How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 4 Number 11:  14 March 2001

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

Current Editorial
"The Planet Is Warming Up!": At least that's what a disgruntled visitor to our web site tells us.  "The evidence is all around us," he says, "all you have to do is open your eyes!!!!"  So we do.  And lo and behold ...

Subject Index Summaries
Temperature -- Urbanization Effects: Although attempts have been made to reduce and altogether remove urbanization-induced warming biases from surface-based temperature records, it is likely that some degree of spurious warming remains.

Water Use Efficiency -- Summary: A review of the recent scientific literature suggests that nearly all of earth's vegetation will exhibit increases in water-use efficiency as the air's CO2 content continues to rise.  This phenomenon will allow plants to better cope with drought stress, enabling them to spread into regions from which they currently are excluded due to insufficient soil moisture.

Current Journal Reviews
Climate Change in the Asian Subarctic: A 600-year tree-ring proxy temperature record for the Asian subarctic reveals a number of successive temperature trends that are in direct contrast to climate model predictions, but which are well explained by variations in non-anthropogenic factors.

A Lunar-Climate Link?: A plausible linkage between lunar declination and ENSO is explored.  If the implications of this work hold up under further scrutiny, we may well be seeing fewer El Niņo events over the next several years.

Rapid Climate Change in China: A Common Occurrence: Rapid shifts in temperature on the order of 3 to 7°C are shown to have been a regular feature of the climate of eastern China over the past 2000 years.  The data also reveal the unmistakable presence of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

Elevated CO2 Protects Against Oxidative Stress in Poplar Leaves: A recent study of hybrid poplar clones elucidates one of the more novel ways by which atmospheric CO2 enrichment makes plants better able to withstand the ravages of various environmental stresses.

Elevated CO2 Reduces the Danger of Bt Gene Transference Into Wild Relatives of Transgenic Crop Lines: A new study reveals that the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content may be a natural manifestation of the Precautionary Principle, whereby the deleterious consequences of the inadvertent transfer of foreign genes from transgenic crops to their wild relatives are significantly reduced - and possibly even eliminated.