Fantastic Findings: German Study Shows Added CO2 Has Led To 14% More Vegetation Over Past 100 Years!

Reposted from The NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin on 7. May 2021

Almost everyone with even just a fraction of a science education knows Co2 is fertilizer to vegetation and that the added 100 or so ppm in our atmosphere over the past decades have been beneficial to plant growth and thus led to more greening of the continents.

Yet, some alarmists still sniff at this fact, or deny it.

More trees (+7%) and vegetation (+14%)

In the 34th climate video, Die kalte Sonne here reports on a recent German study by Merbach et al that looks at the question of just how beneficial the added CO2 has been to plant growth globally.

The authors’ findings: Over the past 100 years, there has been increased global vegetation growth.

“The global vegetation cover increased approximately 11- 14%, of which 70% can be attributed to the increased CO2 in the atmosphere,” reports Die kalte Sonne on the findings.

Another result: “Since 1982, the inventory of trees has increased more than 7%”.

Crop yields will rise by up to 15% by 2050

The news gets even better, the scientists show. Food production is expected to surge due to the increased amounts of CO2:

Chart source: Cropped here

As the diagram above shows, crops such as soy bean (Soja), wheat (Weizen), rice (Reis) and corn (Mais) will surge as CO2 concentration rises to 550 ppm by 2050, thus lending a huge hand in feeding the planet’s growing population, which could reach 10 billion by mid century.

Germany: more than 30% higher crop yields since 1990

Another example cited is Germany: “From 1990 to 2015 in Germany, crop yields for wheat, barley, corn and potatoes rose more than 30%, which the researchers attribute in part to the higher CO2 concentrations,” Die kalte Sonne reports.

“The authors hope that the CO2-related crop yield increase will secure the food and feedstuffs production and contribute to feeding the world’s growing population.”

The study appeared in the Journal of Land Management, Food and Environment at the end of 2020.

4.8 33 votes
Article Rating
129 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
May 9, 2021 2:16 am

The evidence is compelling that CO2 emissions are beneficial, rather than harmful, and the “social cost of carbon” is negative. Here are a few relevant papers:
https://sealevel.info/negative_social_cost_of_carbon.html

NASA measures the beneficial effects of CO2 emissions and manmade climate change, from satellites:

CO2 and manmade climate change are greening the Earth:

http://sealevel.info/greening_earth_spatial_patterns_Myneni.html

Pioneer climatologist Svante Arrhenius identified the major effects of CO2 emissions, more than a century ago. He was, at the time, one of the world’s most prominent scientists, having won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry five years earlier. He predicted that CO2 emissions would be highly beneficial for both mankind and the Earth’s climate. He wrote:

“By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid [CO2] in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.”

History has proven him right.

A few years later, Scientific American reported on German agricultural experiments, measuring the effects of elevated CO2 on a wide variety of crops. They confirmed Arrhenius: elevated CO2 is tremendously beneficial for all of the crops that they tested. In fact, it is so beneficial that they called CO2 “the precious air fertilizer.”

In Arrhenius’ time, and through all of human history until recently, famine was one of the great scourges of mankind: the “Third Horseman of the Apocalypse.” But widespread famines are becoming a distant memory, and rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is one of the reasons.
comment image

Crop yields are outpacing population growth for several reasons, but one of them is rising CO2 levels.

https://ourworldindata.org/crop-yields
comment image

Climate change is a highly politicized issue, so, as is the case for any politicized issue, if you want to understand it you need to seek out balanced information. If you want to learn about the SCIENCE of climate change, instead of political spin, here’s a list of resources which can help (including WUWT, of course):
 
https://tinyurl.com/learnmore4
 
It has:
● accurate introductory climatology info
● in-depth science from BOTH skeptics & alarmists
● links to balanced debates between experts on BOTH sides
● info about climate impacts
● links to best blogs on BOTH sides

2hotel9
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 9, 2021 8:42 am

N0w post this on facebook. For the 3-4 minutes they leave it up someone may see it!

dk_
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 9, 2021 8:47 am

Editors, Dave Burton, this post may be more fit as its own piece.

beng135
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 11, 2021 8:04 am

and the “social cost of carbon” is negative.

