Inconvenient Study: CO2 fertilization greening the earth

International team reports CO2 fertilization prompted plants and trees to sprout extra green leaves equivalent in area to two times the continental USA, or nearly 4.4 billion General Shermans (largest giant Sequoia tree)

Thirteen Years of Greening from SeaWiFS

Thirteen Years of Greening from SeaWiFS – image from NASA Earth Observatory- not part of article below, for illustration only

Color bar for Thirteen Years of Greening from SeaWiFS

From BOSTON UNIVERSITY:

BOSTON — An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries has just published a study titled “Greening of the Earth and its Drivers” in the journal Nature Climate Change showing significant greening of a quarter to one-half of the Earth’s vegetated lands using data from the NASA-MODIS and NOAA-AVHRR satellite sensors of the past 33 years. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees. Green leaves produce sugars using energy in the sunlight to mix carbon dioxide (CO2) drawn in from the air with water and nutrients pumped in from the ground. These sugars are the source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth. More sugars are produced when there is more CO2 in the air, and this is called CO2 fertilization.

“We were able to tie the greening largely to the fertilizing effect of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration by tasking several computer models to mimic plant growth observed in the satellite data,” says co-author Prof. Ranga Myneni of the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University, USA. Burning oil, gas, coal and wood for energy releases CO2 in to the air. The amount of CO2 in the air has been increasing since the industrial age and currently stands at a level not seen in at least half-a-million years. It is the chief culprit of climate change.

About 85% of the Earth’s ice-free lands is covered by vegetation. The area of all green leaves on Earth is equal to, on average, 32% of the Earth’s total surface area – oceans, lands and permanent icesheets combined. “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 (18 million km2), and has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” says lead author Dr. Zaichun Zhu, a researcher from Peking University, China, who did the first-half of this study as a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University, USA, together with Prof. Myneni.

Every year, about one-half of the 10 billion tons of carbon emitted in to the atmosphere from human activities remains temporarily stored, in about equal parts, in the oceans and plants. “While our study did not address the connection between greening and carbon storage in plants, other studies have reported an increasing carbon sink on land since the 1980s, which is entirely consistent with the idea of a greening Earth,” says coauthor Prof. Shilong Piao of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Science, Beijing, China.

The beneficial aspect of CO2 fertilization in promoting plant growth has been used by contrarians, notably Lord Ridley (hereditary peer in the UK House of Lords) and Mr. Rupert Murdoch (owner of several news outlets), to argue against cuts in carbon emissions to mitigate climate change, similar to those agreed at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Paris last year under the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “The fallacy of the contrarian argument is two-fold. First, the many negative aspects of climate change, namely global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice, more severe tropical storms, etc. are not acknowledged. Second, studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising CO2 concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time,” says co-author Dr. Philippe Ciais, Associate Director of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, Gif-suvYvette, France and Contributing Lead Author of the Carbon Chapter for the recent IPCC Assessment Report 5.

CO2 fertilization is only one, albeit a predominant, reason why the Earth is greening. The study also identified climate change, nitrogen fertilization and land management as other important reasons. “While the detection of greening is based on measurements, the attribution to various drivers is based on models, and these models have known deficiencies. Future works will undoubtedly question and refine our results,” says coauthor Dr. Josep Canadell of the CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Division in Canberra, Australia and leader of the Global Carbon Project.

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144 thoughts on “Inconvenient Study: CO2 fertilization greening the earth

    • “The fallacy of the contrarian argument is two-fold. First, the many negative aspects of climate change, namely global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice, more severe tropical storms, etc. are not acknowledged. Second, studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising CO2 concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time,” says co-author Dr. Philippe Ciais, Associate Director of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, Gif-suvYvette, France and Contributing Lead Author of the Carbon Chapter for the recent IPCC Assessment Report 5.

      I’d say this ^^ quote argues otherwise. Sounds like a CYA pro-global-warming claim to me.

      • My dear Katherine,
        You do realize that the I in IPCC stands for INTERGOVERNMENTAL Politicization of Climate Change? This is not a scientific panel but a government driven policy panel bent upon wealth redistribution (self admittedly). Before governments hijacked climate science in the 1980’s, recent historic warm periods were referred to as CLIMATIC OPTIMUMS, as in the Medieval climatic optimum, or the Roman climatic optimum, or the Minoan climatic optimum. “The Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) was a warm period during roughly the interval 9,000 to 5,000 years BP. The Holocene Climate Optimum warm event consisted of increases of up to 4 °C near the North Pole (in one study, winter warming of 3 to 9 °C and summer of 2 to 6 °C in northern central Siberia).”-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum

        noun: optimum; plural noun: optima; plural noun: optimums
        1. the most favorable conditions or level for growth, reproduction, or success.

        I would also point out that the baleful predictions of these climate hysterics have been thoroughly falsified by real world observations.

        CO2…Plants love it. Embrace the warm. The world is dynamic, not static.

  1. I’m going to change just one word in the quote found in the last paragraph:
    “While the detection of warming is based on measurements, the attribution to various drivers is based on models, and these models have known deficiencies. Future works will undoubtedly question and refine our results,”

    • The reporter states as an indisputable fact that “CO2… is the chief culprit of climate change”, but when discussing the simpler and more direct science of CO2 fertilization, he hedges his conclusions with quotes such as “these models have known deficiencies”.

      • Exactly, this example shows clearly the religious nature of the CAGW cargo cult. Logical thinking has no chance against a certain orthodox doctrine…

  2. For further details see: Indur Goklany’s Carbon Dioxide: The good news – Foreward by Freeman Dyson. 2015 The Global Warming Policy Foundation

    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
    well being 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.

      • Ah but you don’t understand the “Green” mentality because last year in our local park they cut down an area of woodland that had been wooded for 150 years in order to make it “greener”. No doubt if they had the chance, they would then dig up everything that was left to put up a bird mincer.

  3. “and this is called CO2 fertilization”

    yeah like me eating a good steak is called “steak fertilization”.

    silly terminology.

    Extra CO2 is just extra food…. of course the plants grow better. ! DOH !!

  4. And let’s remember, this study only looks at the land biosphere.

    The ocean plant life is probably responding in a similar manner.

    More food for every living species.

  5. I’m sure these results will be adjusted away shortly, just like the inconvenient Argo data.

  6. This is not going to go over well in the climate con war rooms. CO2 and plants had no authorization to conduct this joint activity outside the bounds of the media messaging effort.

  7. Are they adjusting the albedo in their model forecasts? Oh sorry, silly me that would be science.

  8. Rating: “Poor”
    ************************************************************************

    Burning oil, gas, coal and wood for energy releases CO2 in to the air. The amount of CO2 in the air has been increasing since the industrial age and currently stands at a level not seen in at least half-a-million years. …

    Yeah, about 5 gigtons/year. Ocean outgassing and other natural sources release about 150 Gt/year. That is, natural sources are greater than human by 2 orders of magnitude. (Source: IPCC)

    WRT Net CO2: for human CO2 to dominate, natural would have remain in nearly perfect balance, i.e., even a minor imbalance in natural CO2 would either overwhelm the human CO2 emissions or act as a net sink of all the human CO2.

