Clueless study claims warmer temperatures and more CO2 will reduce global production of vegetables

From the LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE & TROPICAL MEDICINE, doom division, comes this story that seems not to realize what every gardener knows: that many vegetable plants do better in a warmer environment with more CO2, hence the idea of “hothouse tomatoes.

What’s funny is that their own paper reported this:

The mean (95% CI) reported yield changes for all vegetables and legumes combined were +22.0% (+11.6% to +32.5%) for a 250-ppm increase in CO2 concentration…

… −8.9% (−15.6% to −2.2%) for a 25% increase in O3 concentration,−34.7% (−44.6% to −24.9%) for a 50% reduction in water availability, and −2.3% (−3.7% to −0.9%) for a 25% increase in salinity.

So, they are assuming water availability will be less and more salty in the future, and there will be more ozone Opollution. Yet all indications thus far that a warmer world will be a wetter world due to enhanced atmospheric water vapor, and so far, ozone pollution has been declining, especially in coastal areas.

Then there’s this:

The authors acknowledge limitations of the study, including the fact that collated evidence on the impact of environmental changes on the nutritional quality of vegetables and legumes was limited and the research team identified this as an area requiring more evidence generation.

Predicted environmental changes could significantly reduce global production of vegetables

Prioritizing access to new crop varieties and improved agricultural practices is crucial to minimizing the potential negative effects of climate change on health, say researchers

The study, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), is the first systematically to examine the extent to which projected changes such as increases in temperature and reduced water availability could affect the production and nutritional quality of common crops such as tomatoes, leafy vegetables and pulses.

If no action is taken to reduce the negative impacts on agricultural yields, the researchers estimate that the environmental changes predicted to occur by mid- to end-century in water availability and ozone concentrations would reduce average yields of vegetables and legumes by 35% and 9% respectively. In hot settings such as Southern Europe and large parts of Africa and South Asia, increased air temperatures would reduce average vegetable yields by an estimated 31%.

Environmental changes, including climate change, water scarcity and biodiversity loss, are predicted to become more profound in the 21st century – posing significant challenges to global agriculture, food security and nutrition. While there is growing evidence that predicted future changes in temperature and rainfall will lead to significant reductions in the yields of many staple crops such as rice and wheat, the impacts on vegetables and legumes – important constituents of healthy diets -are largely unknown.

To address this evidence gap the researchers conducted a systematic review of all the available evidence from experimental studies published since 1975 on the impacts of changes in environmental exposures on the yield and nutritional quality of vegetables and legumes. Experiments included in the review were conducted in 40 countries.

The team then estimated the effects on the yields and nutritional quality of crops of changes in key environmental exposures, including increases in greenhouse gases (tropospheric carbon dioxide and ozone), reduced water availability for irrigation and rising ambient temperatures.

Previous research has shown that raised levels of carbon dioxide would increase crop yields, but this study identified for the first time that these potential yield benefits are likely to be cancelled out in the presence of simultaneous changes in other environmental exposures.

The researchers warn that in the absence of substantial efforts to respond to predicted future environmental changes, reductions in the yields of vegetables and legumes will substantially alter their availability globally. Such changes may affect the affordability and consumption of vegetables and legumes in the mid- to long-term and this could have significant impacts on population health all around the world.

Dr Pauline Scheelbeek, lead author at LSHTM, said: “Our study shows that environmental changes such as increased temperature and water scarcity may pose a real threat to global agricultural production, with likely further impacts on food security and population health.

“Vegetables and legumes are vital components of a healthy, balanced and sustainable diet and nutritional guidelines consistently advise people to incorporate more vegetables and legumes into their diet. Our new analysis suggests, however, that this advice conflicts with the potential impacts of environmental changes that will decrease the availability of these important crops unless action is taken.”

To mitigate the risks that future environmental changes pose to these crops, researchers say that innovations to improve agricultural production must be a priority, including the development of new crop varieties as well as enhanced agricultural management and mechanisation.

Professor Alan Dangour, senior author at LSHTM, said: “We have brought together all the available evidence on the impact of environmental change on yields and quality of vegetables and legumes for the first time.

“Our analysis suggests that if we take a ‘business as usual’ approach, environmental changes will substantially reduce the global availability of these important foods. Urgent action needs to be taken, including working to support the agriculture sector to increase its resilience to environmental changes and this must be a priority for governments across the world.

“But our study also identifies the broader policy relevance of environmental change. Vegetables and legumes are essential constituents of healthy diets and so efforts to ensure that their global availability is not threatened by predicted environmental changes must also be high on the global public health agenda.”

The authors acknowledge limitations of the study, including the fact that collated evidence on the impact of environmental changes on the nutritional quality of vegetables and legumes was limited and the research team identified this as an area requiring more evidence generation.

The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust as part of its Our Planet, Our Health programme.

Dr Howie Frumkin, Head of Our Planet, Our Health at Wellcome, said: “Improvements in agricultural technology have dramatically boosted the world’s food production over the last 80 or so years. But we mustn’t be complacent. Environmental changes, including more chaotic weather patterns and a warming climate, threaten our ability to feed the world’s people.

“This excellent review highlights that some of the most important foods, and some of the world’s most vulnerable people, are at highest risk. This research is a wake-up call, underlining the urgency of tackling climate change and of improving agricultural practices.”


161 thoughts on “Clueless study claims warmer temperatures and more CO2 will reduce global production of vegetables

  1. Yes, a warmer wetter world with more CO2. Of course vegetables arent going to grow as well.

    Jeez …. you have to really have to bastardise data, logic and common sense to come up with that conclusion.

    • That, or admit you know nothing about plants, gardening, fruits and vegetables, etc.

      These people probably never met a radish up close and personal.

    • Only alarmist global-warmers like to pretend more is less in such a fashion.

      You claim you’re just the messenger, but you keep refusing to listen to the reply every time this is discussed here.

      All those studies show is that, everything else being equal, if the carbohydrate content of a crop increases, then, mathematically, the other contents will go down, relatively speaking. It does not mean that the total nutritional content is decreased. Of course if other plant nutrients are also increased, something farmers tend to do (you seem not to have noticed), then the other nutrient in the crop will also increase.

