Learn how plants respond to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations

How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

Click to locate material archived on our website by topic


Volume 4 Number 51:  19 December 2001

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

Current Editorial
Industrial Age Leading to the Greening of the Earth?: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: yes, it is.  In fact, even members of the media are beginning to acknowledge that fact, although somewhat grudgingly, of course, for it's hard to switch horses in the middle of a race ... especially when you thought the finish line was a destination called Kyoto.

Subject Index Summaries
Non-Vascular Plants: A review of the recent literature suggests that non-vascular plants in bog communities may show varied responses to future increases in the air's CO2 concentration that range from no response to highly significant increases in biomass production.  More research is thus required to definitively predict how these ecosystems will respond as the air's CO2 content continues to rise.

Tropical Temperature Trends: Temperature data from tropical and subtropical regions of the world raise serious questions about the basis for calls to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

Carbon Sequestration Commentary
Trees Spend More Time Sequestering Carbon with More CO2 in the Air: A little-heralded effect of atmospheric CO2 enrichment is that it often enables plants to do productive work earlier in the day, as well as later in the day.  Working longer hours, or at least parts of hours, tireless trees thus store more carbon in their tissues and the soil bank beneath them.

Current Journal Reviews
Solar Forcing of Little Ice Age Climate: A GCM with a new twist has recently reproduced several aspects of reconstructed climate change between 1680 and 1780, when solar irradiance is believed to have experienced a small but important increase in intensity.  Does this finding encourage us?  Not really.

Urban Heat Island Effects Appear to Inflate U.S. Coastal Air Temperature Trends: A comparison of century-scale air and seawater temperature trends along both the east and west coasts of the United States reveals the presence of growing urban heat island effects in these maritime regions.

Radical Climate Changes Independent of Atmospheric CO2 Concentration: They've happened before, and they can happen again.  Where?  Right where climate prognosticators claim CO2-induced climate changes should be strongest and most evident, which means (1) nothing unusual - much less "unprecedented" - has happened to the climate of this region over the past century, and (2) there is no compelling reason to blame the historical rise in the air's CO2 content for the rather mediocre - and totally normal! - temperature fluctuations that have occurred.

The Far-Reaching Effects of Elevated CO2 on a Forest Soil: In a most intriguing study of a forest ecosystem, elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 enhanced plant growth rates, which increased CO2 concentrations within the pore space of the soil, which enhanced the weathering of parent rock material, which liberated greater amounts of nutrients for further facilitating the growth and development of the forest and its associated sequestration of carbon.  In addition, excess carbon compounds were simultaneously shunted to the groundwater, thereby sequestering still more carbon from the atmosphere.

Potential Global Change Likely to Increase Wheat Production in South Australia: Data generated from a cropping system model indicate that wheat production in south Australia should rise in tandem with increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations as a consequence of enhanced yields and increased cropping ranges, even if confronted with elevated air temperatures and reduced soil moisture.