How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 4 Number 19:  9 May 2001

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

Current Editorial
The Current and Future Status of Climate Change Science: Big bucks buy big science, but at what cost?  In the area of climate change research, truth learned per dollar spent is rapidly declining, while myths of devious intent and dubious merit rush in to fill the void.

Subject Index Summaries
Dimethyl Sulfide: Dimethyl sulfide is a climatically-important trace gas about which you may not have heard much.  Could its lack of press coverage have anything to do with the fact that it plays a prominent role in a negative feedback phenomenon that has the potential to totally thwart any greenhouse gas-induced global warming?

Respiration: A review of the recent literature suggests that increases in the air's CO2 content will reduce respiratory carbon losses in earth's vegetation, thereby increasing net carbon gains within individual plants, whole ecosystems and their associated soils.

Current Journal Reviews
20th Century "Streamflow Droughts" in Europe: Certain of the media claim drought in Europe has intensified as a result of human-induced global warming.  Guess what the actual data show.

Little Ice Age vs. Modern Warm Period: An African Perspective: The global warming that brought the planet out of the Little Ice Age even helped equatorial Africa.  It brought much needed moisture to a water-starved continent, alleviating all sorts of environmental and societal distress.

Future Forests May Frustrate Future Floods: Climate and flow simulation models suggest that extreme floods of the UK's Thames and Severn Rivers may be 16 to 20% larger by the year 2050; but politically-driven actions and naturally-occurring ecological phenomena could readily reverse this trend.

Elevated CO2 Stimulates Photosynthesis in Four Tropical Species: Elevated CO2 dramatically increased photosynthetic rates in four tropical species common to southwestern Venezuela under conditions of both limiting and non-limiting soil moisture.

Elevated CO2 Stimulates Photosynthesis at Low Temperatures: Measured CO2-induced increases in net photosynthetic rates of Taraxacum officinale plants were much larger than what has typically been predicted by biochemical models at low air temperatures.  Could it be that even we have underestimated the power of atmospheric CO2 enrichment to enhance plant growth and development?