How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Great Basin Butterflies
Fleishman, E., Austin, G.T. and Murphy, D.D.  2001.  Biogeography of Great Basin butterflies: revisiting patterns, paradigms, and climate change scenarios.  Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 74: 501-515.

What was done
The authors used comprehensive data on butterfly distributions from six mountain ranges in the U.S. Great Basin to study how butterfly assemblages of that region may respond to IPCC-projected climate change.

What was learned
Whereas prior more simplistic analyses - of the type still used by climate alarmists to gain support for their anti-CO2 campaigns - have routinely predicted the extirpation of great percentages of the butterfly species in the U.S. Great Basin in response to model-predicted increases in air temperature presumed to be driven by past and projected increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, the current study revealed that "few if any species of montane butterflies are likely to be extirpated from the entire Great Basin (i.e., lost from the region as a whole)."

What it means
In discussing their results, the authors note that "during the Middle Holocene, approximately 8000-5000 years ago, temperatures in the Great Basin were several degrees warmer than today."  Thus, they go on say, "we might expect that most of the montane species - including butterflies - that currently inhabit the Great Basin would be able to tolerate the magnitude of climatic warming forecast over the next several centuries."  Hence, it would appear that even if the global warming projections of the IPCC were true - which we sincerely believe they are not - the many predictions of biological extinctions associated with those projections are false.

Reviewed 22 May 2002