What the World Needs Now is a Lot Less Poverty

Published May 21, 2014

In a News & Analysis item recently published in Science, Kintisch (2014) discusses the most recent IPCC report, noting it “is meant to be a practical guide to action,” especially in regard to what the report identifies as eight major climate risks: coastal flooding, inland flooding, extreme weather, extreme heat, food insecurity, water shortages, loss of marine ecosystems and loss of terrestrial and inland water ecosystems. Interestingly, however, all eight of these threats already occur at various times and places throughout the world; and trying to prevent the harm they cause by mandating policies designed to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions is the height of folly, as spending the trillions of dollars that would be needed to only maybe make an impact on these weather phenomena is far, far worse than doing nothing at all. And why is that?… Read More

Global Sea Level Behavior of the Past Two Centuries (20 May 2014)
A new analysis of the most comprehensive data set available suggests there has been no dramatic increase – or any increase, for that matter – in the mean rate of global sea level rise due to the historical increase in the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration… Read More

How Warming Impacts the Germination and Vigor of Plants Grown from Recalcitrant Seeds (20 May 2014)
Exposure to the elevated temperatures did not disrupt the metabolic and ultrastructural integrity of T. emetica’s embryonic axes, neither did it compromise seed germination and subsequent seedling production. In fact, extra warmth actually enhanced seed germination velocity… Read More

The Ability of Marine Invertebrates to Survive Ocean Acidification (20 May 2014)
“Populations from fluctuating pCO2 environments are more tolerant to elevated pCO2 than populations from more stable pCO2 habitats.” And so the authors of this study conclude, “considering the high tolerance of Kiel specimens and the possibility to adapt over many generations, near future OA alone does not seem to present a major threat for A. improvisus”… Read More

Looking for Progress in Modeling the Continental Indian Monsoon (21 May 2014)
How far have the CMIP5 models progressed beyond the CMIP3 models in this regard? According to the authors of this study, “no significant progress has been achieved in our ability to simulate basic quantities like observed seasonal mean and trend, and hence to project the regional climate system, namely Continental Indian Monsoon, with reasonable certainty,” which suggests this aspect of the climate modeling enterprise of the past few years has actually led to retrogression rather than progression… Read More

Effects of High CO2 on Seedlings Grown on an N-Limited Medium (21 May 2014)
Which wins? … the high CO2 or the low nitrogen concentration?… Read More

The Effects of Elevated CO2 on Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Toxin (21 May 2014)
“Elevated pCO2 will have minor consequences for growth and elemental composition, but may potentially reduce the cellular toxicity of A. tamarense,” which would be good news for fish, marine mammals, seabirds and humans…. Read More