How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 3 Number 17:  9 August 2000

The "Unprecedented" Surface Air Temperature of the Past Decade: A consideration of what we know about past interglacial conditions reveals we are not experiencing (1) unprecedented warmth due to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations driven by human activities, nor are we experiencing (2) unprecedented CO2-induced warmth, nor are we even experiencing (3) unprecedented warmth, period.

Journal Reviews
Lunar Tides and Climate Change: Satellite altimeter data are used to map and quantify the dissipation of tidal energy due to mixing in the deep-ocean over rough bottom topography.  The results verify recent calculations that predict this should be so.  They also call into question current ideas about North Atlantic (and other sources of) Deep Water formation and theoretical ideas of how CO2-induced global warming could dramatically alter this phenomenon and raise havoc with earth's climate system, which system now seems a little more stable than it did before this study.

Recent Strong El Niņos Nothing New: An analysis of a New England varve chronology derived from proglacial lakes clearly demonstrates that the El Niņo-Southern Oscillation phenomenon was in full-swing during the near-peak glacial conditions that preceded the Holocene, just as it is also in a strong mode now, in a climatic period that some have called the warmest of the current millennium.

CO2 and Migratory Songbirds: A study of ENSO effects on the survival of a migratory songbird in its Jamaican winter quarters and its north temperate New Hampshire summer breeding grounds reveals the tremendous importance of climate-mediated food supply for the survival of the species.  This study thus suggests that the increase in worldwide plant productivity driven by the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content should help this species, as well as all other animal life, maintain its presence on the planet.

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Photosynthesis and Growth in Peanut: Elevated CO2 enhanced photosynthetic rates, pod number, pod weight, seed weight and harvest index in hydroponically grown peanut plants.

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Herbivorous Insect Populations: A review of the recently published literature reveals that phloem feeders are the only herbivorous insects that have exhibited positive population responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment.  In contrast, leaf mining and chewing insects have tended to exhibit no responses or population reductions under elevated CO2 conditions.