How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 4 Number 24:  13 June 2001

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

Current Editorial
Two Crises of Unbelievable Magnitude: Can We Prevent One Without Exacerbating the Other?: Two visions of the future portray a world in catastrophic turmoil.  In one, the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content is claimed to be the cause.  In the other, it is claimed to be the cure.  How to deal with this dichotomous situation is the most vexing environmental problem of our day.  Can the precautionary principle help us resolve the issue?

Plant Growth Data
Want to know what effect a 300 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration will have on the growth of rice?  Or a 600 ppm CO2 increase on alfalfa biomass or strawberry photosynthesis?  Find out in the newest section of our web site, Plant Growth Data, where we archive experimentally-determined growth responses of various plants to atmospheric CO2 enrichment.  If you can't find what you want, check back each week, as new results will be regularly added to the tabulations.

Subject Index Summaries
Grasslands (Soil Moisture): A review of several recently published scientific papers suggests that earth’s grasslands will respond positively to increases in the air’s CO2 content by exhibiting reductions in transpirational water loss that lead to increased soil moisture contents and the potential for plants to grow where it has been too dry for them to survive in the past.

Storm Surge: Climate alarmists predict increases in the frequency and magnitude of storm surge and coastal flooding events with increasing temperature.  Hence, there must be lots of reports of such occurrences over the last two decades of "unprecedented" global warming.  Right?

Current Journal Reviews
Fine and Not-So-Fine Sea Ice Models: Ever wonder how model resolution affects climate model output?  Author David Holland did, and he worked out the answer with respect to sea ice cover.

A 21st-Century Weakening of the Thermohaline Circulation?: Several climate model simulations have suggested that the thermohaline circulation of the world’s oceans will weaken in the 21st century due to CO2-induced global warming.  But a new model study suggests otherwise.

Transgenerational Effects of Elevated CO2 on Bromus erectus Seeds and Seedlings: Do plants in air of higher-than-ambient CO2 concentration grow better because of the direct and immediate effects of elevated CO2 on their "real-time" physiology or because they develop from seeds that were produced in high-CO2 air?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Does Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment Alter Leaf Litter Chemistry and Decomposition?: A meta-analysis of several dozen studies pertaining to this topic indicates that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations have little to no effect on leaf litter chemistry and decomposition rates, especially when the plants that produce the litter are growing under natural field conditions.

Elevated CO2 Increases Grain Weight in Water-Stressed Wheat: Spring wheat plants grown at an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 550 ppm in a FACE experiment exhibited greater CO2-induced increases in grain weights under water-stressed than under well-watered conditions, indicating that atmospheric CO2 enrichment often has a greater positive effect on stressed plants than it has on non-stressed plants.