Certainly it’s negative — carbon is an incredible, vital ingredient in a modern civilization. Even a caveman can understand that (unless they’re brainwashed).

Last edited 1 month ago by beng135
Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 11, 2021 10:06 am

Dave, all very good points and references.

However, there is also the very important data from “practical, in-the-field experience”:
it is well-know among greenhouse/hot-house farmers of fruits, vegetables and seedlings that increasing CO2 concentrations within greenhouses/hot-houses to elevated levels—commonly 800-1000 ppm CO2—greatly increases growth rate and total crop yield.

You did mention Scientific American long ago reporting on German agricultural experiments where CO2 increased growth rate in crops . . . it didn’t end there!

M Courtney
May 9, 2021 2:16 am

How do they distinguish the beneficial effects of CO2 fertilisation and the benefits of a warming world?

Ron Long
Reply to  M Courtney
May 9, 2021 3:23 am

M Courtney, the limiting of variables is a key part of a scientific research on whatever topic. If the two isolated variables are temperature and CO2 content affecting vegetation, you simply find areas not undergoing temperature change, but with increasing CO2, and note the vegetation change. This can be done fairly at arms length by utilizing satellite data, both for temperature and chlorophyll.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  M Courtney
May 9, 2021 4:06 am

Guess because the warming is minimal and precedes the CO2 increase?

commieBob
Reply to  M Courtney
May 9, 2021 5:45 am

Good question. It’s the kind of question scientists should ask all the time and always.

In 1974 Richard Feynman gave Caltech’s commencement address called “Cargo Cult Science“.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.

In other words, you have to work hard to find everything that could be wrong with your work.

When we look at the replication crisis, in which as many as 90% of published research findings are wrong, we are led to the conclusion that the vast majority of scientists fall far short of Feynman’s standard for honesty.

With regard to the above question, I can’t quickly find the link but my understanding is that a pretty small change in the average annual temperature results in a significant change in the frost free growing season. Of course that’s only one factor determining crop yield, but you can’t ignore it. Are there any indications the researchers considered that kind of thing?

The global vegetation cover increased approximately 11- 14%, of which 70% can be attributed to the increased CO2 in the atmosphere,” reports Die kalte Sonne on the findings

Since I don’t speak German I haven’t attempted to read the original paper but the above quote indicates that the researchers did indeed consider other factors besides just CO2.

We’ve been warming up since the end of the Little Ice Age when low temperatures produced many crop failures.

So, it’s a reasonable question about how much greening and greater crop yields we attribute to enhanced CO2 fertilization and how much we attribute to a more beneficial temperature. Did the researchers properly deal with that? There are some German speakers among the WUWT community and I’m hoping one of them will answer that question.

Brooks H Hurd
Reply to  commieBob
May 9, 2021 6:39 am

I am searching for a link to the Wolfgang Merbach paper. It’s not in No Tricks Zone, or die kalte Sonne so I posted a request on No Tricks Zone.

Climate believer
Reply to  Brooks H Hurd
May 9, 2021 8:45 am

Me too, appreciate you posting it here if you find one.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  commieBob
May 9, 2021 8:45 am

commie Bob

You mentioned “the replication crisis.”

An easy way to begin addressing this would be to force all scientific journals to attach the names of those doing the peer review to the article together with a brief statement of their main positive and negative comments. If the article proves to be deeply flawed and this has not been picked up by the reviewer that person will be rightfully discredited. This would filter out many more articles. However, the problem will be with the journals that make money from publishing the articles and selling their journals to a captive university market.

Last edited 1 month ago by Michael in Dublin
commieBob
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
May 9, 2021 9:04 am

I like that idea a lot.

A lot of things are easy and cheap in an electronic format that are impossible for paper journals. A lot of journals operate as if we were still in the 1800s.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  commieBob
May 10, 2021 1:11 am

The worst in this aspect are the publishers: they just digitalized content that was on paper and were then awarded copyright renewal on the content, even for 100 year old content. The paper content was then removed in most places. That’s real monopolistic behavior.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  commieBob
May 10, 2021 1:22 am

The temperature difference is minimal. The only real influence on vegetation would be freezing and frost, maybe drought (although statistically this is not the case), or a somewhat longer growing season, but even the latter is only an issue when it’s too short. Harvest takes place when the crop is ripe, period.