      • Even if it were simply a matter of increased yield meaning less nutrients per unit crop, that doesn’t mean people will be able to eat more to make up for the lost nutrients. The worry isn’t about those in wealthy nations, it’s about those who have so little to eat that children end up with stunted, unhealthy, and sometimes dead.

        “Of course if other plant nutrients are also increased, something farmers tend to do (you seem not to have noticed), then the other nutrient in the crop will also increase.”

        By “something farmers tend to do,” do you mean fertilize? You seem not to be aware that poor farmers in the developing world do not have the money to add more fertilizer. But that may not make a difference, anyway. When there is CO2 fertilization, plants don’t need to take up as much water per unit biomass. But reduced water uptake can also lead to reduced uptake of nitrogen and other minerals.

        Then there’s water. Increased water use efficiency could be a good thing, true, but that depends on patterns of water availability. If a field of tomatoes produced extra-large plants when water was available, normal reduction in water availability later in the season may not be able to support the increased biomass, and yields could actually decline.

        Higher temperatures also increase soil water evaporation, lowering the water content. Increased atmospheric temperature may allow more water to be “stored” in the air. Geographic patterns of precipitation could also become more extreme, and there is evidence that this is happening. Too much water can be just as damaging to crops and life as too little. Higher temperatures also increase lower atmospheric ozone, which can negatively impact all life. The increase isn’t confined to urban areas.

        I’m not arguing that any of this will necessarily happen – that’s not my goal. The point is, there are many factors to consider, and many interactions. To simply say, “Everything will be better because of additional CO2” is far too simplistic.

        “Only alarmist global-warmers like to pretend more is less in such a fashion.” One could just as well say that only skeptics pretend they know better than the people who do the research. To dismiss research just because you think it must be wrong is not justified or rational.

        • Why is this simple fact so hard for you to understand?

          There is no loss of nutrients. There is more of the nutrient carbohydrate, not less of the amino acids which make proteins. The limiting factor on amino acids is nitrogen. If more N be provided a grain crop, then there will also be more amino acids, growing under CO2-enriched air, since amino acids contain hydrogen, oxygen and carbon as well as nitrogen. Plants can also use their more plentiful carbohydrates (sugars) to energize other syntheses.

          It is not too simplistic to say that C3 plants grow better with CO2 fertilized air. It is objective reality. Not only can they make more sugar, but they do so with less water, since they need leave their stomata open for less time, reducing water loss while taking in vital CO2.

          This is why Earth has greened so dramatically thanks to more plant food in our air.

        • Taking your points in order.

          The decrease in proteins per unit of mass is on the order of a few percent. The total amount of proteins actually goes up.

          Not relevant

          All farmers fertilize, even poor ones, even if it’s just recycling plant clippings and animal poop. BS, nutrient uptake is independent of the total amount of water being drawn in.

          I’m trying to figure out where these bizarre fantasies of yours are coming from.
          Regardless of CO2 levels, if you have a drought in the latter parts of the season, the plants are going to suffer.

          How much will a few tenths of a degree increase evaporation? Regardless, increased evaporation does two things, it cools the atmosphere and it leads to more rain.
          While you catastrophists have been proclaiming that CO2 will make the weather more extreme, the real world data continues to mock your predictions.
          Higher temperatures can only increase ozone if all the precursors are present.
          Higher temperatures also breaks down ozone more quickly.

          Since none of the negative consequences that have your pretty little panties in a wad are possible and all of the positive consequences are already proven, your desire to spend your life living in fear is pretty pointless.

          Ah yes, the classic only people who agree with me do research.
          The article you are defending is a classic example. The people who did the “study” did no research, which would be obvious even to you if for once you actually read the study. Those you are denigrating are those who actually have experience in these areas.

          • If Earth does keep warming, little of it will be in the tropics and temperate zones, where the vast majority of crops are grown. The main increase would be in polar zones and during winter nights, when and where no crops would be growing.

        • Oxygenic photosynthesis reaction, in which water is broken apart by photons of sunlight, freeing hydrogen ions (protons) to combine with carbon dioxide to make sugar, while releasing gaseous oxygen left over from the split water molecules:

          6 CO2 + 6 H2O –Light–> C6H12O6 + 6 O2.

        • Kristi ==> I’m quite sure that you are aware that the fact that there are “those who have so little to eat that children end up with stunted, unhealthy, and sometimes dead” has nothing whatever to do with any incremental, barely measurable, differences in nutrient content of vegetables — in the past, present, or future. It has to do with bad governance, war, civil unrest and the kind of poverty that, when confronted directly, sends you or I home with tears in our eyes.

          My wife and I supplied “poverty vitamins” (a special formula for profoundly poor children) for thousands of school children along the Haiti/Dominican Republic border. They were passed out to each child by their teachers along with their school lunch — the only dependable square meal for many of the kids. The vitamins were donated by Vitamin Angels — LDS Philanthropies had them picked up from the manufacturer in the US and shipped to us in the DR, where we bought local plastic jars and labels, and the national department of education’s division of child health packed the vitamins up for the school. We had anti-parasitic pills manufactured for the project and the schools administered these too on a schedule throughout the year.

          Real programs that reach real people, like the above, are much more important than any minuscule differences that might be seen sometime in the nutrient values of veggies. Starvation and stunting comes from not enough food and too many parasites. Any dietary deficiencies remaining once kids are getting enough food can be made up with a vitamin supplement that costs less than a penny a day — all kids in the 3rd World should be receiving these vitamins from their local health departments through local clinics in any case. Bad governance actively prevents these types of internationally funded programs from operating.

          It irritates me to no end to find otherwise rational people going on about some possible future minor inconvenience while ignoring major disasters in present time.

          The money wasted on the research in question could have supplied vitamins to thousands of kids and saved many lives.

          • Lowered protein content in wheat should be welcomed by people with gluten intolerance.

            Gluten is the protein complex which accounts for 75 to 85% of the total protein in bread wheat.

          • And of course vegetarians need to eat legumes as well as grains in order to get the nine essential amino acids, ie those which humans can’t synthesize on our own.

            For instance, rice protein is high in the sulfur-containing amino acids, cysteine and methionine, but low in lysine (as are most grains). Pea protein, on the other hand, is low in cysteine and methionine but high in lysine.

