Watching CO2 feed the world

Reposted from CFACT

By David Wojick |August 1st, 2020|Climate

Watching a child grow is seeing carbon dioxide in action. Plants turn CO2 into the food we eat to live and grow on. “You can’t live on air” is a common saying but that is just what we do; we live on air and water.

Few people appreciate this amazing fact, that CO2 in the air is the global food supply. Our meat, fruit and veggies, also our candy and ice cream, milk and wine, are built almost entirely from carbon dioxide and water. Everything we eat and drink.

There is also a bit of nitrogen, to make protein, plus a bunch of trace minerals and vitamins, but you and I are basically composed of processed H2O and CO2.

We should be very thankful that this CO2 food supply is increasing every year, along with our hungry mouths. Instead the climate alarmists want to reduce it, supposedly to make the weather better. This is truly stupid. Carbon dioxide is feeding the world, more every year. The last thing we want to do is reduce the global food supply.

The chemistry is complex but the facts are simple (and miraculous). Plants use the energy of sunlight to transform CO2 and water into their food. They both live and grow on this food, just as we do. Animals eat the plants and each other, then we eat both. Thus we all live on processed carbon dioxide.

It is no accident that we exhale water and carbon dioxide. We are simply completing what is called the carbon cycle when we do this. Our bodies use some of the CO2 based food for the energy they need to live and this returns the carbon dioxide and water to their original form. All living things exist this way.

Carbon cycle: CO2 (+ water) in —> Life—> CO2 (+ water) out.
Life is a CO2 based miracle.

It is a tragedy of ignorance that almost no one knows about this miracle. I have seen school lessons that actually teach the carbon cycle without mentioning carbon dioxide. They talk as though plants get their food from the ground, not the air.

Even worse, CO2 is demonized as air pollution. The world’s food supply cannot be pollution. How stupid is that!

To correct this ignorance it might be useful to label our foods with the amount of carbon dioxide they embody. We already label them for calories, fat, vitamins and such. People should learn how much CO2 they eat every day and be thankful for it.

Water is plentiful in most places, but carbon dioxide is scarce everywhere. For every million molecules of air only about 400 are CO2. That plants can actually find and consume these scarce molecules is amazing in itself. That all life ultimately feeds on these molecules is even more amazing.

A hundred years ago there were less than 300 molecules per million but happily that number has increased steadily. Plant productivity has increased accordingly, helping to feed our growing population. This is called the greening of planet Earth.

The climate alarmists have people calculating their so-called “carbon footprint” which is how much CO2 they cause to be generated. Everyone should be proud of their carbon footprint; it is helping feed the world. Make it bigger, not smaller.

For more on the miracle of carbon dioxide, check out the CO2 Coalition. For a lot of the science see the CO2 Science website.

Author

David Wojick Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see

http://www.stemed.info/engineer_tackles_confusion.html

For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see

http://www.cfact.org/author/david-wojick-ph-d/

Available for confidential research and consulting.

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Jamie Moodie
August 5, 2020 2:13 am

So simple, true, eloquent and essential, you have said all that needs to be said about CO2. However the charlatans will continue their manipulative propaganda unabated no matter what.

Greg
Reply to  Jamie Moodie
August 5, 2020 4:52 am

Good article in general. I was struck by a video I saw once where a guy calculated that the weight we lose through exercise was exhaled as CO2 and water vapour. I had , like most people, thought ( without thinking that hard ) that crap was a by-product of that process. In fact that is the waste of the process of digesting food and turning it into stockable reserves. The energy burning process is surprising clean.

To correct this ignorance it might be useful to label our foods with the amount of carbon dioxide they embody.

Very bad idea. This would be perceived like the “carbon footprint” and people would buy foods with the least “carbon dioxide”.

Even understanding the importance of CO2 in life on Earth, having this on the packet would not inform me of anything I need to know when buying food. It would just be misinterpreted by 99.95% of the population.

This is one of the silliest suggestions I can recall seeing here on WUWT.

Reply to  Greg
August 5, 2020 8:10 am

Especially the vegetarians since it takes a whole lot more CO2 to make a cow than an ear of corn. But then again, it would demonstrate just how silly the fear of CO2 really is.

Petit_Barde
Reply to  Greg
August 5, 2020 10:20 am

I think instead that’s a very good idea since it would accelerate the vegans extinction.

August 5, 2020 2:32 am

“Watching a child grow is seeing carbon dioxide in action. Plants turn CO2 into the food we eat to live and grow on. “You can’t live on air” is a common saying but that is just what we do; we live on air and water. Few people appreciate this amazing fact, that CO2 in the air is the global food supply. Our meat, fruit and veggies, also our candy and ice cream, milk and wine, are built almost entirely from carbon dioxide and water. Everything we eat and drink.

The issue is not whether atmos CO2 is a good thing or a bad thing. The issue is whether its unrelenting long term rise from 280ppm to 415ppm over the last century is unnatural and whether it is human caused, and whether it has climate implications that are harmful.

https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/06/14/responsiveness-of-atmospheric-co2-to-fossil-fuel-emissions/

David A
Reply to  Chaamjamal
August 5, 2020 4:12 am

You say the issue is not weather CO2 is a good or bad thing ( yes it is, and that is why the article was written) and then you define it as good or bad yourself in relation to climate, thereby, in your mind only, limiting the definition of good or bad affects of CO2 to climate.

It is a simple fact that the known benefits are either not taught, or massively under taught. And those benefits are massive. If CO2 were reduced to pre industrial levels every crop on the planet would produce an average of about 18 percent less food, and CO2 produces this miracle with ZERO need for increased water or land!!

In addition increased CO2 makes crops more drought and heat tolerant! Also CO2 makes crops more frost resistant!

And you dismiss this as not cogent? As to climate there is no global increase in droughts floods tornadoes hurricanes etc…
So the CO2 benefits are real, and the harms theoretical and failing to appear. They have been failing to appear for over 30 years. Sooner or later we are bound to have a year where weather disasters really do increase. ( 2020 perhaps, as it is a miserable year anyway) but that is just the law of averages playing chance, as we have had highly unusual climate extreme years in the past well before human CO2 production.