Duane
Reply to  Eric Vieira
May 10, 2021 10:52 am

The effect of higher temperatures in lengthening the growing season can have a very large positive effect on net tons of food mass produced, in multiple ways:

1) if the growing season is long enough, multiple crops become feasible

2) if the growing season is lengthened then much more area in the temperate to sub arctic latitudes can enter agricultural production. Since a very large proportion of the dry land in the world is located in Siberia and Canada in those higher latitudes, the effect of a longer growing season could be huge.

David A
Reply to  commieBob
May 10, 2021 3:18 am

All true, yet there are literally thousands of experiments where increased CO2 is accomplished next to the same or nearly identical conditions, minus the increased CO2, and the benefits of CO2 measured. ( Not that you were disputing that)

Yet greening is only part of the benefit. The increased bio-growth is accomplished with ZERO increase in land or water required!

Also the plants have increased frost and drought resistance! Also any minor CO2 warming is mostly at night, decreasing frost conditions!

It is not often that you get anything with multiple upsides and very few, if any, downside. It is a sad sign of the times that that an invisible trace gas, essential to all life, is labeled a poison.

StephenP
Reply to  commieBob
May 11, 2021 3:03 am

Could it be that 97% of scientists fall far short of Feynman’s standard for honesty? /s

Bob boder
Reply to  M Courtney
May 9, 2021 7:25 am

“How do they distinguish the beneficial effects of CO2 fertilisation and the benefits of a warming world?”

That may be difficult, but you can perform experiments in a actual greenhouse that would be pretty compelling.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Bob boder
May 9, 2021 7:24 pm

CO2 “fertilization” should be CO2 “food.” Cellulose consists of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen so IMO, CO2 functions as a basic food for plants, not a fertilizer. A botanist can correct me if I’ve got this wrong.

Duane
Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
May 10, 2021 10:56 am

You are correct. A fertilizer only provides trace elements required by the crop to promote biochemical reactions within the plant biomatrix. CO2 does not provide any such trace elements, rather, it provides the basic biological building blocks necessary to create crop mass. Therefore CO2 is “food” not fertilizer.

beng135
Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
May 11, 2021 8:20 am

Yes — fertilization is incorrect. CO2 is the very basis of photosynthesis, just like O2 is for us (respiration).

David A
Reply to  Bob boder
May 10, 2021 3:21 am

It has been done thousands of times.

Richard M
Reply to  M Courtney
May 9, 2021 9:40 am

The data at co2science is for CO2 alone. That should help. I wonder if anyone has taken all the scientific articles there and produced a summary?

http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/plantgrowth.php

Fred the Head
Reply to  M Courtney
May 10, 2021 7:04 am

It’s called net benefit.

tom0mason
May 9, 2021 2:23 am

Now onward to a better world as NATURE takes us to 800 to 1000 ppm atmospheric CO2! Going Truly Green With Increased CO2

Dennis
Reply to  tom0mason
May 9, 2021 2:26 am

A US Navy Report claimed that in submerged submarines the atmosphere often contains up to 8,000 ppm of CO2 with no problems reported by crew members.

TonyG
Reply to  Dennis
May 10, 2021 11:17 am

At 8000ppm those submarines must be on fire!

beng135
Reply to  TonyG
May 11, 2021 8:22 am

Alot of heavy breathing.

Phil.
Reply to  Dennis
May 11, 2021 6:26 am

The Navy report I saw was for acute exposure not chronic which is more relevant, can you give a reference?

Reply to  tom0mason
May 9, 2021 2:56 am

This is called CO2 therapy … https://newtube.app/user/RAOB/aGqDEVt

Scissor
Reply to  John Shewchuk
May 9, 2021 4:58 am

Scary that people don’t even know the basics of life. Nice video.

Abolition Man
Reply to  John Shewchuk
May 9, 2021 2:02 pm

John,
Are you involved in the Climate Craze videos? They are truly excellent! I just subscribed to the channel, and plan on sharing them a lot! Thanks muchly!

Jay Willis
Reply to  tom0mason
May 9, 2021 4:33 am

Yes let’s go for 1k by 2100. Let’s burn burn burn, clean coal.

Scissor
Reply to  tom0mason
May 9, 2021 4:56 am

I have the sense that the optimum level could not be reached even if we tried.

