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Volume 18: January 2015
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Last 15 Postings

Plant Species Shifting Downslope in Response to Climate Warming (26 January 2015)
In the introduction to their report on climate warming effects on Earth's terrestrial plants, the authors of this study write that "in general, documented and projected distribution shifts are toward the poles or higher elevations." But they say that "focusing solely on upward shifts (toward poles and higher elevations) at the distribution limit misses the fact that many species distributions are either not shifting or are shifting downward." Data they acquired throughout western North America help to explain why this enigmatic phenomenon occurs more often than one might expect...

The Evolution of Human Health Responses to Extreme Heat Events (26 January 2015)
A new study analyzes the phenomenon as it applies to Australia, finding that "both deaths and death rates (per unit of population) fluctuate widely but show an overall decrease with time." This is especially true among the eldery, they report, who are supposed to be the most vunerable to extreme heat...

Dengue Virus Infection of Humans Living in a Warmer World (26 January 2015)
New findings "challenge the prevailing view that a future, warmer climate will lead to larger mosquito populations and a definite increase in dengue transmission" for Cairns, Queensland, which has historically experienced the most dengue virus transmission in all of Australia...

Southern Edge of U.S. Sugar Maple Trees Unmoved by Warming (22 January 2015)
Rising temperature and declining precipitation has had no negative impact on sugar maple populations in recent decades, despite model projections to the contrary. Rather, the observed response has been positive, and largely so, as evidenced by increased sugar maple density, dominance and range expansion. To most rational people, these observations represent benefits. To climate alarmists, they are problematic - observational thorns dismissed in favor of apocalyptic projections - to which they will never acknowledge or admit...

Plant Growth Database (22 January 2015)
Our latest result of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature is for Soybean (Bunce, 2014)...

The Future of Sugarcane Production in Southern Brazil (21 January 2015)
According to the results of this study, even with a projected huge future impact of climate change on the water balance across Brazil, the potential and actual yields of sugarcane "may increase substantially as a function of the combination of higher air temperatures, higher CO2 concentration and also better management practices in the future scenarios." By 2090, for example they find that "even with a higher water deficit" the sugarcane yield may increase between 50-80%...

Grass Surviving Drought with a Little Help from Its Fungal Friend (21 January 2015)
In doing so, it is also enabled to greatly expand its range of habitability. Without a proper understanding and incorporation of important biotic interactions, projections of species range reductions, such as those anticipated to occur by the IPCC as a result of future climate change, should be reassessed...

Modeling Cloud Processes and Their Effects on Earth's Climate (20 January 2015)
Properly modeling cloud processes is an important aspect of ongoing efforts to predict the future course of Earth's climate. However, several biases and deficiencies remain in the new-and-improved versions of the Community Atmosphere Models that must be addressed before a realistic representation of future climate can be obtained...

Marine Whelks Expanding Their Ranges Encounter Less Parasites (20 January 2015)
Just off the coast of southern and central California, a pleasant phenomenon is being observed and evaluated. Contrary to the hypothesis that disease will generally increase with warming-induced range shifts, results of this study suggest that species range-margin expansions "may generally be characterized by a release from parasitism" such that "increased infectious disease may not be one of the pervasive impacts of climate change-induced range expansion"...

Problems with Model Predictions of Species Extinctions -- Summary (16 January 2015)
The world's climate alarmists have long claimed that CO2-induced global warming will lead to numerous extinctions of plants and animals that are unable to migrate poleward in latitude or upward in elevation rapidly enough to avoid climate-model-predicted deadly heat. A wealth of real-world evidence, however, reveals how the highly-hyped death-dealing effects of even the way-too-high predicted temperatures may be avoided...

Coupled Model Predictions of East Asian Winter Monsoon Indices (16 January 2015)
Success in only five out of a total of twenty-one separate challenges is a far cry from satisfactory...

Late-Holocene Climate of the Eastern Slope of the Northern Urals (15 January 2015)
The results of this work demonstrate that there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about temperatures around the globe today...

Plant Growth Database (15 January 2015)
Our latest result of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature is for Creeping Bentgrass (Burgess and Huang, 2014)...

Corals Seeking Shelter from the Storm of Acidification & Bleaching (14 January 2015)
Can they find protection in the shade of beachfront mangroves? In a word, yes. This "previously undocumented refuge for corals provides evidence for adaptation of coastal organisms and ecosystem transition due to recent climate change," and that is great news for these valuable marine organisms...

Biases Driving Biases in CMIP5 Models of Earth's Major Monsoons (14 January 2015)
No wonder their projections are so often so far removed from reality...

The Consequences of Nighttime Warming for Winter Wheat Yields (13 January 2015)
A 1.1°C increase in nighttime temperature (1) "extended the duration of grain filling," (2) "promoted the filling rates of the superior and inferior grains," which (3) "resulted in a significant increase in the 1,000-grain weight by 6.3%," that (4 and 5) "significantly increased wheat aboveground biomass and grain yield by 12.3 and 12.0%, respectively"...

Predicting Active-Layer Thicknesses of Permafrost-Affected Soil (13 January 2015)
Results of a new study indicate a "need for better process representations and representation of natural spatial heterogeneity due to local environment (topography, vegetation and soil properties) in Earth system models to generate a realistic variation of regional scale AL thickness, which could reduce the existing uncertainty in predicting permafrost carbon-climate feedbacks"...

Roman and Medieval Warm Periods vs. the Current Warm Period (12 January 2015)
In an eye-opening study published in the Chinese Science Bulletin, Yan et al. (2014) recount how they derived high-resolution sea surface temperature (SST) histories of two 80-year time windows centered at approximately AD 990 and AD 50 within the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and the Roman Warm Period (RWP), respectively, by analyzing the Sr/Ca ratios and δ18O values of Tradacna gigas (giant clam) shells collected from the northern South China Sea...

CMIP5 Models Misinterpreting the North Atlantic Oscillation (12 January 2015)
As bad as it currently is, the problem may well grow even greater if the planet ever begins to warm again...

Antioxidants -- Summary (8 January 2015)
Environmental stresses induced by exposure to pollutants, drought, intense solar radiation and high air or water temperatures generate highly-reactive oxygenated compounds that damage both terrestrial and aquatic plants. Ameliorating these stresses typically involves the production of antioxidant enzymes that scavenge and detoxify the highly-reactive oxygenated compounds. Hence, when stresses are present, concentrations and/or activities of antioxidants in plants are generally observed to be high; and a good question to ask, therefore, is how atmospheric CO2 enrichment impacts this relationship and what the observed results imply...

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