How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 5 Number 11:  13 March 2002

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

Current Editorial
Trouble in Paradise: A new coral-based reconstruction of sea surface temperatures from the tropical South Pacific spells trouble for the "hockey stick" temperature history that is currently being used by climate alarmists to erroneously portray the last two decades of the 20th century the warmest of the past millennium.

Subject Index Summaries
Aerosols (Non-Biological - Anthropogenic): Anthropogenic aerosols may or may not be the diabolical threat to human health they are often made out to be.  One thing, however, is certain.  They are major players in a host of physical and chemical interactions that determine earth's radiative energy balance; and they likely have the capacity to totally thwart whatever global warming impetus could ever be produced by the carbon dioxide released to the air by the burning of fossil fuels.

Trees (Types - Oak): A summary of some of the recently published literature suggests that increases in the air's CO2 content will enhance photosynthetic rates and biomass production in oak trees.

Carbon Sequestration Commentary
Another Silver Lining in a Global Warming Storm Cloud: Are things really as bad as the climate alarmists make them out to be?  Is earth's climate really as sensitive to CO2 as they want us to believe?  Of course not, as real-world data clearly show.  Really!

Current Journal Reviews
The Meridional Overturning Circulation of the Pacific Ocean: New Findings Present New Challenges for GCMs: A new analysis of hydrographic data reveals a significant slowdown in the meridional overturning circulation of the upper Pacific Ocean over the past quarter-century.  The implications of this finding are far from understood and extend into many different branches of global change research, indicating how much we have yet to learn about earth's complex climate system.

A Century of Baltic Sea Hydrographic Data: Although large changes were observed in some important parameters, there was little to no century-long trend in either river runoff or seawater salinity.

Nematode Life-Span Lengthened by Diet Lacking Coenzyme Q: The authors altered the diets of certain nematodes in such a way as to greatly reduce the anti-ageing effects of reactive oxygen species in their bodies.  We note that plants respond in an analogous fashion when exposed to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2.  Does this similarity suggest the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content portends increased longevity for life on earth?

Long-Term Effects of Elevated CO2 on Stomatal Conductance: Long-term atmospheric CO2 enrichment, provided by a natural CO2-emitting spring in central Italy, reduced leaf stomatal conductances in over a dozen different species of plants while having little to no effect on leaf stomatal density, thus suggesting that plant water usage is primarily controlled by leaf physiology as opposed to changes in leaf physical characteristics.

Elevated Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations: What Do They Mean for Xylem-Sucking Spittlebugs that Infest British Grasslands?: Let's just say it's not exactly what's implied by the Vulcan salutation "live long and prosper."