Reply to  tom0mason
May 9, 2021 11:32 am

Unfortunately, nature is NOT increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The “greening” which this study reported represents carbon removed from the atmosphere, by plants.

It’s a race: mankind adds CO2 to the atmosphere, and nature removes it.

Currently (temporarily), mankind is winning the race, adding CO2 to the atmosphere faster than nature removes it. Mankind is currently adding about 5 ppmv of CO2 (about 10.5 PgC) to the atmosphere each year, and nature is removing about 2.5 ppmv of CO2 from the atmosphere each hear. The difference is the rate at which the CO2 concentration increases: 5 – 2.5 = +2.5 ppmv CO2/year.

Unfortunately, that cannot continue for long. It’s a negative feedback loop: the rate at which nature removes CO2 from the atmosphere accelerates with increases in the CO2 concentration:

higher atmospheric CO2 level → accelerated plant growth & absorption by oceans → faster removal of CO2 from the air → lower CO2 level

http://sealevel.info/co2_plant_negative_feedback_loop_40pct_with_attribution.png

The relation is is approximately linear, because the main processes which remove CO2 from the atmosphere accelerate linearly with rising atmospheric CO2 concentration.

The IPCC’s AR5 Report estimates that terrestrial plant uptake (greening) currently removes the equiv­a­lent of about 29% of man­kind’s CO2 emissions from the atmos­phere (Fig. 6.1), or 27% (Table 6.1), and nearly that much is removed by absorption of CO2 into the oceans.
comment image

The bottom line is that atmospheric CO2 concentration will never reach 800 to 1000 ppmv through the burning of fossil fuels. The summed efforts of the entire industrial era have managed to raise CO2 concentration by only about 120 ppmv, so far. If CO2 emissions were to continue at the current +5 ppmv/yr (≈10.5 PgC/yr) rate for centuries, the atmospheric CO2 concentration would plateau at around only ≈510 ppmv (which is only 30% of a “doubling,” compared to the current 415 ppmv level).

To reach 800 ppmv would require a sustained CO2 emission rate 2⅓ times the current rate, which, due to supply constraints, obviously will never happen.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave Burton
Abolition Man
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 9, 2021 2:16 pm

Dave,
You’re right that it will probably never happen; but an advanced civilization, with lots of fossil fuel and nuclear energy, could produce large quantities of lime from calcium rich rocks thereby releasing vast quantities of the life giving, magical gas into the atmosphere!
Another product could be large amounts of Portland cement for construction in tornado and hurricane prone regions; but again, it would take an intelligent and advanced civilization, and we seem to fresh out!

beng135
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 11, 2021 8:24 am

Exactly. So let’s get to mining & “cooking” more limestone. 🙂 🙂

Dennis
May 9, 2021 2:23 am

At the UN IPCC Copenhagen Conference the delegation from China told other delegates that during 3,600 years of civilisation there three warmer than the present periods were experienced and each brought greater prosperity as food crop yields increased.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Dennis
May 9, 2021 4:07 am

Humans always do better in warm periods.

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
May 9, 2021 7:10 am

Specific humans think they would do better in a low CO2 period if the process of getting there gives them iron clad control over every one else. Misery and mass starvation are a small price to pay, and besides, would only be borne by the undeserving unimportant unwashed masses.

Doonman
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
May 9, 2021 10:23 am

Which is why Malthusians always prefer the cold.

Reply to  Dennis
May 9, 2021 11:51 am

That’s why scientists call warm periods “climate optimums.”

Steve Case
May 9, 2021 3:17 am

The notion that a warmer greener world with more rain, longer growing seasons and more arable land could be sold as a looming catastrophic disaster is testimony to the greatest propaganda triumph the world has ever seen.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Steve Case
May 9, 2021 3:45 am

I guess it depends on where the rain falls. There may be more CO2 and more warmth, but if there’s less water in some agricultural areas, then there won’t be more crops. Perhaps the researchers could redo the analysis adding water as a variable (rainfall plus evaporation).

Steve Case
Reply to  Tom Foley
May 9, 2021 4:20 am

Hi Tom, I guess it depends on what your politics are.

Do a Google Image Search on “World food production by year” LINK

Scissor
Reply to  Tom Foley
May 9, 2021 5:03 am

Purifying and moving water around only requires energy and the will to do it.

