NASA: Carbon dioxide fertilization greening Earth, study finds

From NASA/GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER – (we covered this in a previous release, but this press release brings new information – Anthony)

This image shows the change in leaf area across the globe from 1982-2015. CREDIT Credits: Boston University/R. Myneni

This image shows the change in leaf area across the globe from 1982-2015. CREDIT Credits: Boston University/R. Myneni

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.

An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

Green leaves use energy from sunlight through photosynthesis to chemically combine carbon dioxide drawn in from the air with water and nutrients tapped from the ground to produce sugars, which are the main source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth. Studies have shown that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide increase photosynthesis, spurring plant growth.

However, carbon dioxide fertilization isn’t the only cause of increased plant growth–nitrogen, land cover change and climate change by way of global temperature, precipitation and sunlight changes all contribute to the greening effect. To determine the extent of carbon dioxide’s contribution, researchers ran the data for carbon dioxide and each of the other variables in isolation through several computer models that mimic the plant growth observed in the satellite data.

Results showed that carbon dioxide fertilization explains 70 percent of the greening effect, said co-author Ranga Myneni, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. “The second most important driver is nitrogen, at 9 percent. So we see what an outsized role CO2 plays in this process.”

About 85 percent of Earth’s ice-free lands is covered by vegetation. The area covered by all the green leaves on Earth is equal to, on average, 32 percent of Earth’s total surface area – oceans, lands and permanent ice sheets combined. The extent of the greening over the past 35 years “has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” said lead author Zaichun Zhu, a researcher from Peking University, China, who did the first half of this study with Myneni as a visiting scholar at Boston University.

Every year, about half of the 10 billion tons of carbon emitted into 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,” said co-author Shilong Piao of the College of Urban and Environmental Sciences at Peking University.

While rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the air can be beneficial for plants, it is also the chief culprit of climate change. The gas, which traps heat in Earth’s atmosphere, has been increasing since the industrial age due to the burning of oil, gas, coal and wood for energy and is continuing to reach concentrations not seen in at least 500,000 years. The impacts of climate change include global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice as well as more severe weather events.

The beneficial impacts of carbon dioxide on plants may also be limited, said co-author Dr. Philippe Ciais, associate director of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, Gif-suv-Yvette, France. “Studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising carbon dioxide concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time.”

“While the detection of greening is based on data, the attribution to various drivers is based on models,” said co-author Josep Canadell of the Oceans and Atmosphere Division in the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Canberra, Australia. Canadell added that while the models represent the best possible simulation of Earth system components, they are continually being improved.

###

Read the paper at Nature Climate Change.

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate3004.html

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113 thoughts on “NASA: Carbon dioxide fertilization greening Earth, study finds

      • The problem is that human emissions are a drop in the bucket as compared to the natural carbon cycle. Where is the proof that the natural carbon cycle is in balance?

        For example, maybe by cutting down huge swaths of forests, plowing the land, or covering it with pavement and cities we have fundamentally altered the much, much larger natural carbon cycle.

        In the past 150 years humans have gone from using 4% of the lands surface to using 40% of the land surface, so to assume this has minimal effect is naïve.

        Or maybe by exterminating most of the plankton eating great wales of the ocean we have fundamentally altered the natural carbon cycle.

        Or maybe the warming of the planet since the end of the Little Ice Age has fundamentally altered the natural carbon cycle.

        No one really knows the answer to these basic questions, beyond the accuracy of the proverbial WAG. So to assume that cutting emissions will cut CO2 remains at this time just an assumption.

        The increase in CO2 may be the difference between feeding 7 billion people today, versus the problems we had feeding only 3 billion just 60 years ago.

        The end result of cutting CO2 emissions may be a few billion starving people, which would be a much, much greater threat than rising temperatures. There is no more dangerous creature on the planet than a hungry human armed with a gun.

      • ferdberple,

        The natural carbon balance is remarkably stable and its year by year variability is not more than +/- 1.5 ppmv around the trend of 80 ppmv, mostly caused by the influence of fast temperature changes (El Niño, Pinatubo) on land vegetation:

        In all the past 55 years, nature was more sink than source and there is no observation that the natural cycle changed a lot over that time span. Even the seasonal cycle (the largest in/out flux of CO2) hardly changed over the first and second part of that period:

    • chaamjamal,

      As said at another occasion, your link shows that the author has no idea where he is talking about:

      A statistically significant correlation between annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions and the annual rate of accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere over a 53-year sample period from 1959-2011 is likely to be spurious because it vanishes when the two series are detrended.

