How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 4 Number 21:  23 May 2001

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

Current Editorial
Disability and Death in the Elderly: How bad have human health problems become during the "unprecedented" warming of the last decade?  The data are nothing short of shocking!!!

World Temperature Data: New data have been added to each of the four world temperature data sets that we showcase on our web site.

Subject Index Summaries
Cloud Condensation Nuclei: Both man and nature make more of them as increasingly greater quantities of fossil fuels are burned to produce energy; and in so doing, a number of powerful forces for climate cooling are created, counteracting any concomitant tendency for global warming.

Nitrogen Fixation: A review of the recent literature suggests that increases in the airís CO2 content will stimulate nitrogen fixation in plants that form symbiotic relationships with nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria.  The extra nitrogen supplied to natural ecosystems by this process will likely support increased community-level productivity in response to the ongoing rise in the airís CO2 content.

Current Journal Reviews
The Climate of Central Alaska During the Last Interglacial: Atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the previous interglacial were a lot lower than they are today.  So shouldnít Alaskaís climate have been a lot colder than it is currently?  Not necessarily, which means that any warming there today need not be due to CO2 either.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases: Is their prevalence more a function of the state of earthís climate or local political and economic conditions?

The Pre-Industrial to Modern Borehole Temperature Record: A comprehensive analysis of a vast repository of ground temperature profiles reveals the magnitude of warming experienced in northern mid-latitudes as the earth recovered from the environmentally-challenging Little Ice Age.

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Photosynthesis and Water Use in Two Grasses and Two Legumes of the Mediterranean Region: Results of a recent experiment suggest that as the airís CO2 content continues to rise, the water use efficiencies of the four species studied should also rise, as should their season-long production of biomass.

Effects of Elevated CO2 and Temperature on Grass-Legume Ecosystems: Elevated CO2 increased foliage production in mixed grassland swards containing Trifolium subterraneum and Phalaris aquatica at both ambient and elevated air temperatures.  In addition, atmospheric CO2 enrichment did not preferentially stimulate the growth response of the nitrogen-fixing leguminous Trifolium species, which thus helped to preserve the relative contributions of each species to community biodiversity.