How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 4 Number 12:  21 March 2001

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

Current Editorial
A Tale of Two Atmospheres: As climate alarmists and their political allies rant, rave and whine about President Bush's decision to not regulate emissions of the very elixir of life - that's CO2 for the uninitiated - the real-world atmosphere, as opposed to the climate-model atmosphere, comes to his rescue.

Subject Index Summaries
Temperature (Health Effects): Everyone knows that warmer temperatures mean more heat-related deaths, right?  Right.  But how many know that warmer temperatures mean a much larger reduction in cold-related deaths?  Not very many; but it's true.  Global warming would dramatically reduce the sum total of temperature-related deaths.  And now you know why you didn't know this fact before: it's politically incorrect.

Trees (Range Expansions): A review of the recent scientific literature demonstrates that earth's bushes, shrubs and trees will likely expand their ranges and increase their biomass as the CO2 content of the air continues to rise, and that these transformations will likely increase the biodiversity or species richness of both plant and animal life in the areas in which they occur.

Current Journal Reviews
The Greenhouse Effect is Real: It's pretty amazing when a journal like Nature publishes a paper that does little more than demonstrate what everyone on both sides of the global warming debate has always known: CO2 is a greenhouse gas!

The Greenhouse Effect Can Be Thwarted.  That's What's New.: A single, newly-discovered, negative feedback phenomenon may be capable of overpowering all of the positive feedbacks in state-of-the-art climate models that predict dramatic global warming in response to the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content.

French Forests Respond (Positively, of Course) to the Historical Increase in Atmospheric CO2: And this study suggests they'll respond (positively, of course) even more in the future.

Aquatic Algae Are An Important Part of Earth's "Bio-Thermostat": As marine phytoplankton increase their photosynthetic activity in response to rising temperatures, they initiate a series of events that counteracts the original impetus for warming.

Lowly Lichens Are An Important Part of Earth's "Bio-Thermostat": Mounting evidence suggests that the planet's plant life may well put an upper limit on how high temperatures rise in response to increases in greenhouse gas concentrations.