So, if we magically reduce CO2 levels to pre-industrial 280 PPM, we would likely enter WW3 due to massive starvation. When nations starve wars tend to happen. But you call these benefits “not the issue”

Just Jenn
Reply to  David A
August 5, 2020 6:06 am

“Sooner or later we are bound to have a year where weather disasters really do increase. ( 2020 perhaps, as it is a miserable year anyway”

*Looks at the disaster calendar slated for 2020 to determine if “weather disaster” could fit in*

Nope sorry, all full! Better luck next year.

🙂

DonM
Reply to  Chaamjamal
August 5, 2020 7:22 am

Not whether atmos CO2 is good or bad … but whether or not it is may lead to harmful? This confuses me.

[I drive my car to work (sometimes very fast) knowing it may lead to harmful; I know that the benefit is very very very likely to lead to a paycheck. Most don’t just look at the potential harmful aspects … they look at the benefit as well].

Potentially harm should never be the sole issue (although there are a lot of people garnering benefit, or managing others, by pretending that it is).

mario lento
Reply to  Chaamjamal
August 5, 2020 7:35 am

That’s easy. First most people do not know any of the underlying facts that they are arguing about.

The amount of sequestered CO2 buried from ice-ages would have eventually eliminated most life on Earth. Earth evolved from a place of more CO@. Much more.

There are mostly only benefits of increased CO2, but only if you consider life a benefit.
The only problem I can imagine is the inconvenience of hypothetical sea level rise, vs starving the planet because of no energy.

Release the stuff of life that has been lost to sequestration underground.

John Tillman
Reply to  mario lento
August 5, 2020 4:39 pm

While there were coal swamps during the eponymous Carboniferous Ice Age, most of the CO2 lost from Earth’s air in the present Ice Age has gone into solution in the colder oceans.

Lowell
Reply to  Chaamjamal
August 5, 2020 7:54 am

If you define bad as both non natural and harmful you get a mixed message in regards to CO2.

The natural world benefits by an increase to CO2 as more plant biomass causes more animal biomass. Animals and plants do not care about sea level rise and will quickly repopulate areas devastated by extreme weather.

Humans on the other hand care greatly about sea level rise. As far as extreme weather goes, Engineers will design for that. Sea level rise cause by 1 to 1.5 C warming is going to cause some sea level problems. Which is the greater good that life on this planet benefits from a rise in CO2 or that some humans have to put up dikes to protect some coastal cities?

leitmotif
Reply to  Lowell
August 5, 2020 2:11 pm

” Sea level rise cause by 1 to 1.5 C warming is going to cause some sea level problems. ”

Does anyone who isn’t a warmist or a lukewarmist actually believe that stuff?

MarkW
Reply to  leitmotif
August 5, 2020 7:31 pm

In your world, water doesn’t expand as it warms?

Willem69
Reply to  MarkW
August 6, 2020 5:06 am

MarkW,

Not so fast,
as one should know the maximum density of pure water is at at 4 C. (That’s why ice floats on water).

Now, it is estimated that 90% of the water volume of the ocean Is BELOW the thermocline at a temperature between 0 and 4 C.
Therefore for 90% of the ocean volume it is indeed true that if it were to warm up it would shrink and not expand!
The argument that ocean warming causes sealevel rise would only be true IF the average temperature would be above 4C. On our planet that is simply not the case and the whole sea level scare is yet another example of AGW arm-waving.

Using the increase in ocean SURFACE Temperature and using the expansion argument on the entire ocean volume is just wrong as it ignores basic scientific knowledge.
As usual the devil is in the details and the scientific truth is not scary.

Hope that helps,

All the best,
Willem

Ps, One should be able to estimate how many eons of ‘global warming’ it would take to raise the average ocean temperature above 4C and for the sea level to start increasing based on expansion but i guess it will take a loooooooooong time.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
August 6, 2020 8:47 am

From what I’ve read, the temperature of deep waters is 4C, not between 0C and 4C.
As you point out, below 4C water starts to expand. Since it expands, it becomes lighter than the water around it and hence it “floats” upwards.
Therefore there is no water in the oceans that can contract as it heats.

leitmotif
Reply to  MarkW
August 6, 2020 2:33 pm

Sorry MarkW, I forgot about little stalkers like you.

You obviously have no idea about the properties of water.

Write down 100 times “The density of water is at its maximum at 4C!”

Physics 101 beckons?