            Grains also generally lack three other essential amino acids: threonine, leucine and histidine. In contrast, grains are typically good sources of phenylalanine, tryptophan, valine and isoleucine. Thus, a vegetarian relying mainly on grains would need to eat an extra serving to get enough of the amino acids in short supply in grain, after already having taken in enough of those in which grains are rich.

            Happily, in a CO2-enriched world, there will be a lot more grain to go around. And legumes, most of which are also C3 plants, such as soybeans and peanuts. Luckily, most people have access to at least some complete animal protein.

            The C3 pathway is a relic from billions of years ago, when CO2 was much more plentiful. Just another instance of Idiotic Design on the part of any putative Creator. The C4 and CAM pathways are far superior, so would have been used in the first place by an Intelligent Designer. Most plants are stuck with this clunky system, until and unless they’re able to do as others have done and evolve improved pathways in order to survive and thrive in a CO2 starved world. Or until and unless humans modify them genetically with material from C4 plant genomes.

          • quinoa is fully balanced for amino acid profile is high protien useful omegas etc etc etc grows in poor soils in saline areas the only issue is it mustnt be setting seed at temps over 30c so for tropics its a cool season crop
            and it will not survive being wet just as it heads up seeds sprout psq.
            so its a bit fiddy but do-able
            1 tiny seed produces a massive volume to ratio harvested
            tef is pretty good for african areas

          • Again Felix, Hi – I am trying to find data to support some of your statements about protein amino acids under eCO2. Having gotten to a computer (tablet used was unsuitable for fine print) I just looked at what your below cited 2017 India wheat reported & although not calculating % of change will highlight the 6 detailed amino acids.

            The % composition of that wheat variety for serine, phenyalanine isoleucine & proline are greater under 472 ppm CO2; while glutamine & methionine ratios in those grains was less under 472 ppm CO2. Why the other amino acids were not reported I do not know.

            While on the nutritional aspect with reference to the same study data it might be instructive to report teams” other data. Under eCO2 they break down 9 different “pollutants” & all are higher in wheat under 472 ppm CO2. For some context both fluorine & anthracene can complex to folic acid (B vitamins lower under eCO2); there is evidence fluorine metabolites can also cross the brain blood barrier. Although we can not always extrapolate, in rodents high fluorine reduced weight gain & increased liver weight.

            In line with carbon increase under eCO2 (chart of “Carboxylic”) the % of mallic, succinic & citric acids increase under 472 ppm CO2; although lactic acid % is less. I’ll highlight their “polymer” chitin is greater under eCO2 for those interested.

            Finally their chart of “Carbohydrate & Misc.” again reflects the eCO2 carbon assimilates. Glucose is notably higher, Arabinose marginally more, fructose exceptionally higher & lactose notably higher.

            Casein is less under eCO2 & urea is higher.

    • There are a number of articles claiming that pretty much everything human do to increase yield for plants or animals reduce the nutritional value of said plants and animals, because, only natural organic food has the best value. Probably the reason our live and health are so much worse than when humans ate only “organic” food, before fertilizers and machinery. Oh. Wait. Never mind.

    • You can claim anything you like.
      If actually bothered to read the article, you would find that they aren’t claiming that less nutrients are being created, they are claiming that there are less nutrients per unit weight.
      The problem for you is that the total mass has increased so that the total amount of nutrients is actually greater.

      • I used to be a regular reader of WUWT. I have been suffering from Global Warming fatigue so I’ve taken a break from this kind of stuff. I didn’t know this had been dealt with previously. For example, it doesn’t come up in related articles under the post.

        But your last comment presents a problem to someone eating rice. If they eat the same amount of rice by weight and the nutrients are reduced by weight they will eat less protein and nutrients for the given amount of rice by weight. If you had actually bothered to think about the article, instead of just reading it, this would be obvious to you. If the food is sold by weight then the nutrients per dollar are decreased. I thought it was an interesting article. But I get the message. Do not post any non-consensus material.

        • Steve……an article by Dr. Michael Mosley on RICE will be of interest to you !
          Should I worry about arsenic in my rice? – BBC News –

          No ! Increased RICE PRODUCTION will allow for MORE RICE TO BE
          GROWN AND PROVIDED , so any DROP in nutrient level will be
          counteracted by the increased amount available to be eaten.
          That’s what I understand.
          NO LOSS of NUTRIENT OVERALL in the diet of each individual
          and MORE FOOD AVAILABLE overall.

        • Your comments present a problem in simple logic and understanding. No one is suffering nutritional deficiencies because they aren’t getting enough nutrition from the foods they are eating, they are missing nutrients from the foods they are not eating. Increased crop yields will increase the availability of a diversified diet.

          If you eat a certain vegetable every day, your body will process, store, and use the essential nutrients it needs and excrete the rest. No one will be needing to eat an extra serving of any food to get those nutrients, even though every fruit or vegetable you eat will be bigger so it will be easier and cheaper to do just that. This notion of nutrition deficiency from increased produce size is a ridiculous notion that sophists have pushed on the rubes.

          • Robert W Turner,
            You said, ” Increased crop yields will increase the availability of a diversified diet.” The unstated assumption is that the population will not increase significantly, thereby requiring the increased food supply to be shared among a larger number of people.

          • To bad the real world doesn’t follow your example.
            The vast majority of the world has more than enough to eat, yet the rate of population growth is plummeting. We are going to reach peak human in another decade or so after which population levels are going to start falling rapidly.

          • Face palm- in my reply above, I didn’t think about that the body doesn’t use all the nutrition possible in the food. Great point.

          • The question is whether the utilization of nutrients is an issue of efficiency, or whether the body just takes what it needs. However, considering the epidemic of obesity, it would seem that it is an issue of efficiency and can be over-ridden by just eating more.

        • Hi SxR: — Venezuelan limited food availability is an example of what you point out. It can also be the case for small landholders farming marginal land who must sell as much of one harvest as possible & limit how their extended family consumes. Everyone in the world can not just shop for more food anytime they need more balanced nutrition.

          • Venezuela is an example of why socialism does not work, and so is not relevant to this debate.

            A poor, small landholders farming marginal land will get a bigger harvest and so their extended family can consume more and still have more to sell. Provided the state does not steal the crop.

