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Volume 5 Number 32:  7 August 2002

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

Current Editorial
Condensed Tannins, Belching Ruminants and Atmospheric CO2: A Novel Natural Way of Reducing Methane Emissions: Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations stimulate a plant-based phenomenon that actually leads to reductions in animal methane emissions to the atmosphere, thereby providing a natural brake on global warming.

Subject Index Summaries
Feedback Factors (Clouds): As the earth warms, the atmosphere has a tendency to become more cloudy, which exerts a natural brake upon the rising temperature.  Many of man's aerosol-producing activities do the same thing.  In fact, there appear to be a number of such cloud-mediated processes that keep the planet from becoming too hot in the face of rising greenhouse gas concentrations.

Nutrient Acquisition: A brief review of the recently published literature suggests that increases in the air's CO2 content will lead to greater plant extraction of nitrogen and phosphorus from soils and, hence, greater overall plant nitrogen and phosphorus contents, although individual tissue concentrations of these nutrients may sometimes be reduced.

Carbon Sequestration Commentary
Deciduous Forests Exert a Brake on Global Warming as They Lengthen Their Growing Seasons and Sequester More Carbon: This significant negative feedback phenomenon may well be much stronger than anyone has heretofore thought.

Current Journal Reviews
North Atlantic Storminess: It appears to have gotten worse over the last couple of decades.  Could "unprecedented" global warming be to blame?

The Length of the Illinois Frost-Free Season During the 20th Century: How has it changed during this period of unprecedented global warming?

Cholera and Climate: Is there a connection?

Orange Juice Vitamin C Concentration: How Is It Linked to the Air's CO2 Content?: In addition to enhancing the productivity of nearly all of earth's plants, the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content often alters the concentrations of various substances produced within different plant organs.  Many of these substances have important implications for people's health, especially when the plant parts in which they are found are consumed as food.  A new study of this phenomenon yields some very good news for humanity.

Pasture Responses to Elevated CO2 in the Swiss Alps: A mechanistic ecosystem model coupled to a dynamic weather generator was used to predict pasture growth and water use responses to increases in air temperature and atmospheric CO2 content.  Estimates of soil carbon sequestration were also derived.