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Volume 6 Number 15:  9 April 2003

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

Current Editorial
Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment: Just What the Food Doctor Ordered!: A new study that evaluates the effectiveness of increasing agricultural sustainability in developing countries unknowingly makes a strong case for allowing the air's CO2 content to continue to rise unimpeded.

Subject Index Summaries
Runoff: Do rising temperatures lead to more frequent and severe extreme precipitation events that increase water runoff to streams and rivers and ultimately produce more flooding?

Trees (Range Expansions): A review of some of the recent scientific literature suggests that the historical rise in the air's CO2 content has played a prominent role in promoting the range expansion of woody plants.

Current Journal Reviews
The Urban Heat Island of Houston, Texas: Its increase in magnitude over the twelve-year period between 1987 and 1999 exceeds that of the world over the entire past century, although the temperature of the surrounding rural area changed not a bit.

Question: When Is a Record Flood Not a Record Flood?: Answer: When a much longer time period than a mere century or two is considered.

The Photosynthetic Responses of Three Desert Shrubs to Elevated CO2: Short-term responses of plants to elevated CO2 are not necessarily predictive of their long-term responses.  After six months of elevated CO2 exposure, photosynthesis in a perennial shrub of the Mojave Desert, USA, was significantly enhanced.  Would it still be enhanced after five full years of treatment exposure?

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Root Decomposition in a Scrub Oak Community: Will the increasing CO2 content of the air impact decomposition rates of plant biolitter in this ecosystem and therefore alter its carbon sequestration potential?

Effects of Elevated CO2 and Temperature on Winter Wheat Seed Yield and Viability: Some individuals have suggested that increases in the air's CO2 content and temperature will reduce winter wheat seed viability.  Are they correct?