          • Hi BillP, – Small landholders near me in Gringolandia want to lease my grazing rights. With eCO2 they will have more problems marketing cost effective steers. Cattle rumen microbes create best weight gain when get 26.13 (+/-1.3) gr. nitrogen for every 1,000 gr. matter. For example a 272 Kg. steer reared on Oklahoma tall grass under 1995 level of CO2 attempted to fatten up by 0.68 Kg/day only had it’s rumen getting 14.5 gram nitrogen per 1,000 gr. organic matter. We’ve been talking about how % protein is less under eCO2. Back in 1995 study supplemental protein was indicated to maximize slaughter weight; since supplemental protein in Gringolandia is rather expensive I anticipate under eCO2 it would become a greater financial hit. See “Estimating ruminal nitrogen-to-energy balance with in situ disappearance data”; free full text on-line.

          • Hi Felix, – There is little hope landholders near my tropical farm will pool their masses of daily chicken pluckings to run for 3 hours at 150°C in order to render feather keratin protein 95% digestible for somebody’s steers. Rancher families eat about 1 chicken daily so can literally add feather weight to amount ready to process. A major poultry slaughter house can accumulate enough feathers to supply raw material for an industrial scale operation, however this would require an investor assessing whether likes the rate of return.

          • Even almost sixty years ago when my dad built a feed lot and feed mill, chicken feathers were available in commercial quantities. Cheap. As in cheep-cheep!

          • Hi Felix, – Cheep does not mean feathers can be a worthwhile protein source for ruminants in a country without a highly mechanized agri-business infrastructure. For my neighboring ranchers it would require feather acquisition at some price; even if hauled away for free. The raw material would need packing for transport; used gunny sacks are sold & laborers stuffing them be paid. A pick up truck can not haul much; independant truckers do haulage for a living & take cash. Depending on the distance fuel cost can add up; gas/diesel in Gringolandia is significantly more expensive & taxed than USA. For feathers laborers unloading must get paid, laborers shunting the raw material to batch processing must get paid, a structure for processing infrastructure must be built (craftsman paid & materials bought & delivery paid) on suitable property with adequate water source (pipe tubing/fittings must be bought & & delivery paid & installers paid), treatment equipment must be fabricated (metal bought & delivery paid & welders paid), chemical supplies must be on hand (bought in bulk & delivery paid & require a dedicated storage capability), raw material feathers must be batch process loaded (laborers get paid), prepared batch must be collected & packed up into recepticle (laborers get paid), treatment equipment must be cleaned out for next batch & residues disposed of (laborers get paid), processed feather protein must be loaded onto transport (laborers get paid),
            delivery to steers at any distance requires either gas for a pick–up load or paying a donkey owner haulage, unloading at feeding site & incorporation into feed is also work. I hauled “free” rice hulls as well as “free” manure for my farm & after considering your lead I see no profitability locally in feathers for ruminants.

        • More examples of one dimensional thinking.
          If people got all their nutrients from a single source, you would have a point.
          They don’t.

        • Steve. I value your input. A danger to this site is only accepting conforming information and blacklisting those that have data that is contrary. Any proper scientific forum has to listen to alternative opinions as long as they can support those opinions with reproducible research and data.

        • Under CO2 enrichment, more small grain crops will be produced. Each grain will contain just as much amino acid as before, plus more carbohydrate. So, yes, the same weight of rice, wheat, barley, rye or oats would contain a little more sugar and slightly less “protein”, but there will be more grain available. There is no loss of protein (amino acids) overall. If N be added to the soil, then there will also be more protein as well as sugar.

          People will thus be able to afford more grain, it being more plentiful thanks to more plant food in the air. It’s all good.

      • If they still continued to eat the same miniscule amt of food there might be a deficit, but with the coming CO2 bumper crops every one will be able to eat more than their fill (ya, I know, the betwetters will trumpet that…) and food prices will be cheap enough that they can afford to indulge in other foods than basic staples, and even afford the luxury of an occasional bite of meat!

    • From Steve Rookwood’s link to alleged science:

      “The scientists think elevated levels of the greenhouse gas increase the carbohydrate content, but at the expense of protein and minerals. As for the reduction of B vitamins, this was thought to be linked to a decline in nitrogen that tends to occur in heavily carbon dioxide-infused plants.”

      “Scientists think” speciousness is jumped into research. The entire Independent’s article is based on “think”.

      Yes, there have been several studies performed that make a similar claim. Every one of those studies has major problems across the board from research design through statistical analysis.
      And like the hygiene and tropical medicine research described above, those CO₂ studies were conducted based on confirmation bias that higher CO₂ levels cause coarse plant growth. A belief that is disproven in real world farms and commercial greenhouses worldwide.

      An easy disproof of the coarse vegetable claim is USDA’s nutritional database.
      Where foods grown under hothouse high CO₂ levels are factually identical to vegetables grown in the fields.

      • Hi ATheoK, – The database link you think illustrates your contention is tenuous. Under elevated “eCO2” there are less metabolites rich in N & the plant generates more metabolites rich in carbon (ex: lignin & phenolics). The eCO2 improvement of Rubisco dynamic means less related enzymes need to be made from N & the plant can use N for reproduction (flower/seed/fruit greehouse growers get from eCO2). Vascular N uptake from transpiration reduction under eCO2 in many (not all) studied plants increases the ratio of carbon to N in aerial parts. Some plants do not bump up their carbon to N ratio under eCO2 because they produce more root exudates (&/or sustain a transpiration rate).

        • The net net is that with other factors held the same, C3 crop plants make at least as much amino acid under elevated CO2 as ambient.

          • Hi Felix, – Rice is a C3 plant. 18 Asian rice strains, including hybrids, averaged 10.3% less protein at free air elevated eCO2 in various sites (32°N & 35°N, China & Japan). Also average iron was 8% less & zinc 5% less. The nitrogenous vitamins B1 down 17%, B2 down close to 17%, B5 down close to 13% & B9 folate down 30% on average under eCO2. But hey, vitamin E went up under eCO2.

          • Gringo,

            Again, those are percentages. The rice made more carbohydrate, so naturally the share of protein went down. Doesn’t mean that there was absolutely less amino acid than under CO2-poor air.