      What the author did is removing the cause of the increase by detrending both series. All what is left is a high correlation between the noisy temperature and its noisy effect of maximum 1.5 ppmv around the trend of 80 ppmv which he removed by detrending…

      The real correlation is exactly in the trends:

    • Half of human emissions are consumed by nature, obviously, though whether it is half or not is up for question but nature immediately feeds on any emissions surely

  1. “While the detection of greening is based on data, the attribution to various drivers is based on models,” said co-author Josep Canadell of the Oceans and Atmosphere Division in the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Canberra, Australia.

    The attribution to various drivers is also based on “government investments,” which is never good as private investments.

  2. “While rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the air can be beneficial for plants, it is also the chief culprit of climate change. The gas, which traps heat in Earth’s atmosphere, has been increasing since the industrial age due to the burning of oil, gas, coal and wood for energy and is continuing to reach concentrations not seen in at least 500,000 years. The impacts of climate change include global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice as well as more severe weather events.”

    An evidence-free piece of unscientific propaganda, no doubt aimed at continuing grant seeking. How many times does it have to be stated to these charlatans that you cannot trap heat?

    • “… chief culprit … The impacts of [anthropogenic] climate change include global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice as well as more severe weather events.”

      Phew. “evidence-free unscientific propaganda,” is right. What a mess.

      (1) “culprit” assumes there’s a problem, but the best evidence is that anthropogenic warming is modest and benign — as this study helps demonstrate. Score that WRONG.

      (2) “global warming” — okay, it is likely that anthropogenic GHGs have helped to warm the Earth to the current Climate Optimum conditions. I’ll give ’em the benefit of the doubt, and score that RIGHT.

      (3) “rising sea-level” — but sea-level is rising no faster now than it was 85 years ago, when CO2 was under 310 ppmv. Score that WRONG.

      (4) “melting glaciers and sea ice” — but sea ice is inconsequential, and the best evidence is that glaciers have been retreating since the depths of the Little Ice Age, when CO2 was under 290 ppmv. Score that WRONG.

      (5) “more severe weather events” — simply hasn’t happened. Score that WRONG.

      Scored generously, that’s 20% right, 80% wrong. Grade that F, for FAIL.

      • #2 is also wrong. Atmospheric CO2 has no effect on ocean temperature and that is where all the “warming” is being discovered.

        0% right.

    • that paragraph caught my attention also–seems to me that there is a “cut and paste” sheet all these writers are expected to use at least once in every article that even marginally attributes benefit to CO2.

    • @ vukcevic

      What a profound and stunning statement – truly excellent Sir! – I am going to re-use this

      Many thanks indeed

  3. Touchdown! Eat that, Green Khmer!

    Some people look confused when you explain them that CO2 is the main food source for plants. “But, CO2 is evil!!” Education is not what it used to be. If you want to convince them about CO2, just tell them there is NO HOLE around the trunk of a tree, so it’s food has to come from the air! Works every time. (got this ‘proof’ from some other commenter and using it on a regular basis)

  4. CO2 is plant food…check

    Liberating more of it causes plants to grow better…..check

    Plants are green…..check

    OMG…..CO2 isn’t black..it is GREEN.

    Where’s my check???

  5. “. . . continuing to reach concentrations not seen in at least 500,000 years.” Accidental forthrightness at NASA? Plainly admits higher than current levels before the industrial revolution and possibly the harnessing by man of fire. Interesting use of longer than usual press release time scales as well.

    • Actually, given how low NASA has sunk, I’m surprised it didn’t read “. . . continuing to reach concentrations not seen in, well, like in forevverrr! My Gawd!”

  6. I hate to say it – but the beneficial effects of CO2 plant food is Settled science

    So, I find it extraordinary that anyone should be surprised by these results. And it only shows how people purporting to be “scientists” can hold such strong anti-science beliefs about CO2.

  7. Along with CO2 fertilization, there is also the effect that plants transpire much less water. Presumably this makes them more drought resistant.