    (Source: Dr. Murry Salby, Hamburg lecture, April, 2013 at 5:12)

    (youtube)

    **********************************************************
    … {CO2} is the chief culprit of climate change.

    Not proven. No prima facie case. No mechanism shown. Not even close. Not one measurement makes this statement more than mere conjecture.

    Worse, this conjecture about human CO2 now flies in the face of the evidence:

    CO2 UP. WARMING STOPPED.

    ******************************************************
    … global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice, more severe tropical storms, etc. …

    Not one of which has ever been causally linked to CO2, much less to human CO2 emissions.

    THIS PAPER IS A PILE OF JUNK BUILT ON A TRUE FOUNDATION: CO2 is plant food.

    Yup. That’s it. That is the ONLY reason to not rate this paper “very poor.”

    • “Not proven. No prima facie case. No mechanism shown. Not even close. Not one measurement makes this statement more than mere conjecture.” –> Thanks for that Janice. Did you just describe “Settled Science”?

      What distinguishes Settled Science from actual science? I say it’s the inability to provide proof.

    • Janice…NASA says that plants cool the atmosphere….this paper says land plants have had a massive increase in the past 33 years…
      …and temps flat lined

      • Mr. Homer: my pleasure. “Settled Science” — lol — can mean pretty much whatever you want it to mean, short of claiming it to be a synonym for “science.”

        Latitude! :)

        … and…. CO2 UP. WARMING STOPPED.

        The End.

        #(:))

    • Janice,

      Not your best reasoning this time…

      natural sources are greater than human by 2 orders of magnitude.

      Yes, but you forget to tell that natural sinks also are 2 orders of magnitude larger than human sources, without any appreciable amount of human sinks… And natural sinks were always larger than natural sources in the past 55 years…

      even a minor imbalance in natural CO2 would either overwhelm the human CO2 emissions or act as a net sink of all the human CO2

      Would, could, but didn’t in the past 55 years:

      The maximum variability in the natural balance for extreme events (Pinatubo, El Niño), is +/- 1.5 ppmv around the trend, fading out to zero within 1-3 years. Human emissions meanwhile were around twice the observed increase of 80 ppmv…

      • See http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7288/full/nature08930.html

        In the 20 year period following 1989, an assay of soils indicates that emissions of CO2 from terrestrial soils has increased by about 2 Gt/yr. This increase correlates with the increase in atmospheric temperature over this time.

        Over the same period, anthropogenic emission have also increased by 2 Gt/yr.

        This is the strongest evidence so far that it is not the sink rate (green line) that is fluctuating but rather the temperature-correlated increase in emission from soils is at least an equal partner to human use of fossil fuels as the contributor to net increase in atmospheric CO2.

        The fluctuation in emissions correlates with temperature fluctuations over multi-decadal intervals as well.

      • And natural sinks were always larger than natural sources in the past 55 years…

        only for 55 years??….either natural sinks are larger than natural sources all the time, or they are not

        …and if natural sinks are always larger than natural sources…we would have run out

      • Ferdinand, 55 years is meaningless, a mere micro-tick in geological time. The geoilogical evidence covering the last half-billion years shows quite plainly that biological sinks are consistently more “efficient” than all natural sources. Even assuming the likely event of massive methane discharges from decomposing clathrates temporarily overwhelming sinks at various points in geological history, carbon in all forms is less available at present than at any time in the last 200,000,000 years. Based upon repeated forecasts of “the end of oil” the current slight outperformance of sources (including human) over sinks is temporary.

      • I’ve seen that graph before and I never liked it. How can natural CO2 production and sink rate be measured with that sort of accuracy, where they so perfectly track each other, even when they vary by a factor of 2 or more from year to year. I think the numbers are wild guesses and should not be represented in a graph that implies those numbers are hard data.

    • CO2 UP. WARMING STOPPED.
      How long is the pause at the moment? One month? Two? There does not seem to be evidence that warming has stopped.

      • We just came off a period of almost twenty years of a ‘pause’ in global warming.

        Getting all excited over a month or two is typical alarmism. It’s the two decade pause that debunks the ‘carbon’ scare.

      • Seaice1, two things to noodle.
        1. It looks like a strong La Nina is setting in, more rapidly than usual. That means what went up will come down. And 2016 may NOT prove another record. And (for almost sure by mid 2017) the pause will have returned, another 18 or so months added to it.
        2. It looks like AMO is turning negative earlier and more rapidly than expected. Lets see how 2016 Arctic sea ice minimum develops given the scary stuff about low winter maximum (thanks to El Nino).
        By year end, we will know both. Mark this comment. At yearend, if you return we will revisit both.

      • “seaice1: CO2 UP. WARMING STOPPED.
        How long is the pause at the moment? One month? Two? There does not seem to be evidence that warming has stopped.”

        Seaice1, the initially the response from the alarmists was that the pause hadn’t last long enough to be statistically significant, it would need to be over 15 years before it was. Does the same criterion apply if temperatures rise again?

      • The headlines about the pause depended on the definition of the pause. By that definition the pause is now about 1-2 months long. If it comes back after a La Nina then you will be able to say there has been a pause for 19 years or so. Until then there is no pause at the moment. As ristvan says, we will see, but until we see we cannot make any claims about what has not yet happened. If you were happy to use the pause last year as a basis for claiming there had been no global warming for 18 years, then you cannot justifiably make that same claim now.

      • “The headlines about the pause depended on the definition of the pause. By that definition the pause is now about 1-2 months long.”

        Utter drivel.

        Stop making stuff up.

      • Phaedo -I am not sure what you are asking. The temperature record goes back many years. I suggest we use all of it and not just the last 20 years when looking for multi-decadal trends. If you are suggesting that we need to wait 20 years more before we can claim a rise in temperatures, then no, that is wrong. We do not re-set the data when the pause ended and start again – we still have the record going back decades.

        I never thought the pause was very significant in and of itself because it was a statistical trick. By only looking back at whatever data was covered by the “no significant rise” definition you are excluding all the data that went before. Therefore the ending of the pause is not a significant event.

      • seaice1, “The temperature record goes back many years. I suggest we use all of it and not just the last 20 years when looking for multi-decadal trends. ”

        Does that include the Arctic ice with the nearly impossible flat variability going back to 1880?

        Perhaps you can explain –
        ‘Adolf Erik, Baron Nordenskiöld, in full Nils Adolf Erik, Baron Nordenskiöld (born November 18, 1832, Helsinki, Finland—died August 12, 1901, Dalbyö, Sweden) Swedish geologist, mineralogist, geographer, and explorer who sailed from Norway to the Pacific across the Asiatic Arctic, completing the first successful navigation of the Northeast Passage.’
        http://www.britannica.com/biography/Adolf-Erik-Baron-Nordenskiold
        in 1878

      • Lee, we are talking about temperatures, not ice, so your comment is not relevant.
        Catweazle666. The pause is defined by Monckton as the furthest you can go back from today’s date and not find a positive slope. If you have issues with that take them up with Monckton, not me.