Jonathan Scott
Reply to  leitmotif
August 8, 2020 11:10 am

1. Science is not a belief system, well certainly not outside of the rarefied atmosphere of the climate circus. 2. Since the end of the Little Iceage welcome warming of more than that number has just happened…where is the climatogeddon? 3. The current welcome warm period is the fourth in recent human history the earlier warmings being the Minoan, the Roman, the Medieval and the current warming period which is already 350 years old. In each case there was only a thriving of mankind because the surface of the planet became more conducive to inhabitation and food production. The 1.5 degrees is a number pulled out of a hat no more no less. The claim regarding the greenhouse effect of CO2 is no more than that not an empirical data based conclusion. In much of science it is very difficult to demonstrate the cause of “effect A” because there can be multiple effects, some unknown which can play a collaborative part. What we can do however, again based on empirical data is say what most likely is NOT involved or if it is its effect is trivial. Two areas of science offer empirical data to challenge the CO2 orthodoxy. These are physics and geological history. If the electromagnetic spectrum of CO2 is considered and compared to that of the 100 times more prevalent WaterVapour in the atmosphere then it can be seen that CO2 has only a small signature at the Ultra Low Infra Red end of the spectrum. This signature is completely swamped by the signature of the many times more common WaterVapour right across the Infra Red end of the spectrum. “If” there is a greenhouse gas effect and like many other claims of the climate circus, neither it nor its magnitude have been measured, only modelled, then a physicist will put his money on Water Vapour as the main variable not the trace gas CO2. Both Freeman Dyson and William Happer describe a possible greenhouse effect as “minimal” at or below any possible detection. Secondly geological history supports the physics (cross discipline corroboration of data is strangely rare in the climate circus’s outpourings). If curves for atmospheric temperature and level of CO2 are compared from the Cambrian until the present it can be seen that there is absolutely no correlation between the two. NONE! In the Cambria there was around 7000ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere and when the vegetables you like to eat evolved the level was 2500-2800 ppm which is why market gardeners pumps CO2 into greenhouses because at even 410ppm plants are on a starvation diet and with levels raised to around 1000ppm they grow faster and larger. If the average level over geological time is considered then it comes to 2500ppm! It is totally disingenuous for supposed scientists in the pay of the climate circus to discuss the gaseous content of the atmosphere without reference to the geological time scale. The reason they do not is because the argument against it would fall apart very quickly! What geological history also tells us and what indeed should be the ONLY issue being discussed ( which they ignore) is that CO2 is present in three mediums not two. The ignored medium is rock and that containes CO2 which is locked away. Towards the end of the Jurassic around 160 my ago, marine organisms evolved which developed the ability to sequestrate CO2 and combine with calcium to make hard protective tests or shells. That they became supremely efficient at this is testified for by the huge volume of organic carbonaceous rocks around the world. However there has been a consequence to this evolution because that CO2 was and has continued to be removed from the Carbon Cyle. So since 160my ago the Carbon Cycle has been increasingly our of sync. CO2 has been declining in a linear fashion now for 160 my. During the depths of the first part of the current Ice Age it has been found that the level fell to around 180ppm or 20 ppm above the death of plants ( photosynthesis is compromised at 160ppm). The current increase halting that decline is on a geological timescale of no consequence and the CO2 ppm line is due to hit the 160ppm red line at 160ppm in a bit over 1 million years from now. So given a little of cross disciplinary science, who think critically and applying the scientific method soundly could get
caught up in the hysteria regarding the short term and very important increase in the atmospheric level of CO2, the gas of life. As a conclusion also based on geological history, outrageous claims are made regarding the acidification of the oceans based on some shocking
“science” using hydrochloric acid as a proxy for CO2 in the oceans. First, an alkali cannot be acidified, it can only be made less alkali. Secondly even when the atmospheric level of CO2 was around 7000ppm the oceans were not acid. They have never been acidic during the whole of geological history. There is much more to say cross disciplinary about the realities of the situation regarding CO2 but simply put, CO2 plus Water and an injection of energy from the sun is …..LIFE

Javier
August 5, 2020 2:49 am

Hey David, you are leaving the Sun out of the equation. No Sun, no photosynthesis. People take the Sun for granted. It is a tragedy of ignorance that almost no one knows about the Sun’s miracle. I have seen school lessons that actually teach the carbon cycle without mentioning the Sun.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Javier
August 5, 2020 4:21 am

The carbon cycle is not a perpetual motion machine – needs solar energy to keep the wheel turning.

fred250
Reply to  Javier
August 5, 2020 5:01 am

So true,

The forward reaction of combining H2O and CO2 requires an input of energy.

The reverse action of breaking down carbohydrates releases energy.

That is how we exist !

August 5, 2020 3:03 am

The climate on Earth has been changing for about four billion years or so, in variable cycles both long and short. Very few in the climate ‘debate’ understand this changing and its causes. The true believers are fixated on the carbon dioxide (CO2),,which is a minor constituent of the atmosphere, but it is one which is absolutely necessary for life on Earth. In photosynthesis, terrestrial plants, phytoplankton, kelp, and algal plankton in the oceans use sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to produce carbohydrates and oxygen in their growth cycle. For many of the true believers, this fixation comes from their ulterior political motive to control the population and their global economy with CO2 as the excuse. For others of the true believers this fixation derives from plain old fashioned ignorance.

Tom Bostock
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 6, 2020 4:12 am

Nicholas is dead right. Without atmospheric CO2 no one and nothing would be alive on Earth.

John Tillman
Reply to  Tom Bostock
August 6, 2020 10:59 am

Some anaerobic organisms don’t need CO2. And of course many CO2-metabolizing organisms get the vital molecule from water rather than the air.

Ron Long
August 5, 2020 3:13 am

I am totally in favor of more CO2 in the atmosphere, especially as a defense against the plunge into the next glacial cycle of the Ice Age we live in. Healthy, growing plants have a lot of chlorophyll in their leaves, and this is readily detectable by remote sensing, with a sharp emission peak at 680 nm and a broad peak at 700 to 750 nm (visible light is about 400 to 700 nm, so the main peak is in the short-wave infrared). The increase in chlorophyll (greening of the earth) is easily visible by remote sensing from satellites and shows a great benefit as we progress from 300 ppm to over 400 ppm. We should not stop until we are around 1,000 ppm, so we have a lot of work left. Go for it.

John Tillman
Reply to  Ron Long
August 5, 2020 4:15 pm

Unfortunately, burning all fossil fuel reserves over the next few centuries probably wouldn’t get us over 600 ppm.

John Dilks
Reply to  John Tillman
August 5, 2020 6:27 pm

Then we need to create nuclear power plants that power CO2 recovery systems and recover CO2 from deep ocean water and have them run 24/7.

fred250
Reply to  John Dilks
August 5, 2020 7:20 pm

Cheapest recovery would be from coal beds and limestone rocks.

We are already doing the first because it also provides energy. 🙂

Carl Friis-Hansen
August 5, 2020 3:17 am

Jamie Moodie and Chaamjamal displayed each their valid, but opposite aspects of the CO2 debate.
On the one hand is, if increasing CO2 is causing catastrophic global warming and the other aspect is the demonstrated benefit in Earth-greening as a result of increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

The benefits from increased CO2, as described in the article by David Wojick, is demonstrated, it is here and now. The question if increased CO2 level influence the weather and climate, in any significant way, is debatable. The most sensible evaluation of the two aspects would be to appreciate the benefits of the greening properties of CO2, and accept the fact that we have limited evidence of how much the CO2 increase influence weather, climate and temperature, and that we have no insurance we can fight natural variability of CO2 concentration.

Derg
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
August 5, 2020 4:34 am

“ the fact that we have limited evidence of how much the CO2 increase influence weather,”

Can you cite this limited evidence of CO2 influencing weather?

Thanks

fred250
Reply to  Derg
August 5, 2020 5:04 am

Can anyone cite ANY real empirical evidence !!

DonM
Reply to  Derg
August 5, 2020 7:01 am

how do you cite limited evidence? (are you a local planner?)

