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Volume 6 Number 29:  16 July 2003

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

Editorial
The Sustainability of Carbon Sequestration by Earth's Forests in a CO2-Accreting Atmosphere: Can the planet's trees be relied upon to sequester significant amounts of carbon over the next century or more, as the air's CO2 content climbs ever higher?  Some have said yes, others no.  Now, one of the best studies to address this question with real-world experimental data provides a likely answer.

Subject Index Summaries
Medieval Warm Period (Antarctica): A topic of considerable current interest in climatic circles is the question of the global extent of the Medieval Warm Period and its degree of expression in various parts of the world.  Hence, we here briefly summarize what we have reported over the past several years with respect to what scientists have learned about the Medieval Warm Period in Antarctica.

Insects (Miscellaneous): There have been several studies of the responses of aphids, butterflies and moths (and the plants on which they feed) to atmospheric CO2 enrichment.  In this Summary, we review what has been learned about other insects in this regard.

Journal Reviews
Solar Activity and Climate Change Over the 20th Century: A new-and-improved history of total solar irradiance from 1915-1999 provides some of the strongest evidence to date that the global warming of the past century was largely driven by enhanced solar forcing.

Nordic Sea-Ice Variations: The Need for a Proper Perspective in Attempting to Explain Them: Even a century of sea-ice extent observations is totally insufficient for making a proper evaluation of the potential role of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in global climate change.  But when three or four centuries of data are available, one can begin to draw some valid conclusions.

Boreal Forest Fires: Are They More Frequent in Times of Rising Temperature?: Amongst a host of environmental horror stories, it has been claimed that global warming will lead to increased forest fire frequency.  Data from boreal forests on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean, however, suggest otherwise.

The Significance of CO2-Induced Increases in Leaf Mass per Unit Area: An intriguing new study suggests that this phenomenon further stimulates plant growth above and beyond what it would be in its absence.

Enhanced Consumption of Methane by Soils May Slow Global Warming as Ranges of Hardwood Trees Expand: Once again, the biosphere proves its mettle in the battle to prevent catastrophic increases in global temperatures.