How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Hurricane Statistics of the Atlantic Basin
Landsea, C.N., Pielke, R.A., Jr., Mestas-Nuņez, A.M. and Knaff, J.A.  1999.  Atlantic basin hurricanes: Indices of climatic changes.  Climatic Change 42: 89-129.

What was done
In a major synthesis of Atlantic basin hurricane indices, the authors report long-term variations in tropical cyclone activity for this region (North Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea) and discuss the relevance of their findings in regard to policy issues.

What was learned
Over the period 1944-1996, decreasing trends were found for (1) the total number of hurricanes, (2) the number of intense hurricanes, (3) the annual number of hurricane days, (4) the maximum attained wind speed of all hurricane storms averaged over the course of a year, and (5) the highest wind speed associated with the strongest hurricane recorded in each year.  In addition, the authors report that the total number of Atlantic hurricanes making landfall in the United States has decreased over an extended 1899-1996 time period, and that normalized trends in hurricane damage in the United States between 1925 and 1996 reveal such damage to be decreasing at a rate of 728 million dollars per decade.

What it means
The results of this study add to the growing body of evidence refuting the claim that global warming will result in an increase in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes.  Given the considerable amount of evidence that now exists to the contrary, it is also difficult to understand why "some in the media and in policy positions" continue to portray individual hurricane events as the product of CO2-induced global climate change.

Reviewed 15 October 1999