Reply to  Tom Foley
May 9, 2021 5:48 am

but then…there’s this study. which shows increasing crop yields. and greening.

Richard M
Reply to  Tom Foley
May 9, 2021 6:48 am

Most of the additional energy provided by increases in CO2 (3.7 w/m2) goes into increasing the water cycle. Some also goes into the growth documented here. Very little is left to warm the planet. Not surprising Willis found only around .3 C per doubling.

Steve Keohane
Reply to  Tom Foley
May 9, 2021 7:36 am

One of the benefits of CO2 is that plants need less water.

Reply to  Tom Foley
May 9, 2021 11:59 am

Elevated CO2 enables plants to use water more efficiently. It does so by increasing carbon uptake relative to transpiration. In other words, when grown with higher CO2 levels, plants need less water to get the carbon they need from CO2 in the atmosphere.

That’s especially helpful in arid regions, and during droughts. Here’s a paper:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168192310003163
EXCERPT:

“There have been many studies on the interaction of CO2 and water on plant growth. Under elevated CO2, less water is used to produce each unit of dry matter by reducing stomatal conductance.”

That’s settled science, yet most “climate scientists” are ignorant of it.

Since higher CO2 levels make plants more water efficient, the increase in plant growth has not been accompanied by much increase in water usage; here’s a paper:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00114-5

PCman999
Reply to  Tom Foley
May 9, 2021 9:17 pm

Based on the evidence it seems the whole planet benefits. More evaporation of the oceans is the main result of planet-wide warming, and the melting of water trapped uselessly in the polar icecaps. This results in increasing rain fall, on average over the whole world. While individual results may vary, on the whole most would benefit. It’s not fair holding back most of the Earth from greening because some area might be worse off because of some obscure wind pattern or the shape of the terrain. Looking back at the past to gain insight into the future shows previous warm periods were moist and green.

Scissor
Reply to  Steve Case
May 9, 2021 5:01 am

My spring planting in Colorado is behind schedule this year. What I’ve put out I am having to cover because of record cold and snow coming later today through Tuesday.

Steve Case
Reply to  Scissor
May 9, 2021 5:13 am

The odds are that what we can expect as a result of global warming is to see more of this pattern of extreme cold. – – –
Dr. John Holdren, The White House – 1/8/2014 You Tube

Scissor
Reply to  Steve Case
May 9, 2021 5:36 am

It’s worrying that truth doesn’t mean so much anymore. Point out something inconvenient and someone like Holdren just makes up shit about it. It’s been going on for a while in climate science, beginning with “adjustments” to whatever date or record is divergent from the narrative.

Eventually, however, reality wins out. Anyone shopping at Home Depot, for instance, has to know that all the plants blocking the aisles weren’t brought indoors because it’s warming outside.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Steve Case
May 9, 2021 11:17 pm

Heads I win, tails you lose.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Scissor
May 9, 2021 6:40 am

3C this AM, with another ~1cm of liquid global warming since last night.

Jon R
Reply to  Scissor
May 10, 2021 7:47 pm

I’m in Denver and I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that it’s never going to be warm again.

leitmotif
May 9, 2021 3:24 am

Is this really news? I thought it was supposed to be 14% over the last 30 years.

https://fee.org/articles/rejoice-the-earth-is-becoming-greener/

Steve Case
May 9, 2021 3:29 am

There’s these two web pages from NOAA and NASA:

NOAA Satellite Data Used in Study Finding Significant Greening in Earth’s Vegetative Areas

Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, NASA Study Finds

Reply to  Steve Case
May 9, 2021 3:54 am

So why here in Australia & many other countries are we not told the truth about the good gas CO 2 ?

All the polls taken show worries place Climate Change right at the bottom of things which we worry about.

With the downturn in the Worlds economy why are so many “” Western”” governments trying to close down the economy ?

Are our “”Leaders” stark raving Mad

Vk5ellmje

Steve Case
Reply to  M.j.ellìott
May 9, 2021 5:25 am

Are our “Leaders” stark raving Mad?

No, but they are on the take.

Notanacademic
Reply to  Steve Case
May 9, 2021 3:38 pm

Or yes and they are on the take?

