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Volume 17 Number 38: 17 September 2014
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New Major Report!
Extreme Weather Events: Are they Influenced by Rising Atmospheric CO2?: Multiple climate models project that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will increase the frequency and/or severity of a number of extreme weather events. This projection has been accepted as fact by numerous scientific organizations and government agencies, including the U.S. EPA. Such claims, however, often fail to stand up against appropriate scientific scrutiny. When key principles of scientific inquiry are adequately addressed and followed, the model projections are consistently seen to conflict with real-world observations, indicating it is highly unlikely that increasing temperatures-whether or not they are driven by rising atmospheric CO2-will increase the frequency and/or magnitude of severe weather events. In fact, most evidence to date suggests an opposite effect, where rising temperatures would produce less frequent and less severe extreme weather.

The January 2014 Circumpolar Vortex Over the Contiguous United States: In a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, Ballinger et al. (2014) write that the most recent January "will be remembered for the sensationalized media usage of the term 'polar vortex' that coincided with several polar air outbreaks," which many people attributed to CO2-induced global warming and touted as being a sign of severe climate change. But was the circumpolar vortex over the contiguous United States in January 2014 really so unusual as to merit such attention and attribution?

Subject Index Summary
Water Use Efficiency (Agricultural Species): As the atmosphere's CO2 concentration rises, most plants exhibit increased rates of net photosynthesis and biomass production; and on a per-unit-leaf-area basis, plants exposed to elevated CO2 concentrations are likely to lose less water via transpiration, since they tend to exhibit lower stomatal conductances. Hence, the amount of carbon gained per unit of water lost per unit leaf area - or water-use efficiency - should increase significantly as the air's CO2 content rises; and in this review of the pertinent scientific literature, experimental evidences of this phenomenon are presented for agricultural crops.

Journal Reviews
Modeling the Western Pacific Dynamic Warm Pool Edge: How well do CMIP5 models perform in this regard? Based on 19 model simulations over the period 1950 to 2000, it appears that various aspects of the dynamic warm pool edge or DWPE "remain difficult for coupled models to simulate."

ENSO Asymmetry from CMIP3 to CMIP5 Models: To what extent has its representation been improved, as models have supposedly been improved?

Effects of Minor Coral Bleaching Events on Juvenile Butterflyfishes: According to the researchers who conducted this study, "reef fish communities do appear to exhibit a higher tolerance for bleached coral than initially suspected" and "juvenile coral-feeding fishes are relatively robust to short term effects of bleaching events."

Ecological Impacts of Poleward-Shifting Marine Species: What happens when they encounter other species that don't migrate as fast as they do?

Coccolithophores Can Evolve to Cope With Ocean Acidification: It would appear that adaptive evolution has the potential to mitigate adverse effects of ocean acidification.

A Little-Studied Way by which Corals May Survive Bleaching: Could establishing colonies at deeper-than-usual depths be the answer to their periodic plight?

Plant Growth Database
Our latest result of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature is for Queensland Umbrella Tree (Sheppard and Stanley, 2014).

Report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts: On March 31, 2014 the fifth in a series of scholarly reports produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) was released to the public. This new publication represents an independent, comprehensive, and authoritative report on the current state of climate science. We encourage all to read it.

World Temperatures Database
Back by popular demand and upgraded to allow patrons more choices to plot and view the data, we reintroduce the World Temperatures section of our website. Here, users may plot temperatures for the entire globe or regions of the globe. A newly added feature allows patrons the ability to plot up to six independent datasets on the same graph. Try it today. World Temperatures Database.

Climate Change Reconsidered
The 2011 Interim Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change: We provide a link to this report as a courtesy and encourage all to download and read it. The 2011 Interim Report presents an overview of the research on climate change that has appeared since publication of Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. Research published before 2009 was included if it did not appear in the 2009 report or provides context for the new research. Nearly all of the research summarized here appeared in peer-reviewed science journals.


Seeing is Believing
Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Interglacial Warmth

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