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December 2011 Archive of Scientific Literature Reviews

Global Groundwater Depletion and Global Sea Level Rise (6 December 2011)
The late 20th-/early 21st-century increase in groundwater depletion has likely been responsible for a good deal of the simultaneous increase in the rate of mean global sea level rise over that period... Read More
Real-World Species Range-Shifts in Response to Regional Warming (6 December 2011)
All things considered, it would appear that Earth's various life forms are well equipped to do whatever they need to do to successfully survive the planet's ever-changing climatic conditions, and that some of those things are not necessarily what we might expect... Read More
Extreme Low-Temperature Events During Northeast China's Warm Season (6 December 2011)
With ever fewer extreme minimum temperature events occurring in response to the warmer temperatures of the past few decades, farmers in Northeast China have been able to harvest greater amounts of rice, sorghum, corn, soybeans and other major crops than would otherwise have been possible, thanks to the warming experienced in that particular part of the world... Read More
"Greening" of the Arctic May Not Be Caused by Warming, But by Lemmings (6 December 2011)
The increased growth of grasses and sedges seen along Arctic coasts may be partly due to lemming activity, not sea ice decline offshore... Read More
Biological Productivity in the Coastal Arctic Ocean (6 December 2011)
How is it impacted by rising temperatures?... Read More
What is the Contribution of Fossil Fuels to Feeding Humanity? (7 December 2011)
Calculations in this review suggest that, at a minimum, food production has increased by at least 114%... Read More
Combating Ocean Acidification: The Role of Marine Photosynthesis (7 December 2011)
From macro- to micro-algae, both large marine plants and the tiny phyto-symbionts of corals tend to mitigate against the deleterious effects that CO2-induced declines in oceanic pH and seawater aragonite saturation state have on calcifying marine organisms... Read More
Extreme Weather: Record-breaking Cold Winter of 2009/10 in the Northern Hemisphere (7 December 2011)
What caused it and will it occur again?... Read More
Parasite Infestation of Young Sockeye Salmon in a Warming World (7 December 2011)
The authors of this paper say their data demonstrate that "the complex effects of warming have not summed to generate a measurable change in the infestation rates of juvenile sockeye salmon in the Wood River system." And perhaps they never will; such is life in the real world... Read More
Late Pleistocene Musk Ox Populations Contracted and Expanded Naturally Without Going Extinct (7 December 2011)
Despite a large reduction in geographic range and two pronounced declines in genetic diversity due to natural climate change over the last 60 thousand years, musk ox currently maintain thriving populations across the Arctic... Read More
Recent Reflections on Sea-Level Rise Reflect Poorly on the IPCC (13 December 2011)
It was widely predicted that the expected relative sea-level rise (RSLR), as projected by the IPCC in 1990, would result in an increase in wave energy at the base of coastal cliffs in England and subsequent accelerated cliff recession, but analysis of real-world observations proved otherwise... Read More
Calcification Responses of Reef Foraminifers Harboring Different Algal Symbionts to Ocean Acidification (13 December 2011)
Do the symbionts make a significant difference?... Read More
The Warming of South Korean Cities: 1954-2008 (13 December 2011)
The mean total warming of a 12-city conglomerate over this period was 1.37°C, of which 0.77°C was due to the concomitant growth of urban heat islands, while the remaining 0.60°C was due to other factors... Read More
CO2 Emissions and Woody-Plant Range Expansions (13 December 2011)
As the air's CO2 content continues to rise, so too do earth's woody plants continue to expand their ranges into former prairies and grasslands... Read More
The Medieval Warm Period in the Karakorum Mountains of Northern Pakistan (13 December 2011)
The end result of the six scientists who conducted this analysis was that "the 1990s are substantially below MWP [Medieval Warm Period] temperatures"... Read More
The Benefits of Breeding Crops that Produce Deep Roots (14 December 2011)
In a "Viewpoint" article published in the Annals of Botany, Douglas Kell -- who holds joint appointments at the University of Manchester's School of Chemistry and its Interdisciplinary Biocentre, as well as the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council -- discusses the many benefits to be reaped from the breeding of crops that produce deeper and more "bushy" root systems than they do currently. But what does the subject have to do with CO2?... Read More
