How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Soil Carbon Storage
Rosenzweig, C. and Hillel, D.  2000.  Soils and global climate change: Challenges and opportunities.  Soil Science 165: 47-56.

What was done
The authors review the subject of soil carbon storage within the context of global climate change.

What was learned
In the words of the authors, "soil constitutes the terrestrial environment's primary recycling and cleansing medium, for it is within the soil that the waste products of myriad plants and animals are decomposed and transmuted into nutrients that ensure the continual regeneration of life."  This statement clearly articulates the great importance of soil to a large segment of the biosphere and the need for it to be well-managed.  In this regard, the authors conclude that "the preponderance of evidence shows that our management of the soil should be aimed at enhancing soil organic matter for the multiple complementary purposes of improving soil fertility and soil structure, reducing erosion, and helping to mitigate the greenhouse effect."

What it means
It is interesting to note that the rising level of atmospheric CO2 tends to promote all of these beneficent goals, as it tends to reduce its own rate-of-rise by stimulating more organic carbon storage at the same time that it promotes a number of processes that lead to the achievement of all of the other stated goals.  For more information on this topic, see Carbon Sequestration in our Subject Index.

Reviewed 15 May 2000