      • For the last 400 years, we have been warming up from the little ice age. There has been no acceleration in that warming in recent decades.
        What other record could you be talking about?

    • Janice, a gentle suggestion. Judith Curry and I were going to do back to back posts on Salby. I dug out all three video lectures, of which you post Hamburg. The more we dug, the murkier things got. He claims cannot show data because confiscated. Data can be reproduced. There are errors in both his math and his logic that I was finding with ease. We finally decided not to touch Salby at CE despite several denizen requests, since the rest of the carbon source/sink literature is pretty robust. There is a quite good possibility IMO he is just wrong.
      And, separate judgment basis, he left the US for Australia rapidly and under circumstances that cast grave doubts on him otherwise. Grant abuse is not good, and seldom are such accusations leveled in the US by grantors unless there is strong evidence, due to libel issues. When they stick on a grantee who sticks around, usually means jail time.
      Regards.

      • Mr. Istvan,

        Your accusations are not at all “gentle.” They are serious charges of scientific misconduct. I will not listen to them unless you post your specific allegations with supporting evidence (along with Dr. Curry’s) AND accompanied by Dr. Salby’s reply to your accusations OR by his explicit refusal to reply to your invitation to respond.

        Do you think that I am so simpleminded that I would take your unsupported conclusions seriously upon mere articulation of them?

        Several others on this site, whom I know are FAR more scientifically credentialed and experienced than you are, SUPPORT Dr. Salby’s analysis.

        I am aware of the circumstances of his data and his leaving Australia. Your comment full of unsupported accusations has done nothing to convince me that Dr. Salby was not telling us the truth. As to Dr. Curry, you are citing only hearsay, i.e., you are, by citing her as a witness in your borderline libelous remarks, not even reaching the lowest level of fairness expected in a U.S. courtroom.

        You also implicate those in Hamburg who sponsored his lecture in his chicanery.

        Finally, since you claim to be a member of the bar of one of the United States, I will say that your conduct at 3:16pm on April 25, 2011 here on WUWT is shameful and if it does not technically violate a rule of professional conduct it most certainly violates the spirit of several. Did you not take an Oath of Attorney upon being sworn in? It goes above and beyond the RPC’s, you know.

        Janice Moore

      • Why don’t you just research the situation the way we did? Rather than go off like you just did.?
        Being aware of US consesequences, I am always quite guarded in comments. The separate judgement basis paragraph is based on the NSF Inspector General’s Closeout Memo dated 2/20/2009 (Salby had already left the US), finding “a pattern of deception and lack of integrity” in handling US grant funds.

      • Grant abuse is not good, and seldom are such accusations leveled in the US by grantors unless there is strong evidence, due to libel issues.

        Here’s what the NSF found:

        * submitted significantly overlapped proposals to NSF and another federal agency;
        * received compensation from NSF awards substantially in excess of approved budget amounts;
        * overcharged NSF awards for indirect costs on a subcontract, and failed to disclose the subcontract to NSF;
        * received payments for effort that he documented with questionable time and effort reports; and
        * failed to comply with his University’s conflicts of interest and financial disclosure policy.

        Here’s an URL: http://www.nsf.gov/oig/search/I06090025.pdf I wasn’t able to link directly. If you end up on a search page, the case number is: I06090025

        He does clearly have supporters. link I’m too lazy to dig into this enough to actually understand what’s going on and am therefore sitting on the fence.

      • Dear ristvan – I think you are a decent person and do not want to take sides in your current argument wit Janice. I hope you will take these comments as constructive and partially supportive of Salby’s scientific work.

        Following is my research that pre-dates Salby. I do not go as far as Salby in completely rejecting the “mass balance argument”; however I suggest we just do not know for certain the primary drivers of increasing atmospheric CO2 such as fossil fuel combustion, rainforest destruction, deep ocean exsolution, etc.; we can only make inferences.

        I am however reasonably confident that the future cannot cause the past.

        To my knowledge, I initiated in early January 2008 the still-heretical notion that dCO2/dt changed ~contemporaneously with temperature and therefore atmospheric CO2 concentration lagged atmospheric temperature by about 9 months in the modern data record.
        http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/
        or:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/mean:12/derivative/plot/uah/from:1959/scale:0.22/offset:0.14

        Others including Salby and Humlum et al have since published similar findings.

        There are several observations about this striking dCO2/dt vs. temperature relationship:

        1. The dCO2/dt vs. temperature correlation is remarkably strong for a natural global phenomenon.

        2. The integral (of dCO2/dt) is atmospheric CO2, and it LAGS temperature by about 9 months in the modern data record. CO2 also LAGS temperature by about 800 years in the ice core record. Thus CO2 LAGS temperature at all measured time scales. Thus the global warming hypothesis assumes that the future is causing the past. Thus the CAGW hypothesis fails.

        3. This close dCO2/dt vs temperature relationship indicates that temperature drives CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature.

        4. The dCO2/dt vs. temperature correlation is the only detailed signal I have found in the data – there is NO evidence that CO2 LEADS temperature or that increasing atmospheric CO2 significantly increases global temperature.

        5. Furthermore, global temperature declined from ~1940-1975, increased from ~1975-2000, and has stayed flat (or cooled slightly) since ~2000, all while atmospheric CO2 increased; so the correlation of temperature to increasing atmospheric CO2 has been NEGATIVE, Positive, and Near-Zero. I suggest Near-Zero is the correct estimate of the sensitivity (ECS) of global temperature to increasing atmospheric CO2. There is and never had been a manmade global warming crisis – there is no credible evidence to support this failed hypothesis.

        6. With few exceptions including some on this website, nobody (especially the global warming alarmists) wants to acknowledge the LAG of CO2 after temperature – apparently this LAG of CO2 after temperature contradicts deeply-held religious beliefs about global warming.

        7. While basic physics may suggest that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the overwhelming observational evidence indicates that the impact of increasing CO2 on global temperature is so small as to be insignificant.

        8. In summary, observational evidence strongly indicates that the manmade global warming crisis does not exist.

        9. Finally, atmospheric CO2 is not alarmingly high; in fact, it is dangerously low for the survival of terrestrial carbon-based life on Earth. Plants evolved with about 2000ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, or about 5 times current CO2 concentrations.

        10. In one of the next global Ice Ages, atmospheric CO2 will approach about 150ppm, a concentration at which terrestrial photosynthesis will slow and cease – and that will be the extinction event for terrestrial carbon-based life on this planet.

        11. More atmospheric CO2 is highly beneficial to all carbon-based life on Earth. Therefore, CO2 abatement and sequestration schemes are nonsense.

        12. As a devoted fan of carbon-based life on this planet, I feel the duty to advocate on our behalf. I should point out that I am not prejudiced against other life forms. They might be very nice, but I do not know any of them well enough to form an opinion. :-)

        Regards, Allan

      • I have done some work on Dr Salby’s claims, and his work appears to be unsupported by the data. It takes a lot of work to get from there to a post on WUWT so I have just left it in its spreadsheet (and in my own mind). That’s not much help, I know, but basically I think Rud Istvan and Judith Curry are on the right track.

