CO2 is Greening Planet Earth

CO2 is Greening Planet Earth

The NASA website explains:

“From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.”

Image from NASA website shows the change in leaf area across the globe from 1982-2015. Credits: Boston University/R. Myneni

An International team conducted a study on the effects of atmospheric CO2 levels on the Earth, i.e., Greening of the Earth and its Drivers, published in Nature Climate Change, April 2016.

Co-author, professor Ranga Myneni, Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University, said:

“Results showed that carbon dioxide fertilization explains 70 percent of the greening effect. The second most important driver is nitrogen, at 9 percent. So we see what an outsized role CO2 plays in this process.”

Some articles published since this study have attempted to downplay the significance of the Greening of Planet Earth.

There is, however, well-established scientific evidence that increased levels of atmospheric CO2 results in significant growth of most plants.

Dr. Sherwood Idso, together with other scientists, conducted experiments that measured the effect of various levels of CO2 on plant growth.

This was done by constructing enclosures where various plants could grow under controlled conditions, where CO2 levels could be held constant at various levels.

Basically, plants are the only means on Earth where nature can convert the sun’s energy into matter, and food.

Type C3 plants represent at least 85 of all food crops, such as wheat, rice and soybeans. C3 plants also includes all trees. A feature of C3 plants is that they use water more efficiently with higher levels of CO2. The loss of water vapor is referred to as photorespiration. 

The scientific experiments by Dr. Idso reached several conclusions about C3 plants.

A doubling of CO2 will result in:

  1. An increase in plant growth of 40 to 60%. 
  2. An increase in food production of at least 30%.
  3. A reduction in water use through less loss of water vapor.

Side benefits will include the greening of desert areas and the possible growth of food plants in some areas where water has been lacking.

Plants have been starved for CO2 at the low levels existing before the industrial revolution.

It’s also a fact that if atmospheric levels of CO2 were below 150 ppm, most plants would die. At one point in the past two-million years, atmospheric CO2 levels were 180 ppm. Mankind has been living on the edge of extinction with low levels of atmospheric CO2.

This science is in contrast to computer programs that have been proven to overstate the effects of CO2 on temperatures. These higher temperatures, wrongly predicted by computer programs, have been used to downplay the positive effects of increased levels of CO2. See, Why There is Good News Now 

Conclusion:

Science has shown that increased levels of atmospheric CO2 has already resulted in the greening of planet Earth, and that a doubling of CO2 levels will be beneficial to mankind.

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Related Article: Greening of the Earth

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6 Replies to “CO2 is Greening Planet Earth”

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