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Volume 6 Number 43:  22 October 2003

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

The Role of Science in the CO2 Emissions Reduction Debate: The National Research Council's expert witness at the McCain Senate hearing on The Case for Climate Change Action presented a rather even-handed assessment of where the science of the matter stands.  Unfortunately, it did nothing to alter the Senator's biased views on the subject.

Carbon Sequestration Commentary
Demise of Earth's Tropical Forest Carbon Sink Greatly Exaggerated: In a recent paper in Nature, Phillips et al. (2002) suggest that increases in the air's CO2 content are stimulating the growth of vines in Amazonian forests.  We can accept that.  However, we cannot accept their claim that this phenomenon is detrimental to trees and, therefore, that "the tropical terrestrial carbon sink may shut down sooner than current models suggest."

Subject Index Summaries
Sea Level (The Role of Antarctica): Antarctica holds the key to the potential for major changes in sea level.  However, data from the "bottom of the world" give no indication that anything major is likely to happen anytime soon.

Decomposition (Woody Plants: Conifers): How does the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content affect the decomposition rate of litter produced by conifers and why do we care?

Journal Reviews
Atmospheric Methane Concentration: No Longer Rising: In contrast to the theoretical projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and some of its most ardent supporters, real-world data from the last four years indicate the atmosphere's methane concentration has remained steady, neither rising nor falling.  We, like others, predict this stasis will soon end; but instead of beginning to rise again, we predict the air's 4 concentration will actually begin to fall.  Here's why.

Cyclical Climate Change in Iberia: In a stunning achievement for high-resolution pollen analysis, the authors of this important new study document "for the first time in NW Iberia" the existence of the Modern Warm Period, the preceding Little Ice Age, the preceding Medieval Warm Period, the preceding Dark Ages Cold Period, the preceding Roman Warm Period and the preceding first cold phase of the Subatlantic Period.

Effects of Warming on the Carbon Balance of Arctic Tundra: Do rising temperatures cause ungodly amounts of carbon to be released to the atmosphere from Arctic tundra, as climate alarmists have long claimed?  Not in the real world, they don't.

Growth Response of a Closed-Canopy Sweetgum Forest to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment: Non-CO2-enthusiasts often claim that trees growing close to each other in real-world forests are too cramped for space to grow "bigger and better" and thus sequester more carbon than they do now in a CO2-enriched world of the future.  Carefully conducted CO2 enrichment experiments, however, prove them wrong.

Effects of Increasing Atmospheric CO2 Concentration and Temperature on Soybean Seed Quality: In a future warmed and CO2-enriched world - at least one of which states is almost assured to prevail - will the health-promoting qualities of soybean seed be enhanced or degraded?