      • Alan MacRae:

        Murry Salby is missing an important physical mechanism regulating the exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and solution in ocean water in the form of inorganic carbonates. The concentration of CO2 in its “aqueous” form is in proportion to the atmospheric concentration, but only a small part of the CO2 in ocean water is in the aqueous form. The bulk of it is in the various “inorganic carbonates”, the chemical equilibrium equation for exchange between aqueous CO2 and the “carbonate system” has a 10th power term, which means the atmospheric CO2 concentration and its proportional aqueous CO2 concentration has to increase by 10 units to get a 1-unit increase in CO2 concentration in the inorganic carbonates.

        This factor of 10 is known as the Revelle factor. The amount of ocean water is vast, so even if the concentration of CO2 in the ocean changes by a tenth of the change in concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, the amount of CO2 that can be sequestered in the ocean is large in comparison to what is held in the atmosphere at a given parts-per-million level (about 400 ppm currently). Even taking into account this factor of 10 in concentration change, Revelle and Suess in 1957 questioned whether the total increase in atmospheric CO2 could be attributed to fossil fuel combustion emissions as opposed to some large natural net emission of CO2 owing to the ability of the ocean to absorb CO2 added to the atmosphere on account of the enormity of the ocean reservoir.

        Since 1957, the reasoning is that only the surface layer of the ocean mixes on a short enough time scale and that the mass exchange with the deep ocean takes much longer. The net sequestration of CO2 into the oceans, furthermore, is upper-bounded by the more recent assays of atmospheric oxygen concentration, a sequestration rate that is consistent radiocarbon ages of samples of deep ocean water. When you put this all together, you come up with the modern-consensus view that most if not nearly all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 in the 20th century is what remains of human-caused emissions less the ocean (primarily absorbed into the inorganic carbonates) and terrestrial (primarily plants) sinks.

        But this mass-balance argument does not account for a source, a natural source, exhibiting the dCO2/dt correlation with atmospheric temperature. The human fossil-fuel combustion source does not exhibit this correlation, at least not on the time scales of small numbers of years shown in the Wood for Trees graphs you link. But if you introduce a natural source having emission (dCO2/dt) varying with temperature, you need to account of a stronger sink (such as plants absorbing CO2) to account for the measured levels of atmospheric CO2 with two sources with emissions increasing over time. One is the human source as fossil fuel burning increases with economic development and population growth, the other is this natural source that has to be increasing over time with the 20th century warming.

        Given the constraints on CO2 exchange with the oceans, my speculation is that the natural source where dCO2/dt varies with temperature is the terrestrial soils, and the sink is the terrestrial plants that are more sensitive in their growth to atmospheric CO2 levels than previously considered — this “greening of the Earth” of the parent post.

      • ristvan, I don’t know the ins and outs of the situation with Salby, but I’m a bit suspicious that he would be the only guy that the NSF would go after with all the charlatans lined up at the trough. Shukla, for one is being investigated by a government committee over very unsavory sounding uses of 6 million bucks, nepotism, etc. and the NSF isn’t even after him. Why might that be?

      • Paul Milenkovic wrote:
        “Given the constraints on CO2 exchange with the oceans, my speculation is that the natural source where dCO2/dt varies with temperature is the terrestrial soils, and the sink is the terrestrial plants that are more sensitive in their growth to atmospheric CO2 levels than previously considered — this “greening of the Earth” of the parent post.”

        Thank you Paul – an interesting hypo.

        Please examine the 15fps AIRS data animation of global CO2 at
        [video src="http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4" /]

        Give it a minute to load, then enjoy this display of nature’s power.

        Regards, Allan

      • Gary Pearse, late dead thread. But you deserve an answer. Perhaps you presume some conspiracy. I think not. Rep. Smith’ Science oversight commitee has commanded the NSF Inspector General to go after Shukla. And what Shukla did is much worse than what Salby did.
        The times, they are achangin.

    • Janice Moore @ 1:14

      Ian Plimer and others have stated that of every 85,000 molecules of air (dry) about 35 are CO2 (@400ppm) and of this only 1 is of manmade origin (don’t know how you define this). Does anyone know if this figure of 1 manmade molecule in 85,00 is factual?

      Given the present level of CO2 in the atmosphere are the gently warming oceans a source or sink of CO2 taking account of the increasing partial pressure of this extra CO2 in the atmosphere?

      Any thoughts on these two queries would be much appreciated.

  9. They take the second half of the discussion away from greening and tell us about contrarians etc. The reason for this is two-fold: 1) They have to genuflect to the CAGW gods whom their studies appear to be contradicting and then they put in the lie that with increased greening, the fertilizer effect of CO2 diminishes, when they know that greenhouse growers use 1000ppm or more and clearly know what the are doing.

    “Every year, about one-half of the 10 billion tons of carbon emitted in to the atmosphere from human activities remains temporarily stored, in about equal parts, in the oceans and plants.”

    Now for some logic to round out the paper. The biota sink is exponential in growth and the emissions ~ linear. This means that, at some point, 3/4 and then more of the emissions will be sequestered naturally. Thought experiment: the greening is a fringe around arid regions of the globe, expansion in the girth and canopies of non arid region trees and plants, penetration into tundra regions, multiplication of coccolithophores (plankton and in particular calcium carbonate skeletal parts). In the years hence, an new fringe inside the first fringe will grow concentrically around the arid regions and the other parts of the world will similarly expand, plus crops expand. Animal habitat also expands. I believe that these guys are not keeping track of the growth in sequestration relative to emissions because this would poison the fantasy data.

    How’s this for climate change talking about redwoods: in the Ekati diamond mine near the arctic circle beautifully preserved redwood logs (still red and with amber blobs) were found at three hundred metres depth in the open pit mine. The age of the deposit is 53million years BP.

    http://www.livescience.com/23374-fossil-forest-redwood-diamond-mine.html

    I think the pictures and article should be part of the skeptics kit for defogging CAGW. Northwest Territories apparently enjoyed a California climate in a deep redwood forest.

    • Thanks for calling attention to that article @livescience. Redwood forests and California Climate near the Arctic Circle 53 million years ago. One would think that the great mulch grinder of the Glacial period has used those raw materials to make the soils of the great plains.

    • No. Roger Harrabin at the BBC is only affecting to have discovered that CO2 might be important for photosynthesis.

      It is still just a hit piece, essentially attempting to argue that “Yes, CO2 increases plant growth, but everything else is still even ‘worser worse than we thought’.

      I mean, for crying out loud, the wheel-on spurting University of Exeter expert they quote says things like: “But we can’t be certain yet when that would happen. Hopefully, the world will follow the Paris agreement objectives and limit warming below 2C.”

      These dicksplashes aren’t even up to speed with the doomatologists on their own side. Their allies decided in Paris, for no good reason, that they were going to lower the target from 2.0C to 1.5C, but these guys haven’t even caught up yet.

      What they understand about the global carbon cycle is probably even less. These plonkers have been predicting things like the “saturation” of short term carbon sinks for a long time now. Like the tropospheric hot-spot, it is another gobsmackingly failed prediction of the global warmers that fails to come true. Year after year.

