How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones: Are Any of Their Properties Affected by Regional, Hemispheric or Global Warming?
Balling Jr., R.C. and Cerveny, R.S.  2003.  Analysis of the duration, seasonal timing, and location of North Atlantic tropical cyclones: 1950-2002.  Geophysical Research Letters 30: 10.1029/2003GL018404.

The authors note that "many numerical modeling papers have appeared showing that a warmer world with higher sea surface temperatures and elevated atmospheric moisture levels could increase the frequency, intensity, or duration of future tropical cyclones," but that empirical studies have failed to reveal any such relationships.  They also note that "some scientists have suggested that the buildup of greenhouse gases can ultimately alter other characteristics of tropical cyclones, ranging from timing of the active season to the location of the events," and that these relationships have not been thoroughly studied with historical real-world data.  Hence, they proceed to fill this void by conducting just such a study for tropical storms in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the western North Atlantic Ocean.

What was done
Balling and Cerveny constructed a daily database of tropical storms that occurred within their study area over the period 1950-2002, generating "a variety of parameters dealing with duration, timing, and location of storm season," after which they tested for trends in these characteristics, attempting to explain the observed variances in the variables using regional, hemispheric and global temperatures.

What was learned
The two scientists report they "found no trends related to timing and duration of the hurricane season and geographic position of storms in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and tropical sector of the western North Atlantic Ocean."  Likewise, they say they "could find no significant trends in these variables and generally no association with them and the local ocean, hemispheric, and global temperatures."

What it means
Climate alarmists are continually claiming, on the basis of climate model simulations, that CO2-induced global warming will lead to all sorts of dangerous changes in tropical storm characteristics.  When these claims are rigorously tested with real-world data, however, they are found to be totally without merit.

Reviewed 11 February 2004