Scissor
Reply to  Steve Case
May 9, 2021 5:10 am

“Fertilization” in my opinion doesn’t do justice to the effect because CO2 is the necessary component for photosynthesis. Further, people associate fertilizer with manure, which has a negative connotation.

I don’t know what would be better. Photosynthetic enhancement is too complex. Ideas?

John Tillman
Reply to  Scissor
May 9, 2021 5:21 am

Enriching the air with plant food. Or essential nutrients.

David A
Reply to  John Tillman
May 10, 2021 3:31 am

My favorite expression is “CO2 is an essential to life trace gas”

Steve Case
Reply to  Scissor
May 9, 2021 6:56 am

Thanks for pointing that one out, you’d think that the scientists that run NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies would know enough science to be able to distinguish between major components and trace element requirements. But it’s probably more insidious than that. They know it’s a component, they just don’t like that fact.

Manure vs.CO2 yeah that’s about right.

I like to point out that we are carbon based life form and every atom of carbon in your body was once CO2 in the atmosphere.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Scissor
May 9, 2021 11:02 am

Scissor,
Too true! It is really one of the TWO gases of life; without adequate oxygen and CO2 life as we know it cannot exist!
With apologies to the Who:
GAS! Magic GAS!
And the plants sing:
I want it! I need it! GAS! Magic GAS!

Reply to  Scissor
May 9, 2021 12:04 pm

I like “the precious air fertilizer” (h/t @SciAm, from before their tabloid journalism days).

Reply to  Dave Burton
May 10, 2021 6:48 am

That’s a lovely article Dave…many thanks for pointing it out! Not many people around now who would have read it…and that’s a big problem. Politicians and policy makers have short memories and rely on the likes of Greta to be our experts.

Bellman
May 9, 2021 3:44 am

Possibly a slightly pedantic quibble on my part.

The headline says the CO2 increase has led to a 14% increase in vegetation, but the body says an increase of 11 -14%, of which 70% can be attributed to increasing CO2. That would mean increasing CO2 has led to at most a 10% increase.

Jay Willis
Reply to  Bellman
May 9, 2021 4:31 am

Bellman, no that’s incorrect use of english. Co2 has led to the increase of 14 %. Which would otherwise presumably have been 4%. It would have been wrong to say that co2 led to an increase of 10%, but correct to say co2 caused an increase of 10%.

Reply to  Bellman
May 9, 2021 6:18 am

Headline is an eyecatcher, text is a braincather, in general 😀 – you are the exeption 😀

Bruce Cobb
May 9, 2021 5:08 am

I can only conclude that they haven’t gotten the memo yet, that CO2 is “evil” and is “pollution” because “climate change”. Alarmosheep will bleat: “Carbon is ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-ad!”

David Wojick
May 9, 2021 5:11 am

CO2 is food for plants, not fertilizer. Fertilizer is like vitamins, needed trace elements, but not food. As with our food, CO2 provides plants with both mass and energy. The term “fertilization effect” of CO2 is a serious misnomer.

John Tillman
Reply to  David Wojick
May 9, 2021 5:32 am

Fertilizer is also food, ie the nitrogen and phosphorus which plants need to build protein and nucleic acids. The sugar they make from CO2 and H2O with sunlight provides energy, plus carbon, oxygen and hydrogen for amino (protein), nucleic and fatty acids.

David Wojick
Reply to  John Tillman
May 9, 2021 6:21 am

On a mass basis fertilizer is negligible.

Scissor
Reply to  David Wojick
May 9, 2021 5:42 am

Yeah, better terminology is needed.

The leftists come up with terms like “ocean acidification” or rebrand CO2 as “carbon.” Is there something catchy and still truthful?

Truth doesn’t seem to be a constraint for the left, which is why “safe and effective” is actually neither.

Last edited 1 month ago by Scissor
Peta of Newark
May 9, 2021 5:55 am

What does this mean – who has The Chip upon their shoulder…
Quote:”Almost everyone with even just a fraction of a science education knows CO2 is fertilizer“”

Perhaps a fraction of some other education might be useful. Any actual farmers in the house.

A modicum of searching always comes to this:
Quote:”In 2016, a paper was published by 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries that analyzed satellite data and concluded that there had been a roughly 14 percent increase in green vegetation over 30 years. The study attributed 70 percent of this increase to the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere”

Always. There is only one piece of ‘research’ and it involves faaaaar too many authors.