          • Felix, – Yield increases under 15 artificial growth chambers show a yield % boost from 200 ppm eCO2 , as do 14 Free air 200 ppm eCO2. The measured boosted ranges attributed to eCO2 can be see in Figure 2 lower chart (blue bars only an average) at this link = …. Consider it might be only a 0.9 – 1.6 gram rice/1,000 grains from eCO2. Recently 2 rice varieties in the field subjected at the time of panicle filling to harvest given elevated eCO2 showed 1,000 rice grains weighed 24.1 gr (vs. 23.2 gr in regular CO2) for 1 variety & at CO2 the other variety weighed 25.8 g/1000 grains (vs. 24.2 gr in regular CO2).

          • Two hundred ppm isn’t enough boost. While obviously 600 ppm is better than 400 ppm, 800 would be better and 1200 best of all.

            Rice isn’t typical because it doesn’t suffer the water stress experienced by other small grain crops. Elevated CO2 increases their weight even more.

            At an average of only 472 ppm on their test plots (they were shooting for 550), these Indian researchers increased grain weight/plant by 35%. The protein analysis is interesting:

            Impact of Elevated CO2 on Wheat Growth and Yield under Free Air CO2 Enrichment

            December 2017


            Impact of elevated CO2 (free air CO2 enrichment) was studied on wheat (Triticum aestivum L. var Kundan) growth, yield and proteome. Elevated CO2 significantly impacted both underground (+24%) and aboveground (+15%) biomass. Grain weight/plant and harvest index were increased by 35% and 11.4%, respectively under high CO2. On the other hand, seed protein content was decreased by 19% under CO2 enrichment while seed starch and soluble sugar contents were increased by 8% and 23%, respectively. Wheat leaf proteomics revealed that 50 proteins were showing differential expression. Twenty proteins were more abundant while 30 were less abundant. Thirty two proteins were identified by MALDI TOF TOF. More abundant proteins were related to defense, photosynthesis, energy metabolism etc. While less abundant proteins were related to glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. Wheat grain proteomics revealed that out of 49 differentially abundant proteins, 24 were more in abundance and 25 were less in abundance in wheat grains under eCO2 condition. Thirty three proteins were identified and functionally characterized. They were found to be involved mainly in carbon metabolism, storage, defence and proteolysis. Gluten proteins are the major component of wheat storage proteins. Our results showed that both high and low molecular weight glutenins were more in eCO2 wheat seeds while there was no change in gliadin evels. This might alter wheat dough strength. Concentration of grain Cr and As was increased at eCO2 while that of Fe, Cu, Zn and Se were found to be decreased. Dynamics of carbon utilization and metabolic abilities of soil microbes under eCO2 were significantly altered. Our study showed that altered wheat seed composition is cause for concern vis-à-vis nutrition and health and for industries which may have implications for agriculturally dominated country like India.

          • However, I’ll grant you that this often-cited study found an actual absolute decline in N in the average of 27 C3 plants grown under 350 and 700 ppm:

            The effect of elevated CO2 on the chemical composition and construction costs of leaves of 27 C3 species

            Poorter, et al, 1997


            Total non-structural carbon however increased from 137 to 211 mg g”‘ dry weight, as would be expected.

            Their methods for determining organic N and NO3- are IMO questionable.

            “The weight of the organic N compounds was calculated by subtracting NO^’-N from total N, and multiplying this value by 6-25. For ease of reference we will use the term’protein’ for this fraction throughout this paper. During the combustion process, NO^^ and organic acids disappear,leaving an oxide, which reacts with CO2 after cooling to form carbonate. Therefore, the total mineral content was calculated as the sum of ash and NO3″ content, subtracting ash alkalinity (in milliequivalent g~’ DW) multiplied by the weight of 1 eq. of carbonate (30 g), to correct for the CO3^’ formed. The organic acid concentration was determined by subtracting the NO3 ” concentration (in meq g”‘)from total ash alkalinity (in meq g^’), and multiplying by 62-1 g eq”\ assuming that the average weight of the organic acids per equivalent was similar to that determined previously for two species by gas chromatography (Poorter & Bergkotte 1992). The fraction that remained after the Bligh & Dyer extraction and the 3% HCI treatment was considered to be composed of denatured cytoplasmic protein, cell wall protein, total structural carbohydrates (TSC) and lignin.”

          • Hi Felix, – I read your India winter wheat link. A 2017 Italian winter wheat study in free air 500 ppm CO2 published 2 years of data that is different, while likewise boosted yields. One year the Italian elevated eCO2 grain was 4.9% lower in protein than otherwise & in the other year grain was 5.1% lower in protein. If want to read that study I can cite it on request. Personally, I think there will be advances in field crop development coming out of eCO2 research that are more promising for human needs than operating massive worlwide 1200ppm greenhouses.

          • Please feel free to link the Italian research. Thanks.

            The benefits of 1200 ppm would extend far beyond small grain crops. Forests and savanna would flourish where now there is scrub or desert. Just look what a mere 400 ppm has done for the Sahel.

            But, alas, the most that humans can possibly boost life-giving CO2 is around 600 ppm, and even that low level might be unattainable. More’s the pity.

          • Citation = “Elevated field atmospheric CO2 concentrations affect the characteristics if winter wheat (cv. Bologna) grains”; free full text available on-line

          • Hi Felix, – Since I personally am not in a panic over CO2 what I wish to convey is there is evidence (data from experiments) based exposure of scientific problems we should understand the implications of. Your own cited study records multiple changes in gene expression ratios of 50 wheat proteins & you apparently “suppose” nothing related to those has the potential to be a problem at all. You glossed over the eCO2 rice data I provided, but in Bangladesh rice in late 2010s was ~70% of the diet. In Gringolandia rice is dietary mainstay & significant for West Africans as well as the S.E.Asian countries.

  2. I love clearly false “studies” like this because they can only lead all except true climate warriors to one conclusion: it’s propaganda.

  3. “…the research team identified this as an area requiring more evidence generation.”

    Or in plain English, “More grant money, please.”

    • No, plain English is, “People need to keep studying this to get a better understanding of this area.” There is no suggestion that the study’s authors are going to be the ones doing that research.

      Why do you feel compelled to twist what people say? Really, it’s a serious question.

