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Volume 4 Number 46:  14 November 2001

Temperature Record of the Week
This issue's Temperature Record of the week is from Montrose, Colorado. Visit our U.S. Climate Data section to plot and view these data for yourself.

Current Editorial
Why We All Love Wally Broecker: There are people at both poles of the global warming debate who truly believe what they say they believe about atmospheric CO2 and potential global change.  There are others who do not.  In this week's Editorial, we discuss a recent paper by a scientist who, in direct opposition to our views, strongly endorses curtailing anthropogenic CO2 emissions, but who does not attempt to ignore - or alter! - the many facts that raise serious and valid questions about that policy.

Subject Index Summaries
Cloud Cover: Earth's clouds, especially those that form in the lower levels of the atmosphere, reflect enough incoming solar radiation back to space to overpower their infrared greenhouse properties and cool the planet below the temperature it would attain in their absence.  But which way does the balance of power shift when human activities begin to influence them?

Source/Sink Relations: A review of the literature suggests that plants with naturally low sink strength and artificially low sink strength induced by insufficient soil nitrogen supply often limit a plant's ability to respond persistently to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations.  However, reductions in source strength or increased nitrogen availability from fertilization or remobilization away from rubisco often act to overcome this problem.

Carbon Sequestration Commentary
Recent Studies Show Global Warming May Enhance Soil Carbon Storage and Thereby Slow Its Own Progression: Long-held beliefs about the temperature dependency of ecosystem net CO2 exchange rate - and, therefore, ecosystem carbon sequestration potential - are inexorably crumbling before the advancing tide of real-world scientific research.

Current Journal Reviews
Uncertainties in Anthropogenic Radiative Forcing of Climate: There's lots of them; and they're big.

Breakup of Small Antarctic Ice Shelves Is Not Evidence of Anthropogenic Climate Change: Sorry, climate alarmists.  The natural ebb and flow of millennial-scale climate oscillations is probably the cause of the recent ice shelf breakups.

Atmospheric CO2 and Groundwater Quality: Is There a Connection?: Very possibly.

Elevated CO2 Modifies Freezing Resistance in Grassland Plants: Six years of atmospheric CO2 enrichment significantly enhanced foliar concentrations of sugars, starch and total nonstructural carbohydrates in five different species.  Normally, these responses would be expected to confer increased resistance to freezing.  In this study, however ...

The Significance of UV-B Radiation Level to CO2-Enrichment Studies: In an interesting greenhouse study, the authors demonstrated that low UV-B radiation often precluded a growth response to atmospheric CO2 enrichment in white clover, suggesting that CO2-induced plant growth responses obtained from greenhouse and glasshouse studies may have underestimated the true impact of elevated CO2 on plant growth under normal outdoor conditions.