Global Warming Produces Smarter Young Lizards

Published October 24, 2012

Two Australian researchers report that “hot-incubated lizards achieved higher learning scores than did cold-incubated lizards,” and that “the number of errors they made decreased more from the first to the second half of the trials than was the case for cold-incubated lizards”… Read More

How Earth’s Coral Reefs Respond to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment (23 October 2012)
A new study along the length of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef provides some important insights, leading the authors to conclude that “the flexibility in community composition that we document along latitudinal environmental gradients indicates that climate change is likely to result in a re-assortment of coral reef taxa rather than wholesale loss of entire reef ecosystems” … Read More

2000 Years of Extra-Tropical Northern Hemispheric Temperatures (23 October 2012)
This newest work of Christiansen and Ljungqvist adds significantly to the growing body of real-world evidence that demonstrates both the global nature and temporal consistency of the MWP, as well as the fact that the MWP’s peak temperatures throughout the extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere rivaled those of the Current Warm Period, even though the atmospheric CO2 concentrations of today are some 40% greater than they were during the MWP, which is highly suggestive of the very real possibility that the warmth of the Current Warm Period may well be due to something other than the current high level of the air’s CO2 content… Read More

Impacts of Thawing Permafrost on Nitrogen in Subarctic Peatlands (23 October 2012)
The results of this study “demonstrate that near-surface permafrost soil of subarctic peatlands can release a biologically relevant amount of plant available nitrogen, both directly upon thawing as well as over the course of a growing season through continued microbial mineralization of organically bound N,” which given the nitrogen-limited nature of northern peatlands, “may have impacts on both plant productivity and species composition” that would likely consist of significant increases in productivity and ecosystem species richness… Read More

Environmental Change and Potential Trophic Mismatches (24 October 2012)
In many cases, the former need not lead to the latter, for “when stress effects are similar on interacting species, biotic interactions may remain unaffected,” providing a fine example of ocean acidification-induced trophic non-mismatches… Read More

The Impact of Atmospheric Aerosols on North Atlantic Climate (24 October 2012)
How great is their influence? The authors of this study report that “inclusion of aerosol-cloud microphysical effects, which were included in few previous multimodel ensembles, dominates the magnitude (80%) and the spatial pattern of the total surface aerosol forcing in the North Atlantic”… Read More

Effects of Ocean Acidification on Juvenile Arctic Pteropods (24 October 2012)
Although much remains to be known about pteropod responses to a potential decline in seawater pH, it would appear from this study that they already possess a certain degree of adaptability to low pH levels… Read More

Evolution to the Rescue (24 October 2012)
Two Canadian scientists say the results of their study “demonstrate that rapid evolution is an important component of the response of small populations to environmental change”… Read More