    That model suggests that a doubling of today’s carbon dioxide levels — from 390 parts per million to 800 ppm — will halve the amount of water lost to the air, concluding in the second paper that “plant adaptation to rising CO2 is currently altering the hydrological cycle and climate and will continue to do so throughout this century.” link

    I can envisage a time when mankind deliberately enhances atmospheric CO2 in order to prevent global famine.

    • CommieBob,

      Here’s the problem with that vision. CO2 has not been proven to cause global warming. CO2 drops during glacial periods. If CO2 drops in the future, even if we deliberately enhance CO2, we’d still have famine because it would be too cold to grow crops. And colder, drier air also affects plant growth negatively. :)

    • Plants “ingest” CO2 by opening stomata. With a higher CO2 concentration they open less frequently and for shorter periods of time to obtain the same amount of CO2. A primary loss of water by plants is through open stomata to the atmosphere while obtaining the CO2. Fewer/shorter “gulps” means less water lost (“plants transpire much less water”). Enhanced atmospheric CO2 has the added benefit of making plants far more efficient with water use, and more resistant to drought.

  8. Dr. Philippe Ciais’s statement that “Studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising carbon dioxide concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time.” strikes me to be stating the obvious, that (i) plants don’t keep growing after an increment in CO2 levels, and (ii) have an optimum CO2 level, beyond which they cannot benefit. It seems clear that the points that can be deduced from this are (i) we are BELOW the optimum level of CO2 plants can effectively utilise (yet ecomentalists want to reduce it further), and (ii) the CO2 plant fertilization effect is not an infinite linear relationship (but what in the natural world is – except in climate models).

  9. “Studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising carbon dioxide concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time.”

    What studies are those? I am unaware of any result implying that the fertilisation effect of a fixed, elevated level of CO2 is temporary. I find it hard to imagine such an effect could exist in relation to short lived or annual plants, whch dont live long enough to build up any “resistance” – trees maybe. Can anyone point me to some, or is he just trying to tone down the inconveniently good news

    • I would also appreciate more information on this point , because past comments here have frequently quoted 1000ppm as the CO2 concentration used by commercial growers in their polytunnels .
      Since the use of CO2 at such a level is a cost of production , and as we all know farmers and growers are under enormous pressure from the supermarkets to reduce the price then they would not use CO2 above any necessary level.
      If the level decided by commercial growers is 1000ppm , then adding CO2 at a rate of 2ppm/year means that we have 300 years to reach a natural level of CO2 equivalent to that artificially applied by growers (who of all people must have the most practical experience on this subject).

    • Easily refuted everytime you buy a tomato in a supermarket. Still at least this is one argument we’ve won.

    • Even if there was a level for an individual plant, more food would allow more plants to be sustained……

    • Totally agree with you Pete Wilson. I would really like to see these “studies” that show the effect diminishes over time. I even looked at the referenced articles from this article and did not see any that implied that the effect diminishes over time. This seems typical, imply other studies, but do not explicitly reference them.

    • “What studies are those? I am unaware of any result implying that the fertilisation effect of a fixed, elevated level of CO2 is temporary.”

      file:///C:/Users/Tony/Downloads/9783319141992-c2.pdf

    • I was also curious about “the fertilization effect diminishes over time” quote, but as Steve McIntyre likes to say: “you have to watch the pea under the cup”.

      Perhaps they are using a weasel word definition of “diminishes over time”. For instance, if the CO2 concentration stabilized permanently at 400ppm, naturally the biosphere would after some time approach a new dynamic equilibrium level, and no FURTHER net greening would be observed at 400ppm. Big whoop.

      Most people of course, would instead make the natural inference that even if CO2 levels continue to rise, the effect diminishes. Watch the pea under the cup.

      • Readers might pardonably even draw a more wrong-headed inference, since “diminishes over time” might be thought to imply that the greening is ephemeral even for a permanent 400ppm level. It all depends on exactly what is meant by “diminishes over time”.

  10. What??
    32 authors from 24 institutes in 8 eight countries have done what exactly?

    Spent all their time and god knows how much money looking at pretty pictures out of a sattelite and the rest of the time pleasuring themselves in front of a computer. And they only ‘know’ that the computer is giving the ‘right’ answer when it gives the answer(s) they expect it to. Hopw many field trips did they do, did *any* of them actually get their hands dirty? Did they?

