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Volume 3 Number 23:  20 September 2000

Editorial
No Pain, No Gain: Repeated experimental investigations of ecosystem carbon balance in the Alaskan Arctic demonstrate that the initial transformation of wet-sedge and moist-tussock tundra communities from net summer sinks of carbon to net sources has slowly but surely been reversed, even in the face of further warming, demonstrating the reality of "a previously undemonstrated capacity for ecosystems to metabolically adjust to long-term changes in climate" in a way that stimulates biospheric productivity and diversity.

Subject Index Summaries
Antarctica

CO2 x Temperature Interaction

West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Journal Reviews
The Pathetic Relationship Between Atmospheric CO2 and Earth's Temperature Over the Past Sixty Million Years: A sixty-million-year record of atmospheric CO2 concentration and proxy temperature data demonstrates that the commonly-assumed "large and predictable effect" of changes in the air's CO2 concentration on planetary temperature is about as wrong as it can be.

Deaths in the United States Due to Extreme Heat and Cold: A study of U.S. death rates between 1979 and 1997 indicates no trends in deaths due to either extreme heat or cold.  Deaths due to extreme cold, however, were approximately twice as numerous as those due to extreme heat, suggesting that a little warming would actually reduce the total number of deaths in the United States due to extreme temperatures of both types.

Live Long and Prosper With More CO2?: Artificial antioxidants ingested by worms dramatically lengthened their life-span.  We note that atmospheric CO2 enrichment has been demonstrated to moderately increase the concentrations of certain antioxidants found in foods, such as vitamins A and C, and we wonder if humanity is being thereby benefited by the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content.

Effects of Elevated CO2 and Soil Nitrogen on Wheat: Atmospheric CO2 enrichment significantly increased water-use efficiency in spring wheat grown in Arizona, USA.

Symbiotic N2-Fixation Increases CO2-Induced Growth Response in Legumes: Elevated CO2 increased biomass production in nitrogen-fixing lucerne species, regardless of soil nitrogen content.  However, in non-nodulating lucerne species, the CO2-induced growth response was strongly dependent upon the soil nitrogen status.