'Lost' Caribou Herd Not Global Warming Victim: It Simply Moved (14 December 2011)
The Beverly caribou herd of Nunavut (Canada), feared lost in 2009 due in part to effects of global warming, had simply switched to using a different calving ground... Read More
Climate Model Failures in the Southeast Pacific Ocean (14 December 2011)
With yet-unresolved problems identified in this study that are associated with nearly all of the CGCMs employed in the preparation of the IPCC's AR4 Report, and that pertain to processes that are said to have important impacts on Earth's climate sensitivity, it is no wonder that the projections of those models are greeted with a solid dose of skepticism... Read More
The Medieval Warm Period in Southern South America (14 December 2011)
The findings of this new paper go a long ways towards demonstrating that: (1) the Medieval Warm Period was a global phenomenon that was comprised of even warmer intervals than the warmest portion of the Current Warm Period, and that (2) the greater warmth of the Medieval Warm Period occurred when there was far less CO2 in the air than there is nowadays, which facts clearly demonstrate that the planet's current -- but not unprecedented -- degree of warmth need not be CO2-induced... Read More
Pollen and Hay Fever in Switzerland (14 December 2011)
Although many people have claimed that rising temperatures and CO2 concentrations lead to more pollen and more hay fever, the analysis of Frei suggests that such is not the case in Switzerland... Read More
Tropical Cyclones: Their Future and Our Fate (20 December 2011)
The "presence of a possible climate change signal in tropical cyclone activity is difficult to detect because inter-annual variability necessitates analysis over longer time periods than available data allow." Furthermore, "projections of future tropical cyclone activity are hindered by computational limitations and uncertainties about changes in regional climate, large-scale patterns, and tropical cyclone response"... Read More
Ecological Effects of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment (20 December 2011)
According to the author of this paper "it is the responsibility of ecologists to design experiments that explicitly test how gradual climate change will affect future systems, or else risk making unrealistic and misleading conclusions"... Read More
Larch Budmoth Outbreaks in the European Alps (20 December 2011)
The suppression of larch budmoth outbreaks throughout the European Alps over the past quarter-century may well have been the result of some synergistic consequence of high regional temperatures and global CO2 concentrations acting in unison, while a third possibility may involve only the increase in the air's CO2 content... Read More
Coral Species Richness a Full Decade After Two Bleaching Events (20 December 2011)
Results of this analysis suggest that the reef ecosystem studied by the authors was "able to absorb the thermal stressors without undergoing change to a less desirable state"... Read More
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO): A Climate Model Increases its "Mojo" (20 December 2011)
A paper by Subramanian et al. (2011) demonstrates that the NCAR CCSM4 model does a better job of representing the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) than previous models. The MJO is partly a convectively driven phenomenon that impacts on the larger-scale general circulation features of the planet. The utilization of an improved convective scheme was fond to be the key for this model in capturing the MJO... Read More
Dying From Heat Waves and Cold Spells in the Czech Republic (21 December 2011)
Four Czech scientists find that "both hot and cold spells are associated with significant excess cardiovascular mortality," but they say that "the effects of hot spells are more direct (unlagged) and typically concentrated in a few days of a hot spell, while cold spells are associated with indirect (lagged) mortality impacts persisting after a cold spell ends." And although they report that "the mortality peak is less pronounced for cold spells," they determined that "the cumulative magnitude of excess mortality is larger for cold than hot spells"... Read More
Trying to Understand Interactions Among Isoprene, Ozone and Methane within the Context of Rising Air Temperatures and CO2 Concentrations (21 December 2011)
The more the problem is studied, the more difficult its solution appears to become... Read More
Climate Change and Large-Scale Human Crises (21 December 2011)