      Don’t expect the BBC to start asking questions about this any time soon.

  10. Over the next few years, look for the arguments and speculative models that have supported the exaggerated projections of CAGW to finally be replaced by authentic science based on observations and adjustments to busted theories.

    • True, however, this is bogus “study” is ONLY aimed at one thing: damage control.

      … plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising CO2 concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time …

      Enviroprofiteer Scientists-for-hire: CO2’s good effects will still be outweighed by the all the horrible things it can do. Don’t be fooled by those “contrarians.” CO2 IS BAD — BUY — MORE — WINDMILLS!!!! (and solar panels, too)

      • Even if climate science is fundamentally corrupt I am not sure how this is evidence in support of that.

      • Even if climate science is fundamentally corrupt I am not sure how this is evidence in support of that.
        ==============
        Second, studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising CO2 concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time,” says co-author Dr. Philippe Ciais, Associate Director of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, Gif-suvYvette, France and Contributing Lead Author of the Carbon Chapter for the recent IPCC Assessment Report 5.
        =========
        this is corrupt…..he doesn’t qualify that “over time” means thousands of years

        Plants are in danger because they can’t evolve fast enough for global warming..
        ..but presto, they can evolve fast enough to not need increased CO2

      • seaice1, I posted a comment at top which makes the point, I think. To restate: The reporter states as an indisputable fact that “CO2… is the chief culprit of climate change”, but when discussing the simpler and more direct science of CO2 fertilization, he hedges his conclusions with quotes such as “these models have known deficiencies”.

        In fact, CO2 fertilization science is far easier to do and far more reliable than the global climate models. NO ONE knows reliably how to accurately compute the change in global cloud albedo that results from a small temperature increase, yet cloud albedo is a huge primary feedback to any sensible model.

        Meanwhile, so called FACE experiments (full access carbon enrichment) have been running around the world for 2 decades. These experiments run on adjacent plots of woodland, fields, croplands etc. where one field gets the ambient CO2 and the adjacent one gets CO2 puffed out into the enviroment to produce some higher level. Note that this is sort of thing is the gold standard in experimental science. A control compared with an experiment that differs only by a single change to an independent variable.

        These FACE experiments have produced overwhelming evidence that increased CO2 does indeed cause faster, more vigorous plant growth. Where is the equivalent in the warming theory? The closest is comparison of the models with out of sample temperature observations, and those trials have been disastrous for the models.

        Nonetheless, the reporter writes that CO2 warming in an indisputable fact, while CO2 fertilization is a vague unproven theory with lots of problems. For those that can actually evaluate the science in front of them, that stinks of corruption.

    • Just as one day is not climate, one paper is not proof that climate science is not fundamentally corrupt.

      Desperation, thy name be warmista.

    • seaice1
      April 25, 2016 at 2:12 pm wrote: “I think this is evidence that climate science is not fundamentally corrupt.”

      They seemed to be operating on a lot of assumptions not in evidence. That doesn’t mean they are corrupt, it just means they are operating under false assumptions, like most Alarmist scientists seem to do.

    • seaice1, I suspect that rather than being fundamentally corrupt, science IN GENERAL – not just climate – tends to allow sincerity to overwhelm honesty. Scientists come to “believe” their own ideas implicitly, especially since they generally head into science for reasons other than becoming rich. That tends to blind them to the places where the idea under-performs observation. Currently science is suffering through a period of scholasticism (the triumph of the idea [ideals] over common sense). Scholasticism never produces anything but literature. When honesty moves to the fore ideas, theories, all the baggage accumulated during periods of scholasticism begins looking frayed because it really doesn’t help us understand what we want to. Sea JoNova’s post about the end of “average.” It is instructive.

      • Duster– It’s time to stop being civil to these CAGW charlatans and Leftist political hacks that are using the CAGW scam to extort: money, power and control.

        They KNOW their precious hypothesis is a complete bust, they KNOW CAGW projections have been off by 2+ standard deviations from reality for 20 years, the KNOW global severe weather phenomena are NOT getting worse, they KNOW oceans are not getting “dangerously acidic”, They KNOW Antarctic land is increasing at 100 billion tons/yr, they KNOW the top 1000 meters of oceans have only warmed 0.09C over the past 50 years, they KNOW CO2 fertilization is a HUGE benefit to all life on earth, etc., etc., etc.,.

        The corruption now goes FAR beyond what can be explained away by confirmation bias. This is outright fraud on a global scale with failed CAGW government policies that are: ruining economies, causing high employment, destroying entire industries, lowering living standards, inhibiting economic development of 3rd-world countries, costing $100’s of billions in green elephant boondoggles, causing “skyrocketing” electricity rates, increasing government debt, increasing money printing, devaluing currency, etc.

        This will NOT stand. It’s time to stop walking on egg shells around these charlatans. It’s time to expose their lies and deceit and to END the biggest and most expensive scam in human history….

      • Samurai, I agree 100 percent. The benefits of CO2 are known and manifesting on a global basis. The purported harms have failed spectacularly. The tax the air we breath solutions are, by their own admission, entirely ineffective. The political driven science is corrupted by hundreds of billions of dollars. The warmists that never learn and repeat the same arguments, no matter how often they are refuted are trolls.

    • Failure to seriously consider the possibility that warming and / or CO2 increase could have any benefit at all – never mind the possibility that the benefits outweigh the costs – is fundamentally corrupt science by definition. The fact that this particular study is so exceptional (as well as the one-sided hedging within it) is strong evidence of just such failure.

      • Most environmentalists take it as a given that any change that is caused by man is de facto bad.
        If man is causing the planet to green, to them, that’s a bad thing.

  11. At the very beginning of my http://cosy.com/Science/warm.htm page I have :

    CO2 and O2 are the anabolic and catabolic halves of the respiratory cycle of life .
    What our restoring a little of the carbon from previous lush epochs is doing is speeding the respiration of the biosphere .
    The inevitable compensation for our returning some carbon to the biosphere is an increase in green plant growth .

    • As a new age friend of mine put it: Gaia was getting desperate because so much carbon had been locked away, so she invented man to release it for her.

  12. The world map at the top of the article (although not part of it) is a good representation as it looks like a Hammer projection which Wiki describes as “equal area”; it gives a true appreciation of the land to ocean and poles to equator area ratios for instance.
    UAH use the same or a similar projection for their temperature anomaly maps whereas GISTEMP use cylindrical or pseudo-cylindrical projections where the areas become greatly distorted towards the poles and hence tend to exaggerate the apparent trends particularly at higher latitudes.

  13. I thought I saw somewhere that forest C02 levels are 50 ppm less than the general atmosphere CO2 concentration during the day when photosynthesis is raging. Then at night, forest CO2 levels return to atmospheric levels due to mixing. To me than means that when atmospheric C02 levels were at the alarmist optimum level of 300-350 ppm, many forest plants were literally starving from CO2 deprivation during most of the day.

