gas exchange and daytime ecosystem respiration twice a month over the growing seasons (May-October) of 2006, 2007 and 2008... Read More
Drought on the Northern Great Plains of America (09 Sep 2010)
The United States' Northern Great Plains is an important agricultural region of North America, providing a significant source of grain both locally and internationally. Because of its location, it is also susceptible to extreme droughts that tend to persist longer than in any other region of the country (Karl et al., 1987; Soule, 1992); and because of this fact, it is as good a place as any to look for a manifestation of the climate-alarmist claim (Gore, 2006; Mann and Kump, 2008) that global warming will usher in a period of more frequent and intense drought... Read More
The Medieval and Roman Warm Periods in Southeast Italy (09 Sep 2010)
Working with stalagmite SV1 from Grotta Savi -- a cave located at the southeast margin of the European Alps in Italy (45°37'05" N, 13°53'10" E) -- Frisia et al. (2005) developed a 17,000-year record of speleothem calcite δ18OC data, which they calibrated against "a reconstruction of temperature anomalies in the Alps" that was developed by Luterbacher et al. (2004) for the last quarter of the past millennium... Read More
The Terrestrial Carbon Balance of Africa (09 Sep 2010)
Ciais et al. (2009) modeled the terrestrial carbon balance of Africa over the past century (1901-2002) using a spatially-resolved process-based vegetation model (ORCHIDEE), which is forced by changing climate, human-induced changes in land use, and a parameterization of natural fires... Read More
The Glaciers of Greenland (14 Sep 2010)
In summarizing the existing body of research pertaining to "fluctuations of local glaciers in Greenland (e.g. ice caps and mountain glaciers independent of the Greenland Ice Sheet) during latest Pleistocene and Holocene time," Kelly and Lowell (2009) say that "subsequent to late-glacial or early Holocene time, most local glaciers were smaller than at present or may have disappeared completely during the Holocene Thermal Maximum," which warm period occurred... Read More
Calcifying Coccolithophores off the California Coast (14 Sep 2010)
Authors Grelaud et al. (2009) write that "coccolithophores are unicellular pelagic algae that represent a large part of the world ocean's nannophytoplankton and play a significant role in the carbon cycle as major producers of biogenic calcium carbonate," stating that "the inorganic fossil remains of coccolithophores consist of <20µm calcareous plates called coccoliths," the small size and large abundance of which "make it possible to sample marine sediment cores at mm to sub-mm intervals with ultra-high resolution"... Read More
U.S. Mid-Atlantic Temperate Forest Growth Over the 20th Century (14 Sep 2010)
Pan et al. (2010) examined "how changes in atmospheric composition (CO2, O3 and N deposition), climate and land-use affected carbon dynamics and sequestration in Mid-Atlantic temperate forests during the 20th century," by modifying and applying "a well established process-based ecosystem model with a strong foundation of ecosystem knowledge from experimental studies," which they validated "using the U.S. Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data"... Read More
The Little Ice Age in the Atlantic Warm Pool (14 Sep 2010)
Richey et al. (2009) write that "the Atlantic Warm Pool (AWP), defined by the >28.5°C isotherm, develops annually in the northern Caribbean during early summer (June) and expands into the Gulf of Mexico and western tropical North Atlantic through the late summer (July-October)," and they report that "a number of geochemical proxy records from corals, sclerosponges and foraminifera in the region encompassed by the AWP show a large (2-3°C) cooling during the LIA," citing... Read More
Effects of Predicted Climate Change on Australian Fisheries ... and More! (14 Sep 2010)
According to Brown et al. (2010), "climate change is altering the rate and distribution of primary production in the world's oceans," which in turn "plays a fundamental role in structuring marine food webs (Hunt and McKinnell, 2006; Shurin et al., 2006)," which are "critical to maintaining biodiversity and supporting fishery catches." Hence, they are keen to examine what the future might hold in this regard, noting that... Read More
African Savanna Trees Owe Their Increasing Abundance to Increases in the Air's CO2 Content (15 Sep 2010)
In a 2010 paper published in Austral Ecology, Kgope et al. write that "over the last century, there has been a trend of increasing woody biomass in many savanna regions (Polley et al., 2002; Ward, 2005) [that] is generally attributed to changes in land use practice, particularly grazing and fire use, and to episodes of high or low rainfall," but they say that "the phenomenon may also have been influenced by increasing atmospheric CO2," citing the papers of... Read More
The Case for a Global Medieval Warm Period Grows Ever Stronger (15 Sep 2010)
