How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Aerosol Impacts on Earth's Climate
Carslaw, K.S., Boucher, O., Spracklen, D.V., Mann, G.W., Rae, J.G.L., Woodward, S. and Kulmala, M. 2010. A review of natural aerosol interactions and feedbacks within the Earth System. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 10: 1701-1737.

The authors write that "the natural environment is a major source of atmospheric aerosols, including dust, secondary organic material from terrestrial biogenic emissions, carbonaceous particles from wildfires, and sulphate from marine phytoplankton dimethyl sulphide emissions," and they state that these aerosols "have a significant effect on many components of the Earth system, such as the atmospheric radiative balance and photosynthetically available radiation entering the biosphere, the supply of nutrients to the ocean, and the albedo of snow and ice.

What was done
Carslaw et al. "review the impact of these natural systems on atmospheric aerosol based on observations and models, including the potential for long term changes in emissions and feedbacks on climate."

What was learned
The seven scientists report that "the number of drivers of change is very large and the various systems are strongly coupled," noting that "there have therefore been very few studies that integrate the various effects to estimate climate feedback factors." Nevertheless, they say that "available observations and model studies suggest that the regional radiative perturbations are potentially several Watts per square meter due to changes in these natural aerosol emissions in a future climate," which is essentially equivalent to the magnitude of climate forcing projected to result from increases in various greenhouse gases. And, more often than not, the aerosol-induced perturbations are of the opposite sign of those produced by CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases.

What it means
With Carslaw et al. arriving at the ultimate conclusion that "the level of scientific understanding of the climate drivers, interactions and impacts is very low" in this particular realm of pertinent science, we logically wonder how the IPCC and the world's climate alarmists can profess to have the great degree of confidence they attach to the conclusions they reach about the state of earth's climatic future. With so much of significance not included in the models they use to reach their conclusions, it would appear that they are vastly overstating the strength of the case for that for which they lobby, i.e., a complete overhauling of the energetic foundations of modern societies.

Reviewed 2 June 2010