Limited evidence => there is not substantial evidence.

“hey buddy, please cite the evidence that you say is not there”

You can’t get blood fro a turnip … “I don’t accept that … prove it … show me the blood that you can’t get from the turnip to prove that it is not blood”

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  DonM
August 5, 2020 2:38 pm

“limited evidence” means “some evidence”. With that in mind, DonM, your comment seems quite silly.

fred250
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
August 5, 2020 3:09 pm

Where is this “some evidence”.?

Either there is some meaningful scientific evidence you can cite.. OR THERE ISN’T !!

leitmotif
August 5, 2020 3:20 am

“We should be very thankful that this CO2 food supply is increasing every year, along with our hungry mouths. Instead the climate alarmists want to reduce it, supposedly to make the weather better. ”

Ostensibly, climate alarmists do but in reality they want atmospheric CO2 to remain high and link it to every and any extreme weather event and proclaim, “We are not doing enough!”, in order to keep the climate emergency fearmongering at the forefront of politics.

Otherwise they would advocate for nuclear energy.

August 5, 2020 3:21 am

Thank you so much for sharing this very important information… there is so much to learn

Matthew Sykes
August 5, 2020 3:39 am

It is staggering that the world can be possessed of such a madness as CO2 being dangerous. It is like a religious frenzy of the past, some kind of deluded insanity.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
August 5, 2020 6:20 am

Indeed, it is reminiscent of the WITCH accusations, trials, and executions of so-called witches in Salem MA beginning in 1692. Remarkable how little we’ve progressed these past 328 years. The real shame of it is with the so-called “scientists” who have climbed onboard this quasi-religious fantasy, greatly harming science – a harm that will last decades, at least.

Steve Case
August 5, 2020 5:44 am

I have seen school lessons that actually teach the carbon cycle without mentioning carbon dioxide. They talk as though plants get their food from the ground, not the air.

I suspect that’s the case, but a link to what you’re claiming would really be great.

Here’s one from NOAA that doesn’t mention CO2:

https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/eoi/nemo/education/curr_p1_12.html

Goes from Chloroplasts to reduced carbon compounds without mentioning CO2

Just Jenn
August 5, 2020 6:10 am

CO2 is life.

Plain and simple.

You also forgot to mention that what we need to breathe is also produced as a byproduct of photosynthesis–O2.

And those proclaiming the harmful effects of enriching the photosynthetic organisms around the world can just stop using the byproduct of it. Not to mention H2O..yea, don’t need that either..right? Since humans are the scourge after all…./sarc

Right-Handed Shark
August 5, 2020 6:20 am

A few months ago here in the UK there was a TV advert for something called “quorn” that suggested that we could “reduce our carbon footprint” by eating it instead of meat. I complained to the Advertising Standards Authority and explained the carbon cycle to them, and told them that it does not matter whether we eat the plants, eat the animals that eat the plants, or eat their food substitute, no more carbon is returned to the atmosphere than was absorbed to grow the food. The ASA are supposed to let you know if your complaint is upheld or rejected. I have heard nothing from them, but the advert no longer appears on our screens.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
August 5, 2020 6:47 am

It sounds like your complaint was successful, but ASA was afraid of loosing face to you by replying.

Carl Friis-Hansen
August 5, 2020 6:39 am

I have seen school lessons that actually teach the carbon cycle without mentioning carbon dioxide. They talk as though plants get their food from the ground, not the air.

I went to primary school 1960 to 1967 in Denmark, where I was taught about the green plants sucking CO2 from the air, giving back O2. That was why it was a good idea to talk to your house plants. Because, as our teacher said: We inhale O2 and give back (exhale) CO2 to the plants.

We were also told in primary school how the industrial revolution had elevated the standard and quality of human life, and that it was such a wonderful era we were living in.

In middle school we learned that the more energy per volume, the better. We learned that Denmark had a whole island dedicated nuclear research, Risø, because nuclear energy would advance energy production and medicine. Producing heat from nuclear would raise our living standard even further.

I think it was the 1980’s Denmark went bongos, closed Risø and banned all nuclear weapon and power plants, to the extend where nuclear propelled ships are denied passage through Danish territorial waters – when spotted 🙂
Nevertheless:

About eight percent of Denmark’s domestic consumption comes from imported nuclear power (Germany and Sweden). See more detail here

What a contrast to the teaching, failing optimism, irrationality and hypocrisy of today.

William Abbott
August 5, 2020 6:44 am

The sun is the ultimate driver of climate. Sunlight is the ultimate source of photosynthesis. No wonder the old idolaters worshipped the sun. CO2 is an important part of so much chemistry. But it is always subordinate to sunlight.

gringojay
Reply to  William Abbott
August 5, 2020 2:01 pm

Hi Wm. Abbott, – You are quite sensible about this & the amount of sunlight irradiance affects C3 plant CO2 uptake, as well as their edible protein composition (nitrogen & sulpher). The plant enzymes must obviously be in a temperature range the plant is suited for.

Looking at established leafy green lettuce plants (tested once weight 200 grams, not seedlings) there are significant changes when it is growing under light of 600 mico-moles/m2/sec & when that illumination doubles to 1,200 micro-moles/m2/sec. But then too the growing temperature of 25*Celsius & 35*Celsius under those 2 distinct levels of light also drives changes.

Assimilation of C02 by lettuce grown at 600 micro-moles illumination averages 14 micro-moles/m2/sec of CO2 when the temperature is 25*C; yet at 35*C (a high temperature range for lettuce & not a lettuce seed germination temperature) the CO2 assimilation rises to 18 micro-moles/m2/sec of CO2. While doubling the illumination to 1,200 micro-moles the CO2 assimilation at 25*C is 17 micro-moles/m2/sec of CO2; yet at 35*C the CO2 assimilation rises to 23 micro-moles/m2/sec of CO2.

Under the 1,200 illumination at 35*C, as compared to at 25*C, the following parameters were greater: CO2 assimilated, relative growth rate & also significantly more evapo-transpiration. Bear in mind this experiment was done at current ambient CO2 & in the paradigm of future elevated CO2 (eCO2) the general theory is eCO2 reduces leaf pore stomata openings occasioning relatively less evapo-transpiration.

