How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 5 Number 33:  14 August 2002

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

Current Editorial
Biology Rules: On Land and at Sea: In a prior editorial we described a study that indicates how terrestrial vegetation acts to counter the greenhouse effect of increases in the air's CO2 content.  We here describe a study that indicates how marine phytoplankton may accomplish the same feat.

Subject Index Summaries
C4 Plants (Photosynthesis): A review of some of the recent pertinent literature indicates that future increases in the air's CO2 content should lead to increases in the photosynthetic rates of most C4 plants, in contradiction of the older orthodoxy that such was unlikely to be the case.

Feedback Factors (Thermohaline Circulation): The thermohaline circulation of the world's oceans may be organized in such a way that it acts as a moderator of earth's climate, allowing it to oscillate between warm and cold nodes but constraining it to remain within certain bounds conducive to the continued existence of life, especially on the high-temperature end of the scale.

Current Journal Reviews
Tropical Cyclones of the Central North Pacific: Their numbers are on the rise and they're getting stronger.  Better batten down the hatches and prepare for the global warming-induced worst ... or at least hold out until the next step-change in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation returns the climate of the region back to that of the "good old days" of 1966-81.

Climate Chaos in the Rocky Mountains: Over the last half-century, radiosonde-derived free-air temperatures, such as those predicted by climate models, indicate warming at high elevations in Colorado.  Surface air temperatures measured in standard weather shelters, however, indicate cooling.

Persistent Effects of Early CO2 Enrichment on Winter Wheat: In most CO2 enrichment experiments, plants are generally exposed to differential CO2 concentrations throughout the entire study.  In this experiment, however, the authors exposed wheat to differential CO2 concentrations for 18 days post-germination before placing all plants at a common ambient CO2 concentration for the next 22 days.

Elevated CO2 and Plant Water Use: A Literature Review: In this comprehensive review of the scientific literature, the authors compiled the results of numerous experiments, primarily from the past decade, to determine how plant water use is affected by atmospheric CO2 enrichment.

The Growth Response of Eucalyptus Plantlets to Elevated CO2: Can prior exposure to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations increase the survivability of Eucalyptus plantlets upon their transfer to ambient air?