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Volume 5 Number 9:  27 February 2002

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

Current Editorial
Making Biospheric Mountains Out of Laboratory Mole Hills: Climate alarmists are always on the lookout for anything they can twist, unduly amplify or falsely generalize to cast the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content in an unfavorable light.  A paper appearing in the 5 February 2002 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - the authors of which also engage in a bit of spin-doctoring - gave them a wonderful pretense to do it again.

Subject Index Summaries
Aerosols (General): The past, present and likely future aerosol compositions of the atmosphere are so far from sufficiently understood that some of the world's best climate modelers concede it is nigh unto impossible to adequately predict the future climatic trajectory of the planet. Some data, however, are good enough to suggest that aerosols are providing a cooling influence that reduces the impact of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

Trees (Types - Birch): A brief review of the recently published literature suggests that increases in the air's CO2 content will likely enhance photosynthetic rates and biomass production in this abundant component of temperate forest ecosystems.

Carbon Sequestration Commentary
Another Global Warming Horror Story Bites the Dust: Climate alarmists have long and vociferously argued that global warming would greatly enhance the evolution of CO2 from boreal peatlands as they experience the melting of permafrost, which consequence, they further claim, would catastrophically exacerbate the putative CO2-induced increase in air temperature.  Real-world data, however, suggest just the opposite, i.e., that the melting of permafrost in boreal peatlands will actually result in the biological sequestration of more carbon.

Current Journal Reviews
Abrupt Climate Warming: A Characteristic of Glacial Periods: It has been known for some time that glacial periods experience much greater variations in climate than interglacials, including large and abrupt warmings that are foreign to the interglacial in which we currently live.  Now comes a climate model that purports to tell us why.

More Warmth Means a More Stable Climate: One can learn a lot from an otolith.

Earth's Thermohaline Circulation and Abrupt Climate Change: A review of our current understanding of these phenomena, their possible interaction, and how well the climate modeling community can reproduce their past behavior lends credence to our conclusion that we will never experience abrupt global warming of the type climate alarmists often invoke in trying to scare people into taking unwarranted actions aimed at reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

Does Elevated CO2 Accelerate Barley Flag Leaf Senescence to Help Increase Grain Yield?: This study suggests it may well do so, the rationale being that accelerated leaf senescence may facilitate transfer of the nitrogen thereby made available to developing grains, helping them meet their CO2-induced increased demand for this essential nutrient.

Trees Can Positively Respond to Elevated Levels of Atmospheric CO2 at Very Low Levels of Sunlight: Five temperate forest species responded to atmospheric CO2 enrichment with significant increases in biomass in light environments that were only 3.4% of full sunlight, while two of them continued to positively respond at only 1.3% of full sunlight.