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Burn oil, feed the world, grow plants, save forests, get richer, live longer. Why we urgently need to raise CO2.

Posted By Joanne Nova On October 13, 2015 @ 5:47 pm In Agriculture,Global Warming | Comments Disabled

It’s time to stop pussy footing around. We need higher levels of CO2. It is morally and ethically irresponsible to be silent while millions starve, biodiversity is under threat, and people are dying from cold weather.

Carbon dioxide increases crops, forest and plant life by 14% and is worth $140 billion, just in agricultural production. Thanks to CO2, forests have been protected because farms are more efficient in a higher CO2 world.

Countries that don’t do their part in producing enough carbon dioxide emissions need to lift their game. Coal use should be favoured over nuclear, hydro, wind and solar. Countries like France are free-riding on the nations like China, the US, and Australia — which are helping to green the world and feed the starving.

Indur Goklany has put together a comprehensive report on the benefits of CO2 for the GWPF.

The advantage of higher CO2 for all C3 crop plants is spectacular. That’s rice, wheat, barley, rye, cotton, sugar beet, spinach, and potato. C4 plants evolved in the last 30 million years to be good at dealing with low CO2 atmospheric concentration (corn, sugarcane, cabbage, broccoli, sedge, daisy.) Most plants are C3.

Plant growth, CO2, C3 crops, C4 crops

Figure 1: Carbon dioxide fertilization (in ppm, horizontal axes) of C3 crop and C4 weed
Source: von Caemmerer et al. (2012).

Cold kills more than heat does, even in hot towns more people die in winter:

 The pattern of a higher death rate in the colder months also holds for all-cause mortality in tropical and subtropical areas in China, Bangladesh, Kuwait, and Tunisia. Mortality rates apparently also peak in winter in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico; Santiago, Chile, Cape Town, South Africa; and Nairobi, Kenya (see Figure 9). It is also the case for the southern US states of Florida, Texas, California and even Hawaii.198 In addition, in Cuba, deaths from heart diseases and cerebrovascular diseases, which account for 37% of all deaths, peak in the colder (winter) months.

Conclusion — higher CO2 concentrations improves both human and plant well-being.

Summary

  1. This paper addresses the question of whether, and how much, increased carbon dioxide concentrations have benefited the biosphere and humanity by stimulating plant growth, warming the planet and increasing rainfall.
  2. Empirical data confirms that the biosphere’s productivity has increased by about 14% since 1982, in large part as a result of rising carbon dioxide levels.
  3. Thousands of scientific experiments indicate that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the air have contributed to increases in crop yields.
  4. These increases in yield are very likely to have reduced the appropriation of land for farming by 11–17% compared with what it would otherwise be, resulting in more land being left wild.
  5. Satellite evidence confirms that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations have also resulted in greater productivity of wild terrestrial ecosystems in all vegetation types.
  6. Increasing carbon dioxide concentrations have also increased the productivity of many marine ecosystems.
  7.  In recent decades, trends in climate-sensitive indicators of human and environmental wellbeing have improved and continue to do so despite claims that they would deteriorate because of global warming.
  8. Compared with the benefits from carbon dioxide on crop and biosphere productivity, the adverse impacts of carbon dioxide – on the frequency and intensity of extreme weather, on sea level, vector-borne disease prevalence and human health – have been too small to measure or have been swamped by other factors.
  9. Models used to influence policy on climate change have overestimated the rate of warming, underestimated direct benefits of carbon dioxide, overestimated the harms from climate change and underestimated human capacity to adapt so as to capture the benefits while reducing the harms.
  10. It is very likely that the impact of rising carbon dioxide concentrations is currently net beneficial for both humanity and the biosphere generally. These benefits are real, whereas the costs of warming are uncertain. Halting the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations abruptly would deprive people and the planet of the benefits of carbon dioxide much sooner than they would reduce any costs of warming.

 REFERENCE

Goklany, Indur (2015) Carbon Dioxide, The Good News, GWPF

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