      It’s no secret that much scientific research is dependent on grants. Part of most academic and public sector scientists’ job is to write grant proposals and submit applications. It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s also a good thing, as it makes the scientist write out ideas, do background research, itemize costs, etc. before engaging in the research itself. But scientists don’t do research in order to get grant money, they get grant money to do research. The vast majority of American scientists are salaried and don’t benefit financially from their grants (although some grants cover limited summer salary for academics).

      But sure, scientist like getting grants! Of course they do! Most people go into science and STAY there because they find the work gratifying. It’s pretty hard to do research that has no costs associated with it.

      That doesn’t answer the question, though – why do you twist the meaning?

      • “There is no suggestion that the study’s authors are going to be the ones doing that research.”

        Are you really this naive?

  4. Remember when “warming runaway” required the theoretical increase of atmospheric water vapor? That quietly disappeared, at least in this article. You can’t take the alarmists seriously, ever.

  5. Next they’ll claim that water vapor and natural cloud condensation are bad for growing things.

  6. Calling Paul Erlich –
    Crop yields have been increasing since the industrial revolution. The world has been warming since the end of the little ice age. Yet global warming will cause a change in the trend

  7. Many “vegetables” people refer to are really fruits.
    Pea pods

  8. CO2 fertilization is an esblished scientific fact, which is why commercial greenhouses keep CO2 levels at around 1,000ppm to maximize yields and profits.

    Global crop yields have more than doubled since 1960, with CO2 fertilization contributing 15% of the total increase:

    Empirical evidence and most peer reviewed papers show crop yields will increase by 33% per CO2 doubling..

  9. So they can work up a scenario where the increased yield from increased CO2 is offset by other factors, but do not demonstrate any of those other factors are connected to increased CO2? And someone published this?

  10. The conclusion was written first and then the faux study was clumsily form-fitted around it.

    • ResourceGuy

      Top comment.

      I have no idea how, on an island as small as ours (UK) we seem to propagate more idiots per head of population than anywhere else on earth.

      The royal family for starters!

  11. “requiring more evidence generation.”

    And that’s the problem, the are generating data instead of collecting it.

    “London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)”
    For some reason this does not sound like a group with any expertise in growing plants.

    • MarkW

      A really good place if you have been poisoned by Russians…….No, really!

      But if you want plant growing, it’s Kew gardens. Those guys know their stuff.

  12. The “science” of prediction is the easiest place to work. The only rule is to predict what funders want to hear. The rest is all conjecture, selective use of tenuous evidence and magical thinking. This is where all the failed science majors find comfort and employment.

  13. From the article: ““Our analysis suggests that if we take a ‘business as usual’ approach, environmental changes will substantially reduce the global availability of these important foods.”

    The “business as usual” scenario should actually be called the worst-case scenario because they assume temperatures will increase 4.5C. But all the ECS estimates lately are showing an ECS of 1.6C or less, so the “business as usual” scenario they fear so much is science fiction.

    • My neighbor, Earl, might not fully appreciate your post, what with his enhanced cannabinoid sensibilities and all, even though he’s quite a mechanic, known for troubleshooting engine control systems and electrical charging systems and such.
      Since our gracious host tries to maintain an egalitarian comment scheme, new people, like Earl, often drop by to learn a bit about climate science and might not understand acronyms for terms like equilibrium climate sensitivity, unless those terms are mentioned at least once, in the post.

  14. Thank Heaven for Norman Borlaug and other agronomists who have helped to increase the food supply for everyone on the planet.

    • Ah ! BUT ALAN !!!!
      Under glorious MARXISM “Lysenkoism” will be REINTRODUCED !
      Think of the BENEFITS OF THAT !
      Lyrics to The Internationale:
      Stand up all victims of oppression
      For the tyrants fear your might
      Don’t cling so hard to your possessions
      For you have nothing if you have no rights
      Let racist ignorance be ended
      For respect makes the empires fall
      Freedom is merely privilege extended
      Unless enjoyed by one and all

      So come brothers and sisters
      For the struggle carries on
      The internationale
      Unites the world in song
      So comrades come rally
      For this is the time and place
      The international ideal
      Unites the human race
      Let no one build walls to divide us
      Walls of hatred nor walls of stone

      Come greet the dawn and stand beside us
      We’ll live together or we’ll die alone
      In our world poisoned by exploitation
      Those who have taken now they must give
      And end the vanity of nations
      We’ve but one earth on which to live
      And so begins the final drama
      In the streets and in the fields

      We stand unbowed before their armour
      We defy their guns and shields
      When we fight provoked by their aggression
      Let us be inspired by like and love
      For though they offer us concessions
      Change will not come from above

      Songwriters: Stephen William Bragg / Petrus Christianus De Geyter / Eugene Edme Pottier
      The Internationale lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
      Artist: Billy Bragg
      The Internationale
      YAWN…….ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ! WHAT ?.. Oh ! …Sorry about that !

      • Trevor,
        That’s a valid point about Lysenkoism. As an aside, I remember watching Obama at one of the campaign stops, for his first term election. As he approached the stage, the band struck up “L’ Internationale”.
        I took that as a bad sign and it proved to be a valid indicator for what was to come.

      • Commie Billy Bragg’s version dates only from 1989, when Commie Pete Seeger asked him to sing the Internationale at the Vancouver Folk Festival. Many other Commies prefer the former American (by Charles Hope Kerr) and British (anonymous) translations from French (Eugene Pottier) into English. The original is more militant.

        Happily, Communism fell in Europe soon thereafter, to be replaced by the Church of Climate Change.

        • Felix

          I’ll not have a word said criticising Billy Bragg. He’s a wealthy communist who rejects the concept of music royalties for 70 years after the death of the composer, as established with the support of the real communist, Cliff Richard.

          Billy promotes the concept of live music. Get paid for what you play.

          If nothing else, Billy’s concept would rid the world of the tedious, painful, boy and girl bands, one hit wonders circulating over the last few decades, and off into the future.

          Oh for another Beatles, Zeppelin, Clapton, Santana or Cooder who worked the pubs and clubs before they made it.

          But I love George Ezra. A big, fat, old, blues singer, in a skinny white kids body.

          • The reason why most of the bands put up with pubs and clubs is the hope of the big payday down the road.
            Eliminate the payday and many bands never get formed in the first place.

            If artists only got paid for live performances, then unless you have the time to go to live performances, then your chances of hearing any music goes way down.

