How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Assessing Atlantic Hurricane
Damage in the USA

Pielke, R.A., JR. and Landsea, C.N.  1999.  La Niņa, El Niņo, and Atlantic hurricane damages in the United States.  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 80: 2027-2033.

What was done
The authors examined the relationship between Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures and Atlantic hurricane damage in the United States over the period 1925 - 1997 in an effort to determine if Atlantic hurricane damage is influenced by the ENSO phenomenon.

What was learned
Over the period of study, sea surface temperatures fluctuated such that 22 years were classified as El Niņo years, 22 years as La Niņa years, and 29 years as neither El Niņo nor La Niņa years.  Analysis of storm damage revealed La Niņa years experienced twice the dollar amount of damages that El Niņo years experienced (1.6 billion dollars per year for La Niņa conditions as opposed to 800 million dollars per year for El Niņo conditions).  In addition, average hurricane wind speeds during El Niņo years were found to be about 6 meters per second lower than during La Niņa years.

What it means
An oft-made claim of proponents of CO2-induced global warming is that global warming will result in an increase in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes, with a potential to produce super hurricanes.  The results of this analysis, coupled with the results of another review (The El Niņo - Hurricane Connection), refute this claim, suggesting instead that warmer El Niņo years produce fewer and weaker hurricanes than colder La Niņa years.

Reviewed 15 October 1999