How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

Learn how plants respond to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations

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Welcome to the
Global Change Laboratory

Within the walls of this virtual edifice, we describe a number of simple but effective techniques that will enable you to conduct your own research into questions related to potential CO2-induced environmental change, showing you in both words and pictures how to set up your experiment, conduct the study, and obtain and analyze the data.  In addition, for certain specific experiments we include weekly tabulations of data, along with pictures of the plants, so you can continually check to see if your study is progressing as it should.

The inspiration for this experimental program comes from a paper published by Dr. Sherwood B. Idso in the international journal Environmental and Experimental Botany (Volume 38, pages 15-38, 1997).  The title of the article - "THE POOR MAN'S BIOSPHERE, including simple techniques for conducting CO2 enrichment and depletion experiments on aquatic and terrestrial plants" -- pretty much describes its contents.  What it does is show how to create small enclosures of different atmospheric CO2 concentrations (within which plants are grown and their responses observed) and explain how to measure those CO2 concentrations.

The materials required for these studies are all readily available almost anywhere in the world; and they are relatively inexpensive.  We describe what is needed for each experiment; and we walk you through all the steps of the study from start to finish.  Upon completion of an experiment, those who would like to share their results can send them to us for possible publication or reporting on our website.