  15. TOTAL BULLSHIT !! However…..if allowed to mature and then dug into
    the soil it will probably improve the yield !!


    Not Agriculture, horticulture or any of many farm related disciplines.
    Which is puzzling, given that hard water, (which includes salinity problems) is a well known problem with many physical studies.

    Only, I doubt any of these real world studies are ever labeled “environmental changes”.

    To whit:

    “To address this evidence gap the researchers conducted a systematic review of all the available evidence from experimental studies published since 1975 on the impacts of changes in environmental exposures on the yield and nutritional quality of vegetables and legumes. Experiments included in the review were conducted in 40 countries”

    A clumsy cherry pick, where the environmental search term eliminates a large majority of agricultural studies.

    Limiting studies to post 1975, ia another cherry pick; and possibly based on a lack of “environmental studies” on crops prior to 1975.
    Which ignores that hard water and/or drought conditions existed well before 1975.

    “The team then estimated the effects on the yields and nutritional quality of crops of changes in key environmental exposures, including increases in greenhouse gases (tropospheric carbon dioxide and ozone), reduced water availability for irrigation and rising ambient temperatures”

    Since a “model” is not described, one suspects this “estimated the effects” is a subjective process based on confirmation bias assumptions.

    This is another embarrassment for science; where assumptions drive results from a narrowly tailored alleged research.

    * No greenhouse operations were reviewed.
    * Assumed future problems are included based on biases.
    * Real world vegetable product increases are ignored.
    * Real world experts on growing vegetables are not involved.
    * No physical experiment is conducted; all results are opinion driven estimates.

  17. This sounds like one of those universities that has a grading scale ranging from frowney face to smiley face, includes safe space time during every class, and gives students stickers for encouragement.

    • Robert W Turner

      Not fair really. It goes back to 1899, is a constituent college of the University of London and was involved with the discovery of malaria.

      Prestigious seat of learning and I believe dealt with with Ebola and even Russian poisonings.

      Not bad for a smiley face university.

  18. This is what happens when you let a bunch of sissified, feminized bed wetters, no offense to strong conservative women intended, teach and do research at supposed institutions of higher education. Do they let these folks go outside alone? Evidently these “researchers” have never grown a garden. Is there anything for which co2 is not harmful?

  19. …Previous research has shown that raised levels of carbon dioxide would increase crop yields, but this study identified for the first time that these potential yield benefits are likely to be cancelled out in the presence of simultaneous changes in other environmental exposures….

    I’ll go along with that finding. My models of future farm production under environmental conditions show the following findings:

    1 – growing capability for produce: +150%
    2 – ability to plan growing season using IPCC weather models: – 30%
    3 – ability to sow and harvest crop using photo-electric equipment: -50%
    4 – ability get produce to market using environmentally-friendly transport: – 80%

    So yes, I predict a considerable fall in global vegetable production….

  20. Those charlatans don’t care about data, logic and science. Their aim is to publish a junk paper, that could be cited later by the Goebels Warming zealots, the IPCC included, as “climate science has demonstrated that warm means less vegetables production”. The sole purpose is to sustain the propaganda machine and to keep the fundings gravy train rolling. Mission accomplished.

  21. Four degrees C is at the top end of global average temperature, as estimated by climate models, which are running hot compared to historical temperatures. If these predictions are based on hot-house experiments, it isn’t stated whether the temperatures were averages, peak temperatures, or average daily highs. Without that information, it is difficult to assess the danger. In any event, the temperature change in the last 100 years has been about 1 deg C, with most of that before 1950. Furthermore, the change in the global average has been mostly in the night-time and Winter Temperatures. Lastly, it is commonly acknowledged that the Arctic is warming about twice as fast as the global average. That means, the temperatures in the corn belt will not increase as fast as the global average. Overall, this appears to be a worst-case scenario with little supporting statistics on the uncertainty of the assumptions or conclusions.

    How is it that a researcher in atmospheric sciences is making claims best made by agricultural scientists and international economists?

    Now, water is another story! But, much of the concern is about depletion of aquifers utilized for irrigation, and is largely unrelated to climate.

  22. Dinner At The Climate Change Family home…..
    Climate Change Dad: “Where are the vegetables?”
    Climate Change Mom: “They’re not home from school yet.”

  23. Agronomy time: elevated CO2 (“eCO2”) -> more fine roots -> more turnover into soil carbon -> more soil microbes. Under just eCO2 conditions extra microbes reduces N for plants while mobilizing more P for plants. Water (soil moisture) excess -> more N availability lost than P & more P solubility for plants. eCO2 reduces plant transpiration & sustains soil moisture. Raising soil moisture & also CO2 creates greater microbial immobilization of N & plants’ ratio of P goes up. Well, temperature elevation (“e°T”) accelerates microbial activity/turnover allowing more N available to plants. But, if soil drying problematic under e°T then P availability reduced & the ratio of N to P goes up. Different plants deal with the availability of N in respect to availability of P with different outcomes & in field grown crops the N:P ratio is impacted by eCO2, e°T (if present), water & soil characteristics. Plant protein synthesis is demonstrated repeatedly to be impacted by eCO2 by varying degrees – a feature is N:P ratio.

  24. I wish alarmists would make up their minds whether a warmer world is wetter or drier than a cooler one. Whichever can be made the scarier, I guess, is the criterion.

    But without an assumed water vapor feedback, the ECS of doubling CO2 is only 1.2 degrees C, so the models at least have to go with wetter.

    • Felix,
      Actually, precipitation seems to be an even bigger problem with GCMs than temperatures because different models often get very different precipitation forecasts for the same regions.

  25. I went to sleep in the middle of trying to read that drivel.

    “urgent action needs to be taken” – okay, but what? Shutting off your supply of donuts and coffee? Making you science guys get real jobs and do your own cooking? Grow a garden?

    Man! Theses people are so lost in their need to be important that they bore the living daylights out of me. Cut off their funds, will you? that will solve the problem, quickly.

    I can hear the howling now: “What?!? No more money for producing poppycock papers? How could they!! We’re imporrant!! Important, I tell you !!”

    These twits have tried to stir up a tempest in a sauteeing pan and have failed. Vitamins can replace lost nutrients, as can other means of providing foodstuffs in an emergency. They make it sound as if Doomdsay is around the next corner, when it isn’t.

