Carbon Cycle and Climate Change Discussion

Read the following article for Friday 11/14/2003 (access to the full text article may be limited to on campus computers).  See below for questions related to the article.

The Global Carbon Cycle: A Test of Our Knowledge of Earth as a System
PDF version from UWGB server
P. Falkowski, R. J. Scholes, E. Boyle, J. Canadell, D. Canfield, J. Elser, N. Gruber, K. Hibbard, P. Högberg, S. Linder, F. T. Mackenzie, B. Moore III, T. Pedersen, Y. Rosenthal, S. Seitzinger, V. Smetacek, and W. Steffen
Science Oct 13 2000: 291-296

Questions to consider regarding the above article:

In the past has Earth's temperature changed sharply without CO2 changes?  Have changes in CO2 been associated with changes in Earth's temperature?

What is meant by CO2 reservoir sink strength?  What happens if sink strength changes more slowly than CO2 emissions?

What feedback mechanisms might impact ocean stratification and why is stratification important to CO2 sequestration?

What would atmospheric CO2 levels be if all phytoplankton in the oceans were to die?

"What is meant by the biological pump?"  Will it be able to keep up with CO2 emissions?

What is the relative proportion of CO2 in terrestrial biomass compared to the the atmosphere?

Increasing the flux of N from the Mississippi R. and other rivers into the oceans is a good thing because it will increase NPP (net primary productivity) of phytoplankton, which in turn will take more CO2 from the air! YES!  What do you think?

What is meant by the "signs of feedbacks" or "sign" on a sink?

Based on the article, will natural CO2 sinks keep up with CO2 emissions?