  14. At least they admit the models were NQR but it’s still much worse than we thought more greening = more food = less famine could it possibly get any worse for the planet were doomed I tell you.

  15. This is a well documented phenomena and should be seen as good news (unless it interferes with the whole climate-is-going-to-crap-and-it-is-our-fault economy of taxes and subsidies for noncompetitive industries). Does anyone know of the impact of this on water retention on land in biomass and soils? More plant mass must mean some increase of water as biomass and in associated soils. I am wondering about the scale of that effect and if it is significant, trivial, or unknown.

    • “More plant mass must mean some increase of water as biomass and in associated soils.”
      =========================
      Why? CO2 increases water efficiency so essentially you get more bio-mass on the same amount of water in the soil, on the same amount of land. Nitrogen efficiency is improved as well. Yes, there would likely be more water retained in the biomass, but I would not think it necessarily true in the soil, although overtime the soil would likely become capable of holding more water.

  16. My horsecrap detector was alerted by the very first line:
    “An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries”

  17. “Dr. Josep Canadell of the CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Division in Canberra, Australia and leader of the Global Carbon Project.”

    Global CARBON Project. I thought it was carbon dioxide that everyone (well, not everyone) was panicking over. Carbon is not the same thing as carbon dioxide. I would have thought the CSIRO – and their Doctors -would know the difference.

    • You would think, A.D. Everard. They would not.

      (well, lol, we know they know, amazing how ridiculous some people will let themselves appear to get money! Have they no sense of personal honor?)

      btw: Your comments are always very worthwhile. You could go ahead and cut-in-line up at the top of the thread once in awhile, A.D.. Doesn’t have to be a regular thing, you know.

      Anyway — like Andres Valencia and Marcus (and a few others), you add good insights AND lots of sweetness and light — and zesty flavor! Pretty hard to swallow straight bland and bitter day after day… :) That kind of diet is for, well… not-too-healthy people, usually…

      Go, A.D.! :)

      (okay — old Sleepy (a.k.a. “Grumpy”) will be along shortly, no doubt… can’t have the rest of us having too much fun, now …)

      • Thank you, Janice, your words to me are always appreciated and make me smile. I do cut in every now and then (some comments just beg for a response). I value your comments too – always smart and upbeat, a good if rare combination. :)

  18. I’ve long been highly amused that Bill Clinton once called CO2 ‘plant food’, but only once. I don’t think he could resist the dig at Al Gore.
    =================

  19. Just read the abstract, and it straight forward about the vast increase in greening, without the dogmatic qualifiers and buts of the article. Did the ” science writer” spin all that or it behind the paywall? I see this as an important feedback mechanism.

  20. In addition to increasing atmospheric CO2 causing plants to grow faster and increase yield (Commercial greenhouses inject CO2 into their greenhouse to increase yield and reduce growing time. The optimum level of CO2 for most plants is around 1000 ppm to 1200 ppm. A doubling of atmospheric CO2 increases cereal crop yields by roughly 30%.), increase CO2 also enables plants to use water more efficiently.

    The reduction in plant evapo transrespiration due to increased atmospheric CO2 has three benefits. 1) Plants can survive in regions where there is less water (see greening up the desert) and 2) plants require less irrigation water, and 3) less water loss at the plant leaf leaves more water at the plant roots which significantly increases the amount of nitrogen producing bacteria at the plant roots.

    Plants loss roughly 40% of the water they absorb due low levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. When atmospheric CO2 increases plants produce less stomata on their leaves to optimize CO2 absorption vs water loss.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/w7gy1cyyr5yey994/

    Carbon dioxide effects on stomatal responses to the environment and water use by crops under field conditions

    Reductions in leaf stomatal conductance with rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) could reduce water use by vegetation and potentially alter climate. Crop plants have among the largest reductions in stomatal conductance at elevated [CO2]. The relative reduction in stomatal conductance caused by a given increase in [CO2] is often not constant within a day nor between days, but may vary considerably with light, temperature and humidity. Species also differ in response, with a doubling of [CO2] reducing mean midday conductances by 50% in others. Elevated [CO2] increases leaf area index throughout the growing season in some species. Simulations, and measurements in free air carbon dioxide enrichment systems both indicate that the relatively large reductions in stomatal conductance in crops would translate into reductions of <10% in evapotranspiration, partly because of increases in temperature and decreases in humidity in the air around crop leaves.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030509084556.htm

    Greenhouse Gas Might Green Up The Desert; Weizmann Institute Study Suggests That Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Might Cause Forests To Spread Into Dry Environments

    The Weizmann team found, to its surprise, that the Yatir forest is a substantial “sink” (CO2-absorbing site): its absorbing efficiency is similar to that of many of its counterparts in more fertile lands. These results were unexpected since forests in dry regions are considered to develop very slowly, if at all, and thus are not expected to soak up much carbon dioxide (the more rapidly the forest develops the more carbon dioxide it needs, since carbon dioxide drives the production of sugars). However, the Yatir forest is growing at a relatively quick pace, and is even expanding further into the desert.

    Plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, which leads to the production of sugars. But to obtain it, they must open pores in their leaves and consequently lose large quantities of water to evaporation. The plant must decide which it needs more: water or carbon dioxide. Yakir suggests that the 30 percent increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide since the start of the industrial revolution eases the plant’s dilemma. Under such conditions, the plant doesn’t have to fully open the pores for carbon dioxide to seep in – a relatively small opening is sufficient. Consequently, less water escapes the plant’s pores. This efficient water preservation technique keeps moisture in the ground, allowing forests to grow in areas that previously were too dry.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html

    The green shoots of recovery are showing up on satellite images of regions including the Sahel, a semi-desert zone bordering the Sahara to the south that stretches some 2,400 miles (3,860 kilometers).

    Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences.

    The study suggests huge increases in vegetation in areas including central Chad and western Sudan.
    In the eastern Sahara area of southwestern Egypt and northern Sudan, new trees—such as acacias—are flourishing, according to Stefan Kröpelin, a climate scientist at the University of Cologne’s Africa Research Unit in Germany.

    “Shrubs are coming up and growing into big shrubs. This is completely different from having a bit more tiny grass,” said Kröpelin, who has studied the region for two decades

    In 2008 Kröpelin—not involved in the new satellite research—visited Western Sahara, a disputed territory controlled by Morocco.

    “The nomads there told me there was never as much rainfall as in the past few years,” Kröpelin said. “They have never seen so much grazing land.”

    “Before, there was not a single scorpion, not a single blade of grass,” he said.
    “Now you have people grazing their camels in areas which may not have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. You see birds, ostriches, gazelles coming back, even sorts of amphibians coming back,” he said.

    “The trend has continued for more than 20 years. It is indisputable.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218135031.htm

    Published today in Nature, the 40 year study of African tropical forests–one third of the world’s total tropical forest–shows that for at least the last few decades each hectare of intact African forest has trapped an extra 0.6 tonnes of carbon per year.

    The reason why the trees are getting bigger and mopping up carbon is unclear. A leading suspect is the extra CO2 in the atmosphere itself, which may be acting like a fertiliser.

