How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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Volume 5 Number 6:  6 February 2002

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

Current Editorial
Where Did the Plants and Animals of the Verdant Mid-Holocene Sahara Go?: Their more recalcitrant constituents went down the river to be buried in the mud at the bottom of the sea, while the carbon dioxide given off by their decomposition, according to the authors of a provocative new study, was wafted into the atmosphere, there to create an enhanced potential for its future return to the animated portion of the biosphere via the CO2 that makes possible the existence of almost all life on earth.

Subject Index Summaries
ENSO (Relationship to Global Warming): Climate alarmists periodically terrorize the public with claims that global warming will produce more frequent El Niņo-type weather, which they typically portray as being disruptive to human society.  To keep up the hype, there must be lots of data to substantiate their claims.  Right?

Leaves (Trees): A brief perusal of the recently-published scientific literature suggests that increases in the air's CO2 content may alter leaf characteristics of woody plants in ways that promote greater photosynthesis and growth rates, higher efficiencies of natural resource utilization, and increased foliar resistance to herbivory and pathogenic attack.

Carbon Sequestration Commentary
Woody Plants Expand Their Ranges, Pumping More Carbon Into the Soils Beneath Them, as the Air's CO2 Content Rises: Scientists have long sought the "missing carbon" that seems to be exiting the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate as the air's CO2 content continues to climb.  Could it be it's right under their noses?

Book Review
Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change: Scientific Advisor Dr. M. Mihkel Mathiesen reviews Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change, No. 47 in the Studies in Geology series of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, which was produced in collaboration with the Kansas Geological Survey and the AAPG Division of Environmental Geosciences with contributions from the U.S. Geological Survey.  And guess what?  He liked it!

Current Journal Reviews
Tropical Storm and Hurricane Strikes of the Southeast U.S. Coast: Climate alarmists tell us that a warmer globe will bring more storms. Real-world data tell us something vastly different.

Do Urban CO2 Domes Contribute to Urban Heat Islands?: Urban heat islands can be huge, with some large cities exhibiting near-surface air temperatures more than 10°C greater than those observed over surrounding rural areas.  Surely some of that mammoth amount of extra heat must come from the greenhouse effect of the elevated CO2 concentrations regularly observed over cities ... right?  Well, we have to admit, some of it does.

Seasonal Effects of Elevated CO2 on Winter Wheat: In a two-year study of winter wheat, elevated CO2 had little impact on physiological process early in the spring.  However, as summer approached and temperature and irradiance increased, so too did the beneficial effects of elevated CO2 on photosynthesis, transpiration, biomass production and yield.

Elevated CO2 Enhances Low-Temperature Tolerance in Native Desert Species: Elevated CO2 enhanced low-temperature survival in three Yucca species by an average of 1.0°C, thus suggesting greater seedling survival during episodic low-temperature events that commonly occur in the Mojave Desert of the southwestern United States.

Long-Term Effects of Elevated CO2 on Woody-Shrub Water Relations: Lifelong exposure of three different species of Mediterranean shrubs to elevated CO2 improved their overall water relations by reducing rates of transpirational water loss and increasing leaf water potentials.