How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 3 Number 36:  20 December 2000

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

Current Editorial
CO2-Induced Global Warming: Fissures in Its Theoretical Foundation: A new reconstruction of earth's climate history over the past half-billion years shows the planet to have been very cold when, according to the CO2-climate theory, it should have been very warm.

Subject Index Summaries
Snow: Snow cover extent and water equivalent appear to have increased substantially over the last century across the midlatitudes of North American and Eurasia, suggesting that a similar phenomenon over southern Greenland could be helping to maintain the ice sheet there.

Animals (Mammals): A study of mammal populations along the Thelon River and its tributaries in the Canadian Northwest Territories reveals a significant increase in mammal species richness over the past 80 years that may be the result of concomitant warming and atmospheric CO2 enrichment.

Current Journal Reviews
Sudden Cardiac Death in Israel: The Influence of Temperature: A brief review of the relative impacts of heat and cold on cardiovascular diseases in Israel reveals that cold is much more prone to promote these deadly-serious health problems than is heat.

The Sun's Magnetic Field May Influence Earth's Climate: A newly developed model of the long-term evolution of the sun's large-scale magnetic field has successfully matched the 100-year history of the doubling of the strength of the sun-induced interplanetary magnetic field that has been postulated to have a significant impact on earth's climate.

The Demise of the Little Ice Age in Italy: A two-century history of the surface area reduction of the southernmost glacier in Europe is found to be amazingly similar to the history of the retreat of several glaciers in southern Chile, demonstrating the global extent and temporal uniqueness of the Little Ice Age, all of which points to the putative warming of the latter part of the 20th century as being in no way unusual nor related to the historical increase in the air's CO2 concentration.

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Leaf Litter Quality and Decomposition in Mediterranean Forest Species: Elevated CO2 increased leaf litter carbon-to-nitrogen ratios and decreased litter decomposition rates of Mediterranean forest ecosystems.  These observations suggest that the soils of these ecosystems will likely increase their capacity for carbon storage with future increases in the air's CO2 content.

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Senescing Leaves of Deciduous Forest Species: Elevated CO2 reduced nitrogen concentrations in both physiologically-active leaves and leaf litter produced by red and sugar maple seedlings.  If such changes are accompanied by increases in leaf and litter carbon concentrations, greater carbon sequestration may be expected to occur in deciduous forests dominated by these species.