Category Archives: Originals

Heavy Metal Soil Toxicity in a C02-Enriched World

By | October 18, 2012

Noting that copper (Cu) is “an essential micronutrient [that] plays a vital role in maintaining normal metabolism in higher plants,” but that it “is toxic to plant cells at higher concentrations and causes the inhibition of plant growth or even death,” Jia et al. (2007)1 grew a Japonica rice cultivar in control and Cu-contaminated soil for one full… Read More »

Sea Ice: An Open Letter to Jeremy Paxman of the BBC

By | October 15, 2012

Your Newsnight segment on Arctic sea ice (BBC2 TV, 8 September 2012) featured a “scientist” who said ice loss since a high point in 1979 would cut the Earth’s albedo and, by this feedback, cause warming equivalent to 20 years’ global CO2 emissions. On the IPCC’s current central climate-sensitivity estimates, 20 years’ CO2 emissions would only warm the… Read More »

Vegetative Storage Proteins: Response to Atmospheric C02

By | October 11, 2012

In a paper published in Tree Physiology, Maier et al. (2008)[1] describe how a soil nitrogen fertilizer application affected upper-canopy needle morphology and gas exchange in approximately 20-meter-tall loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) trees previously exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (200 ppm above ambient) for nine years at the Duke Forest FACE facility in Orange County, North… Read More »

Extreme Temperatures in Europe

By | October 3, 2012

One of the projected negative consequences of global warming is a concomitant increase in climatic variability, including more frequent hot weather events. It is a relatively easy matter to either substantiate or refute such claims by examining trends in extreme temperatures over the past century or so; because if global warming has truly been occurring at an unprecedented… Read More »

Effects of Elevated Carbon Dioxide on Soil Bacteria

By | October 3, 2012

Nearly all of Earth’s plant life responds favorably to increases in the air’s CO2 content by exhibiting enhanced rates of photosynthesis and biomass production. Consequently, these phenomena tend to increase soil carbon contents by increasing root exudation of organic compounds and the amount of plant litter returned to the soil. Thus, one might expect CO2-mediated increases in soil… Read More »

C02-Induced Starch Accumulation in Plants

By | September 27, 2012

It is therefore likely that rising atmospheric CO2 levels will significantly boost starch production in plants, thereby increasing the availability of an important raw material that can be metabolized to help sustain enhanced growth under a variety of stressful situations.

Interactive Effects of C02 and UV-B Radiation on Terrestrial Ecosystems

By | September 19, 2012

Zhao et al. (2004)[1] report that “as a result of stratospheric ozone depletion, UV-B radiation (280-320 nm) levels are still high at the Earth’s surface and are projected to increase in the near future (Madronich et al., 1998; McKenzie et al., 2003),” and in reference to this potential development, they note that “increased levels of UV-B radiation are… Read More »

Historical Trends of African Glacier Dynamics

By | September 7, 2012

Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world, was long renowned for its summit glaciers, immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in his famous short story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” Over the first few years of the current century, its disappearing summit ice fields were once again made famous, this time by political luminaries such as Al Gore, Hillary Clinton… Read More »

An Independent Constraint on Climate Sensitivity

By | September 4, 2012

Global CO2 emissions per unit annual increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration show no significant trend over the 49 year timescale of the available data (1960-2008). The mean emissions/concentration-growth ratio over the period was 15.5 Gte CO2 ppmv–1. Current central estimates are that CO2 concentration will rise by 345 ppmv over the 21st century, during which CO2-driven warming is… Read More »