Of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), Hong et al. (2009) write that "because it is a distinct warm period nearest to the modern warming period and happened before the Industrial Revolution, it naturally becomes a [source of] comparison with modern warming." And in this regard, they add that "a universal concern in academic circles is [1] whether it also existed outside the European region and [2] whether it is a common phenomenon." ... Read More
Coral Responses to Recurring Disturbances on Saint-Leu Reef (15 Sep 2010)
Scopelitis et al. (2009) sought to determine the responses of corals of Saint-Leu Reef on la Reunion (a mountainous volcanic island of the Mascarene Archipelago in the South West Indian Ocean) to major devastating events that had occurred there over the prior 35 years (between 1973 and 2007), including a category 5 cyclone (Firinga, of 29 January 1989) that "caused 99% coral cover loss (Naim et al., 1997)," a severe coral bleaching event in March 2002 that followed... Read More
Shrubs on the Move in Alpine Tundra (15 Sep 2010)
In light of the planet's significant warming over the last few decades of the 20th century, it is only natural to presume that many plants concurrently expanded their ranges in a northwards direction, providing for more overlapping of individual ranges and concomitant increases in local species diversity. One way of documenting this northward expansion of vegetation is what authors Hallinger et al. (2010) call "the long tradition of tree-line research." Now, however, they augment... Read More
Responses of 18 Benthic Marine Calcifiers to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment (15 Sep 2010)
Noting that "there is mounting concern over the impact that future CO2-induced reductions in the CaCO3 saturation state of seawater will have on marine organisms that construct their shells and skeletons from this mineral," Ries et al. (2009) set out to conduct and experiment in which they "reared 18 calcifying species for 60 days in isothermal (25°C) experimental seawaters equilibrated with average [atmospheric] CO2 values of 409, 606, 903 and 2856 ppm, corresponding to modern CO2, and ~2, 3 and 10 times pre-industrial levels (~280 ppm), respectively, and... Read More
Gulf of Mexico Coastal Hurricane Strikes (15 Sep 2010)
Wallace and Anderson (2010) collected a total of 37 sediment cores along eight transects within Laguna Madre, an elongate water body located behind the narrow low-elevation barrier that is Texas, USA's South Padre Island; and based on the vertical distribution and grain size of storm over-wash sediments contained within four of those cores from two transects -- which were most ideally positioned -- they were able to construct a detailed history of intense hurricane strikes from 5300 to 900 years before present (BP)... Read More
Models Warm the Lower Troposphere Too Much: A Fingerprint Test with Updated Data (22 Sep 2010)
Climate models predict a hotspot of atmospheric warming in the tropical troposphere, but a new analysis suggests that real data do not show this hotspot, based on several types of surface and tropospheric data. Read More
Improved Analysis of Grace Data Shows Ice Accumulation in Greenland and Lower Global Ice Loss than Previous Studies (22 Sep 2010)
Estimates of current rates of ice loss for Greenland and Antarctica have been reduced by a factor of two, suggesting that almost none of the sea level rise over the past decade is due to glacial ice loss, which finding is rather odd if you believe the climate alarmist claim that the earth has experienced unprecedentedly warm air temperatures due to global warming over this interval. Read More
The Medieval Warm Period at Lake Silvaplana in Switzerland (22 Sep 2010)
Results of a new temperature reconstruction from Switzerland reveal that there is nothing unprecedented, unusual or unnatural about the level of warmth that has been reached during the Current Warm Period. Read More
Climatic Change Effects on Earth's Biosphere (22 Sep 2010)
A review paper comes to the stunning conclusion that today's 'state-of-the-art' climate models are no better in projecting climate change impacts on agriculture and water resources and unmanaged ecosystems than they were 30 years ago. Read More
No Trend in Climate-Related Disaster Losses (22 Sep 2010)
A central claim of global warming politics is that weather-related damages due to climate change are already visible, but a new meta-analysis of 22 studies from around the world shows that virtually all of the increasing trend in damages over time is due to increased population and wealth, with no indication of any anthropogenic signal. Read More
Shrub Expansion Along a Coastal Soil Chronosequence (23 Sep 2010)
The replacement of grasslands by woody plants and shrubs, a phenomenon driven in part by the modern rise in atmospheric CO2, is increasing ecosystem carbon sequestration and nitrogen storgae in the soil, as evidenced in this study from a coastal Virginia location. As a result, the land is becoming more productive, revealing yet another important benefit of rising atmospheric CO2. Read More