As initially alluded to the potential amino acid protein components also vary with the level of illumination in the studied lettuce. For example Sulphur containing proteins have more potential to form when illumination is 1,200 micro-mole/m2/sec than at 600 micro-moles at 35*C: namely 88 micro-moles sulphur/gram/dry weight/day at 35* vs. only 25 micro-moles sulphur/gr/D.W./d. at 25*C. [However for sulphur at 600 micro-moles illumination the absorption is greater at 25*C (22 micro-moles S.) than when at 35* (only 17 micro-moles S.) under that same low illumination.]

gringojay
Reply to  gringojay
August 5, 2020 2:09 pm

Citation for above data: “N, P, K and S uptake response to various levels of CO2 assimilation and growth rate”; originally published (2017) in Journal of Plant Nutrition.

DrEd
August 5, 2020 6:48 am

The idiocy is believing that man-made CO2, the real main cause of the increase in CO2, is the driving cause of global warming. There is absolutely no scientific evidence of this. Only the flawed computer models produce this erroneous claim. The factual evidence of the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and other historical temperature reconstructions raise the obvious question: if it was warmer then than it is now, what caused it, because it clearly wasn’t CO2. Only in “climate science” do we construct a computer model to TEST a hypothesis (CO2 caused global warming), see that the model fails in EVERY forecast it makes (increased storms, droughts, etc.) but then still refer to the model as “proof” that man-made CO2 is causing the predicted temperature rise (which also hasn’t happened). What ever happened to the Scientific Method? If the hypothesis can’t make a valid prediction, it must be rejected.

Reply to  DrEd
August 5, 2020 10:21 am

Even worse, the presumed ECS can be trivially falsified as a violation of COE, that is, the presumed sensitivity requires energy to be created out of thin air, literally.

How is this and how did the IPCC miss such an obvious flaw?

Simple. The average W/m^2 from the Sun results in an average of 1.62 W/m^2 of surface emissions and not the 4.4 W/m^2 claimed by the nominal ECS. Not only is it impossible to create or destroy energy, all Joules contribute equally to the work done and in fact, the units of work are Joules and 1 Watt is 1 Joule per second which seems to be a fundamental fact that the IPCC ignores. The rquirement that the next Joule is so much more powerful than the average Joule is such an obvious violation of COE it tends to be overlooked based on the presumption that ostensibly intelligent scientists just couldn’t be this wrong about something so fundamental. Of course, it should be equally clear to everyone that political bias turns the brains of ostensibly intelligent scientists into mush.

It takes linear work to change the temperature, that is, each Joule of stored energy contributes equally to its temperature change. However; in the steady state, which is all we care about relative to change, the temperature has already changed and the only work required is to maintain the temperature and this work is proportional to T^4.

The IPCC ignores the T^4 dependence of W/m^2 on maintaining the temperature by assuming approximate linearity around the mean and then significantly amplifying this with impossibly large positive feedback, which is all unjustifiable BS, and which leads to the IPCC’s embarrassing cascade of misrepresentations, errors and outright lies. The errors this led to were accepted owing to confirmation bias and the requirement for an absurdly high ECS in order to justify the existence of the IPCC and UNFCCC. Now, it’s more important then ever to maintain the lie, since the Democratic party is so vested in the lies, they just can’t handle the truth.

Jonathan Scott
Reply to  DrEd
August 8, 2020 11:12 am

More correctly we should call it “man liberated back in to the Carbon Cycle” which has been totally out ofsync now for 160 million years

Margaret Smith
August 5, 2020 6:57 am

Watching a series of TV programmes called The Oceans of the Solar System and photosynthesis was mentioned, I was astonished when it was proclaimed that early plants, algae, had learned to ‘split water’ releasing oxygen – which we breathe. No mention of CO2 at all. I wonder why evolution would select for this activity seeing as this would only free up 2 gases neither of which are much use to the plant, I think. Are they teaching this to children?
No wonder silly youngsters advocate sucking all the ‘carbon’ out of the atmosphere.
How do we undo all this damage?

John Tillman
Reply to  Margaret Smith
August 5, 2020 11:43 am

Remarkable that the truth about photosynthesis is being suppressed, but not surprising. That Cyanobacteria evolved water-splitting by sunlight is less amazing than are the dark reactions by which the H atoms (technically their proton nuclei) from an H2O molecule bond with CO2 to make sugar.

The release of O2 gas poisoned obligate anaerobic microbes and drove the survivors into hiding, but their sacrifice was our obligate aerobes’ gain.

Bruce Cobb
August 5, 2020 7:36 am

The CO2 Monster:

comment image?v=1489956333

August 5, 2020 9:05 am

An interesting thought is that “it is no coincidence that we breathe out water and carbon dioxide. We are just completing the carbon cycle.” Who didn’t know, there really is such a process https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle. I took part in a discussion about hydrogen. They explained to me the theory that the main element in our life is hydrogen. I believe oxygen is the main thing. Because there is oxygen even in carbon dioxide. Very interesting article. I have noticed for myself a few things to think about!

John Tillman
Reply to  CBD products
August 5, 2020 1:39 pm

Life on Earth requires, at a minimum, the common elements H, O, C, N and the less abundant P, for the key compounds sugars, nucleic, fatty and amino acids. A variety of other atoms are also necessary.

Biochemistry is based upon organic chemistry, ie carbon reactions.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  John Tillman
August 5, 2020 2:51 pm

Biology lords over organic chemistry, using it as its toolkit. That dominance continues until the life force departs from an organism. Then, with organic chemistry released from the tight control of biology, it turns on the works of art created by biology and destroys them.

John Tillman
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
August 5, 2020 4:11 pm

The decay of dead organisms is facilitated by living organisms, practicing biochemistry on the dead as substrate. Abiological organic chemistry all by itself would take a long time to breakdown a deceased organism.