It can well be concluded from the several centuries of European and Northern Hemispheric data that warming and warmth beget human wellness, while cooling and cold produce human misery... Read More
Litter Decomposition in Grasslands (21 December 2011)
Global warming has been claimed by some to increase rates of plant litter decomposition, which is postulated to return more CO2 to the air at increasingly faster rates and thereby augment global warming in a disconcerting positive feedback cycle. The results of this study suggest otherwise... Read More
Photosynthetic Down Regulation of Young Hybrid Larch Trees in Nitrogen Poor and Rich Soil (21 December 2011)
In the words of the Japanese researchers who conducted this study, their results "suggest that elevated CO2 may increase the growth of hybrid larch F1 even under low nutrient availability," such that "the growth of hybrid larch F1 may be stimulated under future elevated CO2," irrespective of soil nutrient conditions... Read More
Glaciers of the Karakoram Himalaya (27 December 2011)
Karakoram glaciers have only declined by 5% or so since the early 20th century, but "since the late 1990s we have reports of glaciers stabilizing and, in the high Karakoram, advancing," while "total snow cover has [also] been increasing in the high Karakoram... Read More
The Swimming Performance of Atlantic Cod (27 December 2011)
Results indicate they are well equipped to cope with prospected scenarios of global climate change, even those far beyond what could likely be produced by the burning of all fossil fuels in the crust of the Earth... Read More
The Ice Load of Jan Mayan Island (27 December 2011)
Over the 59-year period 1949-2008, the ice volume in the southern part of Jan Mayen Island increased, although the increase was not statistically significant... Read More
Heat- and Cold-Induced Deaths in Copenhagen, Denmark (27 December 2011)
Whereas climate alarmists continue to emphasize the primarily negative impact of summer heat waves on human death rates in low- and mid-latitude regions of the Earth, essentially neglecting to report what happens there during winter cold spells, Wichmann et al.'s summer results tell a dramatically different story that is likely typical of higher latitudes... Read More
Within-Species Genetic Differences in Quaking Aspen and Their Responses to Elevated CO2 (27 December 2011)
Earth's plants appear to be genetically programmed to respond positively to atmospheric CO2 enrichment, which suggests that the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content is something they are innately well prepared to use to their advantage... Read More
Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst (28 December 2011)
Some thoughts on humanity and nature surviving what may or may not occur in Earth's climatic future... Read More
Effects of Global Warming, Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment and Technological Innovations on Bean and Maize Yields in Brazil (28 December 2011)
Human ingenuity -- aided by just one of the many positive biological effects of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content -- would appear to be capable of enabling the agricultural enterprise to continue to meet the world's food needs, even in the face of the unrealistically high temperature increases predicted by the IPCC to occur over the next several decades... Read More
Atlantic Warm Pool Influences on U.S. Land-Falling Hurricanes (28 December 2011)
Although several studies have indicated that Atlantic Ocean hurricanes of the past few decades have been no more numerous than they were in prior cooler periods, the present study suggests that when extra warmth does appear to enhance their numbers, they seem to be preferentially steered away from the coastal regions of the United States, sparing the country much of the extra damage they might otherwise cause... Read More
Effects of Possible Warming-Induced Increases in Freeze-Thaw Cycles on Soil Microbes (28 December 2011)
Contrary to several prior suppositions, Haei et al. conclude that the higher frequency of freeze-thaw events predicted to follow global warming -- if global warming ever kicks in and begins raising temperatures again, and if the predicted increase in freeze-thaw cycling ever occurs -- "will likely have a limited impact on soil microorganisms" and, therefore, the various ecosystem services they provide, which fortunately does not sound like a very threatening scenario... Read More
"High-Performance" Algal Symbionts of Corals (28 December 2011)
It pays for new coral hosts to carefully choose -- and as quickly as possible -- the algal endosymbionts to whom they will rent their living quarters... Read More