Floods of the Eastern United States (23 Sep 2010)
Climate alarmists contend that global warming will lead to more frequent, more widespread and more serious floods. However, a new examination of 75 years of flood data reveals "there is little indication that human-induced climate change has resulted in increasing flood magnitudes for the eastern United States." Read More
Northern Hemisphere Temperature Reconstruction Clearly Shows the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age (Plus a Whole Lot More) (23 Sep 2010)
A unique study of 30 climate temperature reconstructions reveals that there is no evidence for a human influence on climate during the most recent warm period. To the contrary, all evidence indicated natural oscillations that have brought both warm and cold periods over the past 2000 years. Read More
The North American Summer Arctic Front (23 Sep 2010)
The position of the Arctic front -- a semi-permanent, discontinuous front between the cold Arctic air mass and the intermediate Polar air mass, bounded in the south by the Polar Front -- has been found to be nearly identical in the mean over the past 40 years, which finding does not appear to be in line with the hypothesis of CO2-induced global warming that suggests it should be moving poleward. Read More
The Greening of the Russian Arctic Since 1942 (23 Sep 2010)
A new analysis of the Russain Arctic reveals significant vegetative growth in this region since 1942, providing evidence that modern temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations are benefiting nature here. Read More
Human Mortality in Castile-Leon, Spain (29 Sep 2010)
Cold is a much greater killer of people than heat is almost everywhere in the world. The people of the Castile-Leon region of Spain are much more likely to die from a cardiovascular disease in the extreme cold of winter than in the extreme heat of summer. And the same holds true with respect to dying from respiratory and digestive system diseases. Read More
The Glaciation of Arctic Canada's Baffin Island (29 Sep 2010)
The Little Ice Age was found to have been the coldest period of the current interglacial, which suggests (once again) that 20th-century global warming could not have taken the earth into "uncharted" thermal territory, but only back to something similar to what prevailed prior to the Little Ice Age, like the Medieval Warm Period. Read More
The Peatlands of China's Changbai Mountains (29 Sep 2010)
Have they been giving up their carbon in the face of what climate alarmists claim is unprecedented global warming? Read More
Soil Solarization (29 Sep 2010)
What is it? ... and how is it affected by atmospheric CO2 enrichment? Read More
Effects of Elevated CO2 and Ozone on the Nitrogen Acquisition and Growth of Peanuts (29 Sep 2010)
Contrary to the blatantly false contention of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, CO2 is not a pollutant; it is a pollution fighter that reduces the negative effects of true pollutants, such as ozone, and replaces them with positive effects that are of great worth to man and nature alike, as evidenced by the findings of this reveiw. Read More
Feeding the Future World (29 Sep 2010)
What are the needs? ... and what are our chances of meeting them? Read More
Global Warming and Malaria (30 Sep 2010)
"Non-climatic factors, primarily direct disease control and the indirect effects of a century of urbanization and economic development, although spatially and temporally variable, have exerted a substantially greater influence on the geographic extent and intensity of malaria worldwide during the twentieth century than have climatic factors." Read More
Holocene Glaciers of Western Canada (30 Sep 2010)
What does their history tell us about the nature of 20th century global warming? Read More
The Changing Climate of Canada: Implications for Agriculture (30 Sep 2010)
The "deadly" global warming that brought an end to the debilitating cold of the Little Ice Age and ushered the planet into the Current Warm Period is proving to be a real boon to Canada, as well as to the rest of the world, which may have to depend upon North America's northernmost country to supply a significant portion of the food it will need to support its growing numbers in the years and decades to come. Read More
Methane Uptake by Soils of a Temperate Deciduous Forest (30 Sep 2010)
Global warming will likely result in increasing CH4 uptake rates in this region because of the trend to drier summers and warmer winters. And this response represents a negative feedback that should help to temper predicted increases in CO2-induced global warming. Read More
CO2, Global Warming and Sugarcane: Prospects for the Future (30 Sep 2010)
How does the important C4 plant respond to a CO2-enriched and warmer atmosphere? Read More
How Does Global Warming Impact the El Niño-Southern Oscillation? (30 Sep 2010)
The more we learn, the less we seem to know. Read More