Modeling the East Asian-Western North Pacific Monsoon & ENSO

Published September 12, 2013

How well does the FGOALS-s2 model do? In comparing the new versus the old version, it is evident that although the new model has improved over its earlier version, it still suffers from a number of bothersome inadequacies… Read More

What’s That You Say? Fish Can Hear Better in High-CO2 Water? (10 Sep 2013)
High-CO2 water induced a significant increase in otolith size and density, which increases the authors of this study say “could affect auditory sensitivity including a ~50% increase in hearing range at 2100 ppm CO2.” Sounds good to us!… Read More

A Phenological Mismatch Between a Wild Bird and Its Food Source (10 Sep 2013)
The findings of this study suggest that “natural populations may be able to tolerate considerable maladaptation driven by shifting climatic conditions without undergoing immediate declines.” And as the authors state in the concluding sentence of the body of their paper, “our results imply that considerable directional selection might be demographically tolerable on decadal time scales without immediate population declines, effectively buying time for microevolution to restore adaptation”… Read More

The Fate of Peatland Carbon in a Potentially Warming World (10 Sep 2013)
Will it be released back to the atmosphere, enhancing global warming? … or will it do just the opposite: be added to and thereby reduce global warming?… Read More

Climate-Induced Food Shortages and Mammalian Reproduction (11 Sep 2013)
The three researchers of this study say their results suggest that “heterothermic, fattening-prone mammals display important reproductive resilience to energetic bottlenecks,” and that “more generally, species living in variable and unpredictable habitats may have evolved a flexible reproductive physiology that helps buffer environmental fluctuations”… Read More

Southern Ocean Water Mass Circulation and Characteristics (11 Sep 2013)
How well are they simulated by CMIP5 models? The authors of this paper studied the ability of 21 of such models to simulate what they describe as the most basic properties of each of these water masses (temperature, salinity, volume, outcrop area), finding several serious problems addressed in this review… Read More

The Future of Wheat Production on the North China Plain (11 Sep 2013)
The findings of Tao and Zhang are encouraging, especially in light of the analysis of Schmidhuber and Tubiello (2007), which suggests that global food production may need to rise by as much as 70% by the year 2050 in order to adequately feed the nine billion people (compared to today’s seven billion) that they project to be inhabiting the planet at that mid-century point in time… Read More

Modeling the Indian Ocean Dipole: A Progress Report (of Sorts) (3 Sep 2013)
How have things progressed in going from the CMIP3 to the CMIP5 set of models? Not very well, as the authors of this study show that certain “biases/errors have persisted in several generations of models”… Read More

Acidification of the Small Larvae of a Large Tropical Marine Fish (3 Sep 2013)
The little larvae can handle a big dose of anthropogenically-produced CO2, as “this study demonstrates that cobia is unlikely to experience a strong negative impact from CO2-induced acidification predicted to occur within the next several centuries”… Read More

The Effects of Ocean Acidification on Octocorals (3 Sep 2013)
The authors of this study ultimately conclude that “octocorals might be able to acclimate and withstand rising levels of ocean acidification, even under conditions that are far beyond what is expected to occur by the end of the present century (pH 7.9)”… Read More

Ocean Acidification’s Impact on Planktonic Community Fatty Acids (3 Sep 2013)
It appears that atmospheric CO2 enrichment likely will not lead to a degradation of planktonic food quality in Arctic waters, in contradiction of what many environmental pessimists have ardently postulated… Read More

Modeling Southern Ocean Bottom Water Characteristics (4 Sep 2013)
How well do the CMIP5 models do? In describing their findings, the four researchers who conducted this study report that “no model reproduces the process of Antarctic bottom water formation accurately.” Rather, “instead of forming dense water on the continental shelf and allowing it to spill off,” they indicate that “models present extensive areas of deep convection, thus leading to an unrealistic, unstratified open ocean”… Read More

The Virtues of Promiscuity in Coral Larvae (4 Sep 2013)
The authors of this study say their findings suggest that “as sea surface temperatures rise, the promiscuity of larvae could benefit corals by allowing them to acquire symbionts with the greatest heat tolerance in each new generation”… Read More

Southern Elephant Seals of Maritime Antarctica (4 Sep 2013)
The eight Spanish researchers who conducted this study report that the final population numbers they recently derived represent an increase of 150% since the sub-population they studied was first counted some 30 years ago… Read More