Greening of the Earth

Greening of the Earth

While the media has been castigating CO2 as a threat to mankind, science has shown that increases in atmospheric CO2 levels have been beneficial.

Increased levels of atmospheric CO2 have:

  1. Reduced the of threat of mankind’s extinction from inadequate amounts of atmospheric CO2. See Importance of CO2
  2. Increased crop growth and the greening of the Earth.

Increased crop growth can mean more food for mankind.

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.

Here is what co-author, Chinese scientist, Zaichun Zhu, said about the results:

“The greening over the past 33 years reported in this study is equivalent to adding a green continent about two times the size of mainland USA.”

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.”

Another study, Regional disparities in the beneficial effects of rising CO2 concentrations on water productivity, established that higher levels of atmospheric CO2 could reduce water use by crops by 4 – 17%.

The need for less water would be a huge boon to agriculture in areas where water was not in abundant supply.

It should be noted, owners of greenhouses routinely maintain CO2 levels twice the ambient level.

(Data is from a presentation by Matt Ridley, GWPF lecture, The Royal Society, London 17 October 2016.)

From Zhu et al Nature Climate Change 2016 The image shows the change in leaf area across the globe from 1982-2015. From Zhu et al Nature Climate Change 2016.
The image shows the change in leaf area across the globe from 1982-2015.

The graphic shows that the Earth has become greener, i.e., Leaf Area Index (LAI), over the past few decades, primarily as the result of increased atmospheric levels of CO2.

Scientific evidence has established that increased levels of atmospheric CO2 are beneficial for mankind.

 

This is the fourth article in the series: Let Science Do the Talking.

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