How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 4 Number 43:  24 October 2001

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

Current Editorial
Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions Could Dramatically Increase Global Agricultural Production By Thwarting the Adverse Effects of Ozone Pollution: As the air's carbon dioxide content continues to rise, great political pressure is being brought to bear upon the nations of the world to reduce their CO2 emissions in response to the stated goal of curtailing global warming.  Such actions, however, are tantamount to biting the hand that feeds us; and they will be our downfall if vigorously pursued.

Subject Index Summaries
Fungi (In Association with Herbaceous Plants): Increases in the air's CO2 content tend to enhance fungal colonization of the roots of many herbaceous species, stimulating the development of intricate mycelial networks that perform a host of beneficial activities for the plants.

Thermohaline Circulation: Powerful globe-circling surface and undersea ocean currents have been suggested to be responsible for hemispheric and global temperature excursions that seem to come and go on a regular millennial-scale basis.  Does CO2 play a regulatory role in this long-running planetary drama?  Or is it just along for the ride?

Current Journal Reviews
Snowfall in Asia Is Starting Earlier and Lasting Longer: Does that sound like a logical response to unprecedented global warming?

Two Centuries of Temperature Change in Rural Norway: Where urban influences are absent, much of the earth seems to have reached a temperature maximum sometime in the 1930s (above which it has not subsequently risen) in the course of the planet's recovery from the global chill of the Little Ice Age.

Cloud Cover Over the Indian Ocean: The author of this study says climate model calculations suggest that cloud cover over the northern Indian Ocean should have "significantly decreased over the past several decades."  Real-world data, however, tell a radically different story, as earth's climate system flexes its negative feedback muscles.

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Needle Characteristics of Young Scots Pine Trees: Long-term exposure to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations caused structural and anatomical changes in needles of Scots pine trees that will likely allow this species to exhibit ever-increasing rates of photosynthesis and biomass production as the CO2 content of the air continues to rise.

Gender-Specific Responses of Aspen Trees to Elevated CO2: Is atmospheric CO2 enrichment more appealing to male or female quaking aspen trees?  Soil nitrogen status seems to be the deciding factor that swings the pendulum one way or the other.