How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 5 Number 19:  8 May 2002

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

Current Editorial
400,000 Years of Atmospheric CO2, Methane and Temperature Data: What Can They Tell Us?: They can tell us a lot, and it's all very comforting, scientifically speaking. In terms of the politics of the day, however, it's downright depressing.

Subject Index Summaries
Agriculture (Species -- Soybean): Nearly all agricultural species respond to increases in the air's CO2 content by displaying enhanced rates of photosynthesis and biomass production.  In this brief summary, we review some recently published responses of soybean (Glycine max) to atmospheric CO2 enrichment.

Antarctica (Sea Ice): How has the area of sea ice around Antarctica varied over the past few decades of what climate alarmists call unprecedented global warming?  Since polar regions are supposed to lead the way in manifesting this phenomenon, according to climate models, sea ice should be rapidly degrading in this region of the world.  Is it?

Current Journal Reviews
A 1300-Year Climatic History of Western Central Asia: When good tree-ring data span a long enough period of time, it is readily evident that the Modern Warm Period does not even hold a candle to the Medieval Warm Period of a thousand years ago ... even far removed from the North Atlantic Ocean in the vicinity of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border near China and India.

Half a Billion Years of CO2 and Climate: Five hundred million years is a long time to look for a cause-and-effect relationship between the atmosphere's CO2 concentration and the planet's mean global air temperature.  Did the author find one?

Long-Term Effects of Elevated CO2 in a Mature Sweetgum Stand: Atmospheric CO2 enrichment generally increases the photosynthetic rates of trees, particularly when they are seedlings and saplings.  But what about mature trees?  Is the response maintained?  Or does it gradually disappear?

Growth Responses of an Aquatic Plant to Elevated CO2 and Temperature: Most terrestrial plants respond positively to increases in the air's CO2 content and, if they are not already too hot, elevated air temperatures.  But what about aquatic plants?  In this study, the authors investigate the individual and combined responses of water horsetail plants to elevated CO2 and air temperature.

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Phenolics in Perennial Grasses: Elevated CO2 often increases the vegetative synthesis of secondary carbon compounds, including phenolics, which protect plants from herbivorous insects.  In surveying multiple genotypes of two grassland species, the authors investigate whether or not elevated CO2 will affect phenolic concentrations differently across genotypes and thus act as a selective agent against those of lower CO2 responsiveness.