    I hope there aren’t too many of these people out there and they haven’t got the ears of our elders/betters/leaders otherwise, we really are doomed.

    • That was my first thought, too. In some journals it is becoming more common to see a note detailing what each co-author contributed. In principle this helps to reduce piggy-backing and the dilution of proper credit to scientists who did actually something genuinely useful.

      Of course, doing something useful rules out an awful lot of Cli-Sci papers entirely from the get go.

  11. “The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States”

    Q: “What should we do in the climate wars,mother? ”

    A: “Er….. Keep the home fires burning!”

  12. Here’s the thing NASA you dopes.

    The earth has greened up and died off repeatedly, and without CO2 going up the re greening would never had occurred as it has done in the best guesses we have.

    Our input into this is pathetic.

    If the only CO2 were man made CO2 this planet would be a dead rock, our CO2 globally would not keep the US greenery alive let alone the world and the carbon cycle.

    NASA and the IPCC say pishing in a river will change its course. Idiots

  13. At this rate of greening in a millennium or three, dinosaurs may be back.
    Homo sapiens beware !
    new generation may be even more brutal and not as stupid as the last.
    /sarc

  14. ilma630
    April 27, 2016 at 1:23 am

    “Dr. Philippe Ciais’s statement that “Studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising carbon dioxide concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time.” ”

    This is partially true concerning actual CO2 demands, Plants constantly adapt to rising CO2 in two ways, immediate fertilisation and after a coupe of generations of the plant an incorporation of the consistent increase, as in future generations of plant will be biggest and more durable but.. and importantly, although the fertilisation effect is reduced on later generations their base line CO2 requirement is larger, so the argument can be made that plants now have not adapted in general and are never quite caught up with consistently increasing CO2 growth, green plant life lags behind. The longer it takes to reproduce the larger the lag in adaption. The bottom line is net CO2 requirements are up, and once a plant evolves it’s base CO2 staple, fertilization potential increases. The process is dependent on what base level of CO2 plants have already adapted to .

    This is all easily proven in a greenhouse experiment.

    • and just as important, a sudden CO2 drop of 100ppm would kill much plant life on earth because plants cant just immediately adapt to lower CO2 than their base staple, CO2 doesn’t need to be 150ppm to cause a problem, a sudden drop over a shot period would be disastrous, which is why CO2 removal in some large scale geoengineering project could be a total disaster globally.

      • ..Don’t you realize, the “ELITE” of the world want less of “us” to exist on their planet !!

    • Since this is so easy to prove, I and others would love see a link to an actual study that shows each generation of plants getting smaller in elevated CO2 environments. Thanks in advance for providing proof.

      • You could just go research it yourself instead of sitting there wide eyed and upset because someone didn’t prove something to you.

        Do you want to know the truth or be told it?

        Sheesh

      • LOL, what an absolutely moronic response, Mark. Of course I have looked and others in these comments have also looked. No one has been able to find any documented study on the effect of CO2 on plant growth diminishing over time. You are the one who says it is “easily proven.” You are the one making a claim that we find hard to believe. All I am asking is that you not be a hypocrite and do what you say is so easy: reference this easy proof. Thanks again in advance.

    • Living here in a rain forrest, one is first struck by the almost violent (if in slow motion) competition among plants for nutrients (coming exclusively from other dead plants) and sunlight. As a dramatic example, strangler figs literally surround and digest large trees, using their biomass for growth and their structure to lift the fig’s leaves above the surrounding jungle. Few trees survive more than 100 years before being eaten by other plants (and insects). Increasing CO2 is a resource available to all.

      Obviously those plants which adapt most vigorously to increased CO2 will have an evolutionary advantage and will shift the ecosystem to their benefit. It should already be possible to measure the effects, except it would require actual field work by scientists, which seems to be of low adaptive advantage these days.

      Cultivated monocultures are of course not subject to the ruthless competition of the rain forrest, but I would bet that agro-scientists are already hard a work with CRISPR and other techniques to optimize the response of food crops to the increased CO2.

      • “Cultivated monocultures are of course not subject to the ruthless competition of the rain forrest, but I would bet that agro-scientists are already hard a work with CRISPR and other techniques to optimize the response of food crops to the increased CO2.”

        I would be interested to see the results of a study that grew several generations of reproducing plants in high oxygen CO2 conditions.