    Cut off their funding!!! Please!!! All they do is waste time and money and produce nothing of any value.

    • Sara

      the secret is, as I have discovered, not to read anything but the headline. Then skip down to the comments. Much more informative and far more fun.

      And I suspect the fund cutting is coming once the Donald revs up the US economy and slaps down the EPA.

      With any luck, that means when America sneezes, Britain catches a cold, and we’ll soon be rid of our green brigands en mass.

      • HotScot, I do hope that you are right.

        Grant money is supposed to produce something beneficial like a new vaccine or a better, more cost-effective light bulb. What these people do is waste money that could go for something useful.

    • Wow! Fact checking not sheer laziness. Have to say though, the new Google search rules are making this harder to find – the lazy have to fight the 250,000-legged dog called Map-Reduce (googles bloodhound) – but as Alice said, a dog at any scale is dog, rather a poodle.
      So use Google-Poodle but remember Alice’s keen observation!

  26. been so damned cold here in Maine (still have 39-40 deg F mornings) MANY gardens having problems getting stuff to grow.

  27. The summary provided did not explain why they assumed a 4 degree temperature increase, a 25% increase in O3, a drop in available water, or how they arrived at a salinity increase. The paper itself does not appear to be readily accessible, but their supplemental info is:

    A chart on page 14 of the supplemental info (I tried unsuccessfully to paste it here…perhaps someone clever at posting pix can do that), shows where they got their numbers from. It’s truly a joke and it’s hard to believe this was published.

    The statement in the abstract, that the study was based on “environmental changes predicted to occur,” appears to be entirely untrue. They took a bunch of studies that experimented using various factors (summarized in column D1 in the chart) to see what impact such factors had on different “vegetables and legumes”. Those studies did not themselves attempt to project / predict future climate.

    However, they combined those experimental numbers with some IPCC projections to establish the “standardised change” used for their paper. That means the numbers used are entirely and completely fictional, divorced from any attempt at a real projection of future climate between now and 2100…and that’s being generous since the IPCC projections themselves are fictional. The standardized changes used in the paper do not, in any sense of the concept, amount to “environmental changes predicted to happen”.

    So…if there is a 4 degree C temperature increase by 2100 (above the IPCC range, which itself is suspect), water availability drops by 50%, and all those various other factors also come into play (how that will happen is unclear and not projected to occur by the IPCC), then bad things might happen.

    If anyone has access to the full paper, is there some form of discussion justifying their numbers, beyond the obvious – i.e., if we make it bad enough, we’ll get headlines?

    This paper seems utterly pointless…

  28. Future headline: “CO2 induced global food glut causing uptick in population, wellness. Could eventually cause famine, war, malaria, itchy feet…”
    Can’t wait till CO2 reaches 500, good bye deserts, famines, itchy feet….

    • Some of the C3 plants whose bounty will be increased by CO2 enrichment of our air:

      Most small seeded cereal crops such as rice (Oryza sativa), wheat (Triticum spp.), barley (Hordeum vulgare), rye (Secale cereale), and oat (Avena sativa).

      Most trees and lawn grasses such as rye, fescue and Kentucky bluegrass.

      Soybean (Gycine max), peanut (Arachis hypogaea), cotton (Gossypium spp.), sugar beets (Beta vulgaris), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), spinach (Spinacea oleracea) and potato (Solanum tuberosum).

      Evergreen trees and shrubs of the tropics, subtropics and the Mediterranean; temperate evergreen conifers like the Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris); deciduous trees and shrubs of the temperate regions, e.g. European beech (Fagus sylvatica), as well as weedy plants like the water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes), lambsquarters (Chenopodium album), bindweed (Convolvolus arvensis) and wild oat (Avena fatua).

      Oh, no! More weeds and tobacco (plus marijuana and probably poppy and coca)! We are doomed!

      Farmers already fight to control weeds, so their greater potential growth is no threat.

  29. “”… This advice conflicts with the potential impacts of environmental changes that will decrease the availability of these important crops unless action is taken….”.
    A good LIA will do the same!
    What’s with this “water scarcity” they seem to have thrown in or is this just another model driven exercise?

  30. My family have been farming the same land for more than 800 years now. This gives us an historical perspective most governments and organizations cannot match. If you are a farmer, climate change is no laughing matter. Small changes in global temperature have vast impact on weather patterns. Please note that all agriculture is dependent on reasonably predictable weather. Farmers have to know when to plant and harvest their crops. If temperature or rainfall are abnormal, crops can fail and people starve. If you look at historical records from the Little Ice Age (roughly 1350 to 1850 AD) many countries lost 20% to 25% of their population. All this havoc was caused by a 2 degree drop in average temperature. This reduced average growing seasons by 1 to 2 months.

    Increasing global temperatures cause even more problems. Rainfall becomes increasingly unpredictable and high temperatures decrease yields of most crops. For example, increasing temperature by 1 degree is the same as losing 4 inches of rainfall. 4 acre-inches of water can mean the difference between making a crop and having a parched field = no crop. If temperatures are 5 degrees Fahrenheit too warm when wheat is pollinating, yields can go down 30% or more. A few days difference in planting date can cut rice yields in half. Crops are very sensitive to small environmental changes.

    Nobody said boo about global warming until some economist proposed a “carbon tax”. Then came the Great Climate Change Denier Campaign. Don’t play the ball, play the man. If there is no such thing as climate change, then we don’t need a carbon tax. Follow the money where it leads you. Or, if you don’t understand economics, read history. Climates do change and people do starve. Facts are stubborn things.

    Eric Koperek, Plant Breeder

  31. “Predicted environmental changes could significantly reduce global production of vegetables

    Prioritizing access to new crop varieties and improved agricultural practices is crucial to minimizing the potential negative effects of climate change on health, say researchers

    The study, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), is the first systematically to examine the extent to which projected changes such as increases in temperature and reduced water availability could affect the production and nutritional quality of common crops such as tomatoes.”

    So London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine did a studie to show:

    Cuisine of Montreal beats dining in New Orleans.

    The Londoners should add Menu Cards to the abstract.

  32. what an unmitigated pile of crap!
    damned if theyre worth their present pay let alone ongoing employment

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