    African forests have the highest mammal diversity of any ecosystem, with over 400 species, alongside over 10,000 species of plants and over 1,000 species of birds. According to the FAO deforestation rates are approximately 6 million hectares per year (almost 1% of total forest area per year), although other studies show the rate to be half that (approximately 0.5% of total forest area per year).

    • The greening is now feeding an extra billion people. Wait’ll the economists start adding this to their evaluations.
      ===================

  21. ‘The amount of CO2 in the air has been increasing since the industrial age and currently stands at a level not seen in at least half-a-million years. It is the chief culprit of climate change.

    Two real misstatements in two short sentences.

    CO2 has been significantly higher than now during three periods of just the last 200 years (Ernst Beck’s 80,000 chemical bottle CO2 measurements) and no trace gas at any concentration in the atmosphere can detectably warm the Earth’s surface. The simple thermodynamic fact is that the upper tropical troposphere is at about -17 deg C and Earth’s surface is at 15 deg C. Any IR radiation sent down to the surface by any gas will be reflected back upward and into space. A cool gas simply cannot warm a warmer surface. The greenhouse gas model is fatally flawed.

    The claim that CO2 can warm the climate is a political need and has nothing to do with science. They are banking on the public not knowing enough to question such a preposterous assertion.

    • If the heat were being transferred by conduction, your point would have merit.
      Since it’s being transferred by radiation, your point about temperature is absolutely meaningless.

  22. From the BBC:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36130346

    The lead author, Prof Ranga Myneni from Boston University, told BBC News the extra tree growth would not compensate for global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, ocean acidification, the loss of Arctic sea ice, and the prediction of more severe tropical storms.

    Global Warming – maybe, somewhat beyond natural rise.
    Melting Glaciers – Not really
    Ocean Acidification – Nope.
    Arctic Sea Ice – Offset by Antarctic Sea Ice growth, so Nope.
    More severe Tropical Storms – Nope.

    So, one “somewhat” and 4 “wrong”. Pretty terrible prediction score.

    • Peter, like the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ( ABC) on its mid-day news today had an interview with Dr. Canadell. Dr. Canadell acknowledged that the extra greening would offset the loss occasioned by world deforestation.
      Unsurprisingly however, he was on the same page as Prof. Ranga Myneni saying that the extra tree growth would not compensate for global warming, drought , ice melting, extreme weather etc.
      These alarmists are oblivious to AR5 which shows ” low confidence” in almost all “extreme weather” events

    • Peter Sable April 25, 2016 at 5:59 pm
      From the BBC:

      http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36130346

      The lead author, Prof Ranga Myneni from Boston University, told BBC News the extra tree growth would not compensate for global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, ocean acidification, the loss of Arctic sea ice, and the prediction of more severe tropical storms.

      Global Warming – maybe, somewhat beyond natural rise.

      Unsupported assertion

      Melting Glaciers – Not really

      Really! See:
      http://wgms.ch/latest-glacier-mass-balance-data/

      Ocean Acidification – Nope.
      Arctic Sea Ice – Offset by Antarctic Sea Ice growth, so Nope.

      Partially offset, minimum arctic sea ice decreasing at about 13%/decade, minimum antarctic sea ice growing about 3%

      See:
      https://nsidc.org/data/bist/bist.pl?config=seaice_extent_trends

      More severe Tropical Storms – Nope.

      Another unsupported assertion.

      So, one “somewhat” and 4 “wrong”. Pretty terrible prediction score.

      Totally unsupported assertions by you which are actually wrong don’t tell us anything about the predictions!

  23. Prof. François Gervais : The Innocence of Carbon | The …
    newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com/…/francois-gervais…
    Traduire cette page
    Pr François Gervais. Professor Emeritus of the François Rabelais University, Tours, Critical Rapporteur to the IPCC – ARS5 (International Panel on Climate

  24. The ecological impact of climate change is more informative than mere numerical changes in temperature and rainfall.

    More good news comes from a study of world climate zones defined by ecologically significant criteria.

    In the second edition of Climate, History and the Modern World, Hubert Lamb specifically warned of the danger of attributing human causes to natural climate fluctuations. His advice was to continue researching climate and to keep watch on the impacts of change, but not to attribute too much to the idea of the importance of human activity.

    Lamb wrote, “In fact, from about the beginning of this century up to 1940 a substantial climatic change was in progress, but it was in a direction which tended to make life easier and to reduce stresses for most activities and most people in most parts of the world. Average temperatures were rising, though without too many hot extremes, and they were rising most of all in the Arctic where the sea ice was receding. Europe enjoyed several decades of near-immunity from severe winters, and the variability of temperature from year to year was reduced. More rainfall was reaching the dry places in the interiors of the great continents (except in the Americas where the lee effect, or ‘rain-shadow’, of the Rocky Mountains and the Andes became more marked as the prevalence of westerly winds in middle latitudes increased).
    And the monsoons became more regular in India and west Africa. Planning on the climatic statistics of the preceding decades was in fact allowing wider safety margins for many activities than was apparent up to some time about 1950.”
    End of quote.

    The following paper confirms Lamb’s remark by assessing how climate zones changed during the 20th century based on the Koppen classification System modified by Trewartha (KTC)..The relevance of the KTC system is that the temperature and precipitation criteria are based on plant ecology. This subsumes animal ecology because animals depend on plants.

    Belda, M., Holtanová, E., Halenka, T. and Kalvová, J., 2014. Climate classification revisited: from Köppen to Trewartha. Climate research, 59(1), pp.1-13.
    Paper: http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr_oa/c059p001.pdf

    The URL may require patience, but it does work. The web site has supplementary information.

    This study is probably the best to date in reconstructing the Koppen-Trewartha climate classification map using global gridded data. The maps constructed by the authors show the climate regions of the world (except Antarctica) for two periods, 1901-1931 and 1975-2005, based on CRU(UK) global temperature data interpolated to a 30 minute grid, average area about 2500 km2. Precipitation data was from a separate source.

    (About 50,000 grid cells cover 135 million km2, the land area of the Earth except Antarctica.)
    Between the two periods separated by 75 years, 8% of the cells changed climate type. When you plot a scatter diagram of distributions for the two periods, you will find there is little divergence from the straight line passing through the origin and with slope unity. R-squared is 99.5.

    The paper does not discuss error bars. However, the climate date has since been revised to remove wet bias. This correction would increase R2 by reducing the number of cells that have changed climate type. Since a large percentage of changed cells shifted because of increased wetness, the correction for wet bias may significantly reduce the estimated changes in climate zones during the period 1901-2005.
    In any other field of Earth science, using data with similar precision, we would concude that we cannot reject the null hypothesis that the two data Koppen-Trewartha climate maps, separated by 75 years, are not significantly different.

    We can accept that the Earth has warmed a little and some places now get little more precipitation, and most people worldwide are much better off than their parents and grandparents. In relative terms, the people benefiting the most from the changes are those on the margins of steppe to desert and those on the margins between ice and tundra. But they are few in number.