Andre Den Tandt
August 5, 2020 9:40 am

I distinctly remember the “Eureka” moment when it hit me that the stuff of a tree does not come out of the ground, but out of the air. What triggered it? I read that greenhouse operators buy CO2 to release it until they get over 1000 parts per million. Then I looked at the mass of foliage behind my house where a few saplings were perennially the same for decades. It’s a veritable jungle now. Here I had thought that photosynthesis was all about the oxygen. Few people get it even now.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Andre Den Tandt
August 5, 2020 11:31 am

 a tree does not come out of the ground

We need the ground to stand on to see the plants grow.
Saint Greta claimed she could see CO2. If we could see the CO2 going in and the H2O and O2 coming out, would that not be fantastic?

John Tillman
Reply to  Andre Den Tandt
August 5, 2020 11:45 am

Land plants get water from the ground and CO2 from the air. They need both to make their food, sugar.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
August 5, 2020 11:54 am

Land plant root cells, which can’t produce O2, also get the oxygen they need from the ground. Earthworms are helpful in this regard, making more space for oxygen in the soil.

Roots’ need for air is why overwatering can “drown” a plant.

Gary from Chicagoland
August 5, 2020 12:11 pm

Over the last 100 years (1906–2005), global temperature has increased by 0.74°C. To put that perspective that is smaller than the house thermometer single cycle of turning on and off the home furnace.

Mike Dubrasich
August 5, 2020 12:59 pm

RuBisCo is the nickname for ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, the enzyme that catalyzes the first step in converting atmospheric CO2 to hydrocarbons (aka the Calvin Cycle). RuBisCo is the most abundant enzyme on Earth because it is present in all green plants.

Found in chloroplasts, RuBisCo has 8 large chains and 8 small chains assembled into a ball of amino acid yarn that has an atomic weight of ~540,000 daltons. The 3-D folded configuration contains Mg2+ ions held in specific positions to drive the process.

RuBisCo is an incredibly complex macro molecule but is only one of dozens of similarly huge enzymes necessary for photosynthesis. Miraculous is a good word to describe it.

John Tillman
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
August 5, 2020 1:42 pm

Miraculous as it appears, and complicated as modern photosynthesis is, its origin was fairly simple, facilitated by the previous evolution of chemosynthesis.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  John Tillman
August 5, 2020 2:46 pm

Umm, no. There is a Designer who designed the astonishingly complex set of highly interdependent nanotechnological marvels that make up even the “simplest” life. The obnoxious notion that life as we know it arose by blind, stupid chance is so ridiculous, it is insulting.

John Tillman
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
August 5, 2020 3:38 pm

There is no evidence for such a designer, and all the evidence in the world against it. If there be such a designer, it’s an idiot, not intelligent.

Photosynthesis is complicated because it evolved. An undergrad chemical engineering student could design a better system, just as a sophomore civil or mechanical engineering student could design a far superior bipedal foot. But the human foot is the jerry-rigged result of evolution’s turning a grasping foot into a plantigrade walking foot.

Life didn’t arise by chance. Given the right conditions, it’s inevitable. Natural selection is the opposite of random.

Your baseless, ridiculous assertion is insulting to God, hence blasphemous.

M.W.Plia
Reply to  Matthew Schilling
August 6, 2020 6:51 am

“There is a Designer”

Is this the same designer that started infinity?

John Tillman
Reply to  M.W.Plia
August 6, 2020 10:50 am

Or the idiotic designer who decided that the gonads of tetrapods (land vertebrates) should arise in the chest, ie the fish position, then descend through the abdomenal cavity during development, leaving hernia-susceptible holes behind. This is especially a problem for those male mammals with external testes.

This would be the same moron or sadist who saddled tarsiers, New and Old World “monkeys” and apes with the scourge of scurvy, while allowing lorises and lemurs to continue making their own vitamin C, like most mammals. These primate groups most closely related to humans however aren’t the only mammals so afflicted. South American rodents and some bats also can’t produce ascorbic acid, but those groups’ genes for this essential nutrient are broken in different ways from the negative primate mutation.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
August 5, 2020 2:54 pm

Or maybe not. Last year a specialist skeptically questioned assumptions on which thought about the evolution of photosynthesis has been based.

Thinking twice about the evolution of photosynthesis

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsob.180246

Just found this excllent review article.

Tad
August 5, 2020 2:03 pm

The first time my daughter was with us when we caught a moose, as we were butchering, she kept saying, “I just can’t believe that all of this came from leaves!” (Actually it all comes from leaves and twigs and water plants with incidental insects and snails thrown in).

I am really enjoying the discussion here; it’s helping me look at this from different directions.

gringojay
August 5, 2020 2:39 pm

Hi M. Dubrasich, – There is variability in the rate of efficiency which RUBISCO enzyme fixes CO2. For example sunflower RUBISCO has 160% greater efficiency doing so than spinach.

On average there are 1 misfire out of every 400 RUBISCO catalysis binding where CO2 other than assimilated CO2 gets in first. There are also on average 1 misfire out of every 100 assimilated CO2 bound to RUBISCO where 1 pyruvate molecule is formed because the subsequent normal carb-anion loses it’s phosphate.

RUBISCO affinity for CO2 vs. O2 also varies among plants. For example in C3 plants at 25*C tobacco fixes 77 mol CO2/1 mol O2, wheat fixes 94 mol CO2/ 1 mol O2; while the C4 plant amaranth fixes 82 mol CO2/ 1 mol O2 [cyano-bacteria fix 35-48 mol CO2/ O2 & green algae fix 50-60 mol CO2/1 mol O2.]

John Tillman
Reply to  gringojay
August 5, 2020 4:03 pm

RUBISCO is an inefficient enzyme, but operates under atmospheric conditions, which artificial photosynthetic processes devised to date still can’t, unless I’ve missed a breakthrough in the past decade.

gringojay
Reply to  John Tillman
August 5, 2020 5:17 pm

There are inhibitors of RUBISCO, such as certain metabolites of carbohydrate metabolism. The removal of these inhibitors is done by another enzyme (Rubisco activ-ase, of which 2 iso-forms are nuclear encoded).

This dis-inhibition enzyme of RUBISCO must 1st remove Mg++ (magnesium) & the add a new CO2. The activator opens up where CO2 can bind – which equates to RUBISCO then being operational for catalysis.

Wherein RuBP (ribulose bis-phosphate) binds to RUBISCO; at which point reactions are possible with either CO2 or O2. Whereas RuBP draws over Mg++ polarizing it’s carbonyl that briefly becomes negatively charged a proton from CO2 gets attracted.