        For a load of CO2 to be needed I would image plants need an equivalent rise in oxygen too, to balance respiration lest you create an imbalance in respiration.

        or would I be wrong in thinking if CO2 is high oxygen must be also high.

  15. …I think some people at NASA are getting worried about their jobs when Trump becomes president !! LOL

      • C’mon, trump at least will be a hell of a ride, with Clinton you know it means more war, more financial scams, government business carried out on private servers, more awful policies and who knows and her husband is the sort who takes his member out at work.. Hillary has eaten more rug than Bill and has sniffed more 50 yard lines than Tony Montana, what could go wrong? :D

      • I didn’t say one is good and the other is bad. For the world peace I think the US needs a strong president (whoever that might be) to re-establish balance of strength with Russia politically and China economically.
        ‘Democratic’ dynasties are not necessarily bad as long as the electors are happy with their choice.

  16. I also suspect that without the carbon cycle as it is, limits alkalinity in the oceans. Geological influence tends to raise alkalinity, the ocean floors have an unknown thousands of vents spewing sulfur and minerals, a good proxy for this one way feeding of such into a water body is the lake in africa that is fed by springs that has literally led to birds and fish being turned into calcified statues. Without a carbon cycle the oceans would be dead, calcified. The constant flushing of land mass water into oceans, the geothermal inputs, geological inputs pollution clouds and on and on, all lean towards increased alkalinity and gH kH.

    This African lake has no carbon cycle to speak of, it’s a still water body with a consistent input of water hardening minerals and such.

    Granted it is an extreme example, but it shows that with geological inputs to water bodies, unless there is something to retard the effects then kH gH pH.all go up.

    We’ll know in time if these values increase as waters warm, if it holds or not. Though first we need to be able to measure it and currently it’s all models, not good enough

    The input of minerals is and has to be of a greater order than limits on alkalinity, obviously because 8.1 is pretty hard water. Not something you’d want to drink indefinitely even if it was fresh water.

    Carbon only has a limiting effect just as the alkalinity more or less reaches it’s level, a bit like slamming a door that is almost closed anyway :D

    Dead zones have a bigger effect on alkalinity of surface waters and assist transport of carbon into the oceans primarily because the waters in these quite large zones are oxygen depleted. That is the main human influence, the rest of the claims are rubbish

  17. ‘To determine the extent of carbon dioxide’s contribution, researchers ran the data for carbon dioxide and each of the other variables in isolation through several computer models that mimic the plant growth observed in the satellite data.’

    Stopped reading at ‘computer models.’

    • “Why do “Greens” hate the color green?”

      If you look carefully at Figure 2(c) in the Nature Climate Change summary page (no charge to see the abstract and small images of a few of the paper’s figures) at the link provided above, you will notice that the authors have a bar chart showing the relative contributions to the greening. The authors chose the color green for CO2.
      :-)

  18. Funny how, whenever Climatists admit to something good about CO2 or (God help them), about the slight warming we’ve experienced since the LIA, it is a grudging one, replete with on-message Alarmist talking points.
    The backpedaling, grudging as it is though, continues. We Skeptics/Climate Realists can only watch in amusement as they slowly but surely come to what we’ve known all along: that CO2 is in fact, beneficial to us, and to all life.

  19. I thought one of the reasons we were all supposed to panic was because once we put the CO2 in the atmosphere, it stayed for decades or 100’s of years depending on who was trying to be most alarming. Now they’re admitting that plants can suck it all out almost immediately.

  20. Seth Borenstein and George Monbiot will both find a ways to sell this obvious science as a gloom and doom affair. I have a morbid curiosity about how they will spin it. Plants are bad?

      • Wait’ll plants get the vote. I’m already seeking coccolithophore support; they don’t know it yet, but I’ve already infiltrated their inner policy councils.
        ========================

      • Oh I remember that, Bob. Something about the new growth being all weeds or something. Or weeds are growing too, like nature has to be controlled and weeds are “bad” and we’re all going to starve to death in a weed-infested world. Amazing.

  21. Slightly off the “carbon greening” topic:

    Last night at his victory speech, Donald Trump had a comment about CAGW: “Gimme a break!”, Trump said.

    Trump won *every* county in all five states that voted last night.

    Well, our first “Tornado Alley” weather front of the season was a bust. It fizzled out and was a very mild event as such things go. We will take them like that every time, if we can get them!