    As Roger Pielke and his colleagues have demonstrated, financial losses from extreme weather events is mostly due to the fact people have much more to lose now compared to a century ago.
    As those of us who work in the field of economic development see so often, population growth has forced settlement of more risky locations. While land use control in a country like Malaysia has prevented settlement at the coast and in the flood plains of rivers, few other tropical countries have done effective controls. The end result has been to attribute to extreme weather events failure of institutions to cope with socioeconomic change.

    Inspection of changes in Koppen-Trewartha climate zones reveals that at the end of the century, the changes were consistent with Lamb’s view that “it was in a direction which tended to make life easier and to reduce stresses for most activities and most people in most parts of the world.”

  25. “The fallacy of the contrarian argument is two-fold. First, the many negative aspects of climate change, namely global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice, more severe tropical storms, etc. are not acknowledged. Second, studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising CO2 concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time,” says co-author Dr. Philippe Ciais”

    Let’s see what the evidence says about Dr. Ciais’ arguments against the benefits of CO2 fertilization:

    1) CO2 has perhaps contributed about 0.2C out of the total 0.81C of warming recovery since the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850, which is NOT a problem.

    Dr. Ciais’s assertion is wrong.

    2) Sea Level Rise has been STUCK at 6″ per CENTURY since 1800, regardless of CO2 levels.

    Dr. Ciais’s assertion is wrong.

    3) Arctic sea ice is likely cyclical following AMO 30-yr warm/cool cycles, and Antarctic land and sea ice are increasing.

    Dr. Ciais’s assertion is wrong.

    4) IPCC’s 2013 AR5 report admits NO increasing trends in frequency nor severity for 50~100 years (depending on weather phenomenon) of: hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, tropical storms, sub-tropical storms, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, droughts and floods…

    Dr. Ciais’s assertion is completely wrong.

    5) Yes, the CO2 fertilization effect is an elegant logarithmic function with ZERO plant growth at or below 150ppm and peaks out at around 2,000ppm. 400ppm is still in the steep upward curve of the logarithmic function, which is why leaf growth has increased 25~50% just since 1980 from CO2 fertilization…

    Dr. Ciais’s assertion is stupid and wrong.

    Dr. Cilais’ arguments against the HUGE benefits of CO2 fertilization are ludicrous and entirely unsupported by the science, math, logic and empirical evidence!

    • I have a friend who runs a large CO2 enhanced greenhouse grown vegetable farm.

      Over the years he has worked out that between 800 and 1200 ppm CO2 is the optimum cost/growth point for his greenhouses.

      • And I’m sure he also makes sure that he waters the plants at an optimum level and fertilizes to make sure that there is adequate Nitrogen and Phosphorus?

  26. “The fallacy of the contrarian argument is two-fold. First, the many negative aspects of climate change, namely global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice, more severe tropical storms, etc. are not acknowledged. Second, studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising CO2 concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time,” says co-author Dr. Philippe Ciais,
    __________________________________________

    Studies have shown that plants acclimatize,

    even adjust,

    to rising CO2 concentration !

    NG, not good for plants and environment !

  27. Here in Australia, ABC TV news has broadcast the story. I found it noteworthy because I’ve known about the greening for years but this is the first time I’ve seen it mentioned by mainstream media – although it was the last of the stories in a one hour ABC TV news bulletin. A bit weird that after years of AGW apocalypse stories, a story about a 14% greener Earth is the least important news on the planet.

    ABC Online has editorial on the story at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-26/global-snapshot-shows-how-humans-are-greening-the-earth/7346382. The TV bulletin interviewed Canadell from Australia’s CSIRO who repeated the CO2 negatives about more extreme weather, a warmer planet, droughts, fires, rising sea levels, acidity, etc.

    Down under, his line is that Australia has greened mostly in the north due to more CO2 while there’s been some browning in the south. This is almost certainly because of a shift in rainfall patterns that has greatly increased Australia’s northern rainfall but reduced it in the south, particularly the south-west. The rainfall shift is also a probable contributor to Australia’s observed national temp increase over the past century (around 0.4C according to unadjusted raw – see http://www.waclimate.net/year-book-csir.html).

    Also up north, tropical cyclones spawned by the Indian Ocean have been at near record lows for quite a few years now, despite the ocean apparently having way above average SST, which doesn’t much support the more extreme weather meme (assuming cyclones are considered extreme weather).

  28. “studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising CO2 concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time”.

    Anybody has any idea which studies are being referred to ?

  29. This doesnt refute the fact that the CO2 is risng regardless.. the sea level is rising.. all facts!! so my comment is “and ?…”

  30. For the sake of the planet, and of our great, great grandchildren..

    The anti-CO2 mantra MUST BE DESTROYED. !!!

  31. Chemistry teaches us the concept of a ‘limiting reagent’: one of many substances involved in a process is ultimately the first one to be depleted. and therefore it’s abundance limits the extent to which the process may proceed. CO2 is about 400 ppm in the atmosphere, while water is about 12000 ppm (at 20 °C and 50% relative humidity), so low CO2 certainly is the limiting factor in the overall photosynthesis reaction:
    6 CO2 + 12 H2O -> C6H12O6 (sugar) + 6 O2

    • CO2 is about 400 ppm in the atmosphere, while water is about 12000 ppm

      I talked to some one at a conference about a week ago. He agreed that extra CO2 will increase yields, but only up to a point. After that, other essential ingredients such as phosphorus may become the limiting reagent and extra CO2 will have no further impact in that case according to him.
      I realize P is not in the photosynthesis formula but it is presumably needed some where in plant growth. Perhaps a biologist can elaborate.

      • Well P is an essential part of DNA and RNA for a start as well as ATP which are all vital for life. Probably next most important after nitrogen.

  32. According to the palaeo record across the Phanerozoic, the safe range of CO2 concentrations which appear to have no effect on temperature, is about 300-7000 ppm:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_RXGJAF_XL5V0Y0eU1ya3E2UTA/view?pref=2&pli=1

    We are much closer to the low than the high, end of this range.

    The episodes of extreme aridity and dust maxima at the glacial maxima in the ice cores, are at least partly due to acute stress to vegetation from CO2 starvation during Pleistocene glacial maxima, especially the most recent ones since the MPR.

    Thus human CO2 emissions are without any doubt pushing CO2 concentration in the right direction, upwards, towards safety.

  33. And the CO2 obsessed climate imperialists deny this reality and life, only seeing evidence to justify their grand schemes.

  34. NIce to see this subject getting some attention.

    I wrote this in 2012:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/30/north-american-energy-independence-by-2020/#comment-1070931
    [excerpt]

    (Plant) Food for Thought:

    One reasonable scenario for the end of life on Earth is insufficient atmospheric CO2 to support photosynthesis, as CO2 is permanently sequestered in carbonate rocks, hydrocarbons, coals, etc.

    Since life on Earth could actually end due to CO2 starvation, should we be paying energy companies to burn fossil fuels to increase atmospheric CO2, instead of fining them due to the false belief that CO2 from fossil fuel combustion causes catastrophic global warming?

    Could T.S. Eliot have been thinking about CO2 starvation when he wrote:
    “This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.”

    Regards, Allan :-)

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