There is an affinity for CO2 (0.0232 nano-meters long), which overall is neutrally charged yet polarized; while O2 (0.012 nano-meters long) is uncharged.

gringojay
Reply to  John Tillman
August 5, 2020 7:24 pm

Hi John Tillman, – I think your “atmospheric” operation is only part of the conditional story.

RUBISCO’s 8 large sub-units (8 in higher order plants) create 8 catalytic sites. The large sub-units are not where an active catalytic site is located, but rather an active catalytic site is where 2 large sub-units approach one another (a catalytic pocket has a lysine on 1 large sub-unit & a flanking glutamate on the other large sub-unit).

However it is the 8 RUBISCO small sub-units (8 in higher plants) that function in such a way as to give the large sub-unit groupings context. In practical terms it is the small sub-units that determine cohesion resulting in a plants CO2:O2 reaction rate & the CO2 “carba-myl-ation” (CO2’s pre-binding step; which happens at a relatively small concentration of CO2, using CO2 that does not become part of the subsequently assimilated CO2.) A practical nuanced feature of an un-carba-myl-ated RUBISCO site is that it can also bind 3 water molecules there temporarily.

The genetic prevalence for variable RUBISCO efficiency in different plants is due to the relevant group of genes in a plant’s nucleus. The small sub-unit is assembled in the plant cell cytosol with some amino acids trailing that gets the sub-unit along through the cytosol into the plant stroma; protein cleaving (protease) enzymes cleave off 40-60 amino acids from the sub-unit, again conferring small sub-units potentially different characteristics.

When the small sub-unit then binds to a large sub-unit the large sub-unit folds into a configuration (the large sub-unit is synthesized in the chloroplast stroma & unlike the small sub-unit it, the large sub-unit, is coded for by only 1 chloroplast DNA gene). The small sub-unit is the instigator of the large sub-unit folding, thus controls the particular plant’s large sub-unit catalytic pocket & consequently a RUBISCO catalytic pocket means plants can not completely keep out oxygen interaction(s) with RUBISCO.

gringojay
Reply to  gringojay
August 5, 2020 4:54 pm

[Continuation after dog chore … now seeing posted where unintended though.]

There are inhibitors of RUBISCO, such as certain metabolites of carbohydrate metabolism. This is why under elevated CO2 (eCO2) leaves significantly shunt assimilated carbon away generating higher stem diameters & more roots.

The removal of inhibition of RUBISCO is done by another enzyme (Rubisco activ-ase, of which there are 2 iso-forms nuclear encoded); it must 1st remove Mg++ & then add a new CO2. This activator opens up where CO2 can bind which equates to RUBISCO then being operational for catalysis wherein RuBP (ribulose bis-phosphate) binds to RUBISCO; at which point reactions are possible with either CO2 or O2.

[When RuBP draws over Mg++ polarizing it’s carbonyl, RuBP sheds a proton & it’s carbonyl charge briefly becomes negative; this then attracts a proton which CO2 has. Which is why there is affinity for CO2 (0.0232 nano-meters long, neutral overall yet polarized) to activate RuBP in contrast to O2 (0.012 nm long, uncharged). To artificially raise the affinity for O2 over CO2 the molar ratio of O2 must go up relative to CO2 molarity in order to overcome these gasses’ partial pressure dynamic. However when, as can happen, manganese (Mn) replaces Magnesium (Mg) at the RUBISCO activation point then a higher ratio of O2 moles to CO2 moles usage takes effect.]

For maximum assimilation of CO2 higher C3 plants want 1.5 to 2 RuBP binding to an activated RUBISCO site, since this out binds the RUBISCO inhibitory carbohydrate metabolites. Whenever excess carbon is fixed than can be used to regenerate RuBP; that carbon gets put out of the chloroplast (as triose phosphate), or gets synthesized inside the chloroplast (as starch).

To make the 3 carbon (“PGA”, C3H5O3P) initially formed with assimilated CO2 useful it must be acted upon by enzymes. The regeneration of RuBP involves inter-conversion of 3, 4, 5 & 6 carbon chained compounds – “sustainability” in the primal sense [PGA can also be the substrate for 7 carbon chain compounds].

The bulk advantage of RUBISCO + CO2 is that it makes possible the formation 3 “PGA” molecules. While O2 + RUBISCO allows only 1 “PGA” molecule to form, plus the molecule phospho-glycolate (which passes to the leaf stroma for conversion to glycolate, which in turn goes into the cell cytosol where it can be synthesized in a peroxi-some compartment into glycine).

Looking far back in time to when the ambient CO2 levels (moles) were quite low the RUBISCO accepted more moles of O2. This allowed the plants to make 2-phospho-glycolate, which engendered about 10 enzymes & also resulted in 3-phospho-glycerate being utilized (helpful) in the cellular Calvin cycle.

gringojay
Reply to  gringojay
August 5, 2020 5:55 pm

As for C4 plants in distinction to C3 plants: the enzymatic (glycine de-carboxyl-ase) cleaving of glycine moved into the bundle sheaths of C4 plants, as opposed to performed in the mesophyll of C3 plants. This change has been proposed as the significant evolutionary stimulus for C4 plants.

To “load” assimilates (from mesophyll & the apoplast) into a plant sheath for getting into it’s vasculature (phloem) from bundle cells O2 is required. C3 plants bundle cells contain high CO2 in relation to bundle cell O2 [because C3 leaf bundle sheath cells & C3 mesophyll equilibrate with the CO2 coming in]. In contrast to this the C4 photo-synthetic dynamic also “evolves” O2 – which gives relatively ideal O2 in the C4 bundle sheath to “load” the vasculature (phloem). [In the dark C4 plants have reduced phloem loading , as well as reduced phloem loading for C4 plants when ambient CO2 is low.]

John Tillman
Reply to  gringojay
August 5, 2020 6:35 pm

Thanks!

There’s a lot of room for improvement in both C3 and C4 photosynthesis, if genetic engineering be allowed greatly increase crop productivity. Given its similarity to C4 pathways, CAM processes could probably also be made more efficient.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  John Tillman
August 5, 2020 10:20 pm

The RuBisCo system is slow and reliable only under certain conditions. But those apparent inefficiencies are ancient beyond ancient and have persisted for the entire history of photosynthetic life.

