How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 3 Number 30:  8 November 2000

Biodiversity, Productivity and CO2: Recent reviews of the scientific literature lead to the inescapable conclusion that the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 concentration is helping to preserve the biodiversity of the planet.

Subject Index Summaries
Medieval Warm Period


Journal Reviews
Arctic Glaciers: Are They Succumbing to Global Warming?: A study of the mass balances of the 18 Arctic glaciers with the longest observational records provides no hint of wastage produced by any late 20th century warming, anthropogenic-induced or otherwise.

Productivity and Species Richness: A comprehensive review of the literature (225 papers) reveals the existence of a tendency for increases in ecosystem net primary production - which is enhanced by atmospheric CO2 enrichment - to increase ecosystem species richness on the continental to global scale, which suggests that the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content is helping earth's plants and animals contend with the many influences of man that have a tendency to degrade ecosystem species richness.

Ecosystem Biodiversity and CO2: A review of the scientific literature reveals several different ways in which the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content is helping earth's plants and animals preserve their unique genetic identities as distinct species in the face of numerous REAL anthropogenic assaults, as opposed to the IMAGINARY one of CO2-induced global warming.

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Nitrogen Fixation in Wetland Plants: Elevated CO2 significantly increased nitrogenase activity and nitrogen fixation in C3 and C4 plants common to Chesapeake Bay.  In addition, atmospheric CO2 enrichment stimulated nitrogenase activity in free-living nonsymbiotic microorganisms associated with wetland soil sediments.

Effects of Elevated CO2 and Nitrogen on Panicum Grass Species: Elevated CO2 significantly increased dry mass in three Panicum grasses under conditions of high soil nitrogen.  However, these positive growth responses were precluded when soil nitrogen was in short supply.  Some potential ramifications of these observations are noted.