  22. Won’t all these extra plants increase the amount of oxygen in the air? I can’t wait for the EPA to label oxygen a pollutant. Do you think the UN will demand a global oxygen tax?

    • R.H. “Won’t all these extra plants increase the amount of oxygen in the air?”

      No
      http://scrippso2.ucsd.edu/
      “Atmospheric Oxygen Levels are Decreasing.
      Oxygen levels are decreasing globally due to fossil-fuel burning. The changes are too small to have an impact on human health, but are of interest to the study of climate change and carbon dioxide.”

      At the current rate of fossil fuel consumption we will never meaningfully impact the level of oxygen levels in the atmosphere.

    • A quick check shows that they don’t even have plankton in the A-Z subject search index. I guess plankton does not matter.

  23. Okay, as long as we’re dealing in very basic questions like CO2 as plant food and other news flashes, a few other simple questions come to mind. 1) Is the impact on land plants linear with CO2 concentration?, 2) Is it linear with ocean plants?, 3) Does regional greening impact regional climate?

    • As I recall there are different types of plants that benefit more than others from CO2. I know plankton really loves the stuff. I tried to Google it to learn more but I keep running into articles on how to use CO2 to increase your indoor Weed yield.

  24. Anthony a thought that falls in line here. How about Pictures from different bloggers on haw green the planet is getting.

    Thank you for all you do.

  25. This reminds me of an interview that was given to a commercial pot grower (in Colorado it’s legal to some degree) Behind the grower was a large tank marked CO2, ah yes keep that pot growing!

    • The current owners of the farmland formerly owned by my ancestors in Ontario now grow peppers in greenhouses with Co2 supplied by the truckload. I saw the fascinating operation several years ago.

  26. In agriculture, plant nutrients are often classified into micro or macro-nutrients based on the relative concentration within the plant and corresponding scale of crop uptake. Micronutrient uptake is measured in oz/acre, macronutrient uptakes are a magnitude higher, pounds to hundreds of pounds per acre. I personally have been promoting the additional term “meganutrient” for nutrients such as CO2 that have crop uptake another magnitude higher – tons/acre.

  27. Anyone seen the “Dog that isn’t barking…much”? The high res OCO2 global CO2 mapping platform launched by NASA in July of 2014? The NASA website now says it is only a 2 year project which means the mission to
    “.. understand human and natural sources of carbon dioxide emissions and the natural sinks that control its buildup, at regional scales, everywhere on Earth”..is virtually over. http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/quickfacts/#

    Instead of a flood of images demonstrating the well known high correlation of SUVs with CO2, there are only a few, hard to find images with the polar regions strangely masked out and references to the important help this direct global mapping will be for generating better models of the “well mixed gas”. Odd.

  28. The Earth is doing just fine and the worriers hate it. They want catastrophe and doom and gloom. They hate our greening planet. Come to think of it, they seem to hate our planet. No, I got that wrong – they hate us on the planet. They hate us so much on the planet, they will destroy the planet to get rid of us, blaming us on the way for the damage they had to do to the planet. Go figure.

  29. “While rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the air can be beneficial for plants, it is also the chief culprit of climate change. ”
    Just cannot give it up, why the big lie persists.

  30. It is high time for developing nations to pay a tribute to the main producers of CO2 for the greening of the Earth. Everyone is better off with a warmer and greener planet.

  31. You didn’t need to tell me this. When I was a boy living in Potomac MD, I wondered the forests unhindered by low branches and understory. Now, this is nearly impossible with holly trees and other shade-loving broad-leaf understory trees making a walk in the woods a chore and even feel claustrophobic. The beach tree leaves (herbicidal) are barely able to prevent the growth of little plants under them. Branches are surviving the shade further down trunks. The eastern deciduous forests are becoming a jungle. Most people are too young to remember or were never really that close to the forest. I have mixed feelings about the change.

  32. It is not just CO2 that is bad for the environment. All greenhouse gases are bad and should be completely eradicated. Most greenhouse gases have one element in common Oxygen. To get rid of all forms of greenhouse gases we must get rid of all Oxygen atoms on this planet. Oxygen must be removed from all oxide and hydrocarbon molecules on this planet. All Oxygen atoms must be placed in reactors and changed to something else. Our Earth would be a so much better place without the big O.

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