It might seem that smart nano engineers could design a better system, but Life has chosen this one for a reason (or host of reasons). If you believe in Darwinism, then you must also accept that a 3.8 billion-year-old process has churned through the selection mill and survived because it works.

Worthy of note is that the more efficient C4 pathway is a mere 35 million years old. Geologically it is brand new. It is so new that only 3% of plant species have it today.

Thank you gentlemen for a fascinating review of carbon fixation biochemistry. To think that we (all creatures great and small) depend on this complex process for our very existence is very humbling. Thank goodness there’s still some CO2 in the atmosphere or we’d all be extinct.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
August 6, 2020 9:13 am

That living things evolve via natural selection and other processes is not a belief, but an observation of nature, ie a scientific fact. I don’t know what “Darwinism” means, but the term “darwinian” is applied to old-fashioned, directional evolution by natural selection, as opposed to more new-fangled stochastic processes.

An example of directional evolution under selective pressure is the wooly mammoth diverging from its steppe mammoth ancestor in response to a cooling climate (not to be confused with directed evolution in a lab, such as the gain of function “research” which created the ChiCom CoV).

Stochastic evolution produces speciation in related populations simply from reproductive isolation, without any particular selective pressure, from accumulation of genetic variations.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  John Tillman
August 6, 2020 11:30 am

Stochastic evolution has not altered the basic chemical pathways coded by DNA for billions of years.

A collie is not a wolf nor a frog, but they all share common protein syntheses and metabolisms. Similarly all green plants share the 3.8 billion-year-old oxygenic photosynthesis carbon fixation system that pre-dates archaic Cyanobacteria.

Using gain-of-function techniques to alter photosynthesis systems might have horrifically worse consequences than the Wuhan debacle. Let’s put the brakes “improving” C3 and C4 processes with genetic engineering before some world-wide disaster results that cannot be undone.

Without accusation, some folks who don’t believe in God think they are God. That kind of hubris is not harmless.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
August 6, 2020 3:21 pm

Genetic engineers don’t think they’re God. The Wuhan case shows that many were aware of what was dangerous and what not.

Genetic engineering and directed evolution are no different from how natural evolution occurs. Gain of function is directed evolution. In this case it was risky, as so many pointed out. On second thought, Fauci might imagine himself godlike, to have funded such dangerous “research”.

But the species you mention are not immutable. Like all species, they descend with modifications from ancestral species. Collies and wolves are the same species. That they share some proteins with frogs just shows their common descent from the same amniote ancestors.

Humans have been practicing genetic engineering safely for over 10,000 years, just as occurs naturally (not that humans aren’t part of nature). Humans have large amounts of viral and bacterial genetic material in our genome. Like all vertebrates, we have enjoyed repeated whole genome duplications, each time making twice as much genetic material available on which evolution can operate.

Our evolution has also benefitted from single mutations, both at gross chromosomal level, as with our #2, resulting from the fusion of two smaller, standard great ape chromosomes, and simple point base deletions, substitutions and duplications. The #2-making fusion is associated with upright walking, and two point mutations enabled our brains to grow larger.

Abolition Man
August 5, 2020 5:03 pm

Hey guys and gals,
Don’t forget the tiny foraminifera and coccolithophores near the bottom of the food chain in our oceans! During the last period of glaciation they pulled so much CO2 out of the seawater in the form of calcium carbonate that atmospheric CO2 levels dropped to near starvation for many plants. If this process continues without some outside agency altering it Life on Earth will mostly come to an end during the next period of glaciation when lower global temps allow for an increase in the amount of CO2 going solution and being deposited as tiny shells and armor!
Maybe George Carlin was only partially right; Mother Nature didn’t want plastic, she wanted someone to built SUVs and save Life on Earth!

Jon R
August 5, 2020 7:56 pm

I am 50 and I remember distinctly going over this in detail in 3rd grade. I can only imagine what this new religion has done to what is taught today.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Jon R
August 5, 2020 9:08 pm

I am always amazed when folks remember things way back when.
When I was about 20 I visited the school where 3rd & 4th grades were held – ½ hour or so for each class, and then switch, I guess. So I do know where I went in 3rd grade. Nothing do I remember about what we did or learned. My sister, on the other hand remembers the years quite well.
I think I really started to learn in about 9th grade. Luna → Moon
{ Poe’s Law }

Mike Dubrasich
August 6, 2020 8:12 am

Yes, CO2 is the fundamental building block of Life. Without CO2 there would be nothing left alive. It is the absolutely critically vitally necessary substance.

Yet some people, crazy evil people, and crazy evil institutions have declared CO2 a pollutant and sworn to eliminate it.

Let that sink in. So-called academics and political leaders, pundits and even ministers openly call for banning the fundamental essential ingredient of all life on Planet Earth, referring to CO2 as a poison.

Look at how these self-same CO2 haters behave. They loot, they pillage, the burn. They lie, steal, and assault others. They desecrate. They burn Bibles. And they wish to eliminate all life.

The Alarmists are beyond stupid. They are Satanically evil. They are deadly poison themselves. They hate all life with unbridled passion. They want to k*ll the planet dead. They will stop at nothing to bring about the destruction of all life.

Some people I know, friends of mine, are atheists. They don’t believe in God. They worship nothing except perhaps themselves. They lean towards situational ethics. But they are not sulfurous demons from the pits of He11.

The Als, Gretas, Joes, Alexandrias, Bills, Michaels, and other you have seen on the screen calling for the end to CO2 are agents of the Devil Incarnate. Make no mistake about it.

mario lento
August 9, 2020 9:37 pm

John: I agree that the CO2 lost would have gone into colder oceans. The burried carbon based life still packs away CO2.

John Tillman
Reply to  mario lento
August 11, 2020 5:16 pm

Much of the buried or sequestered CO2 however is readily released into the air.

mario lento
Reply to  John Tillman
August 11, 2020 5:36 pm

@John Tillman. I think we are talking past each other. All of the energy which is carbon based, represents CO2 which has been changed into a different form and sequestered from the air. I am not suggesting CO2 gas is buried.

Mario

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