First question
Why 70%
What about the other 30%, nary a peep as far as I can see.

The skeptical mind reads on……

What Warmists say
Quote (1):”When they cannot avoid the subject, they (warmists) say that greening is a temporary phenomenon that will reverse in the latter part of this century.The evidence for this claim comes from a few (computer) models fed with extreme assumptions, so it cannot be trusted.

What NASA says:
Quote (2):”We were able to tie the greening largely to the fertilizing effect of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration by tasking several computer models to mimic plant growth observed in the satellite data

Are you, the Skeptik, now OK with models…………..
One Sputnik Iimage
One computer model.
One published paper
Created by computer
Written by dozens of researchers
All based on one low-resolution highly-pixelated image.

Is that all A.O.K. with you?

It gets worse
Why were the images from OCO2, taken of the rainforest regions and just after it was flown, why have they now been deleted?
Those images showed elevated CO2 above the big forests.
Now, OCO2 still produces data, in the most unreadable high-gloss hi-speed GIF form currently imaginable with NO DATA for the forests.

If you check, it seems OCO2 cannot ‘see’ this apprently well mixed gas above the forests because it is always so cloudy there.
But it could when it was first launched, what changed?
The Real Kicker comes from the Global Greening Sputnik, which patently can see right down to the ground, clouds or not.

This Whole Thing Stinks

Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 9, 2021 12:07 pm

“The other 30%” is caused by global warming.

Bruce Cobb
May 9, 2021 6:02 am

Plants take in water and minerals via their roots, absorb CO2 through their leaves, and using sunlight and chlorophyll produce their own (and our) food – glucose and starch. So, even though it’s fun to call CO2 “plant food”, technically it isn’t – yet. Call it a food precursor.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 9, 2021 6:21 am

Put another way, plants are Nature’s own food factories. The beauty of increased CO2 is that it allows them to become even more efficient food factories.

May 9, 2021 6:12 am

The “hockey stick” curve obscures Earth’s CO2 history

Dinosaurs that roamed the Earth 250 million years ago knew a world with five times more carbon dioxide than is present on Earth today

Summary: Feeding the world’s hungry ranks among the greatest difficulties humankind has experienced. Greenhouse growers in America and China, are enhancing plant growth as they intentionally increase CO2 levels to around 1,500 ppm, or 4 times today’s CO2 levels to boost plant yield by 25 to 65 percent for the plants they are growing, to produce greater amounts of vegetables and crops for humanity.

Published April 15, 2021 at CFACT https://www.cfact.org/2021/04/15/the-co2-hockey-stick-curve-shields-the-history-of-earths-historical-levels-of-co2/

Bubba Cow
Reply to  Ronald Stein
May 9, 2021 6:52 am

Excellent piece, Ron. Bookmarked for reference.
Thanks.

Mark D
Reply to  Ronald Stein
May 9, 2021 8:46 am

Cannot reduce over all hunger by growing more food anymore than building wider roads reduces traffic congestion. Wider roads with less congestion encourages more users and increased traffic. More food means more healthier humans creating more humans…

Abolition Man
Reply to  Mark D
May 9, 2021 11:27 am

Why ever then do birth rates fall in wealthy, developed countries!?
The best path to limiting population is to make the whole world wealthier! This takes abundant, reliable energy; not costly and unreliable “renewables!” Do you think building dams makes people drink more water, too!?

Mark D
Reply to  Abolition Man
May 9, 2021 12:43 pm

Do you think dams make the use of water increase? Perhaps by irrigating deserts?

David A
Reply to  Mark D
May 10, 2021 3:38 am

True yet Abolition Man’s comment is, IMV, valid. Population growth is now different, and abundant inexpensive energy ( which is dependent on CO2 generating sources) is the most effective way to limit population growth.

PCman999
Reply to  Mark D
May 9, 2021 9:28 pm

That didn’t happen in Europe and North America – more food, more sex, yet less babies, even before the pill. In the end all you can really say is more food – fatter people!

Abolition Man
Reply to  Ronald Stein
May 9, 2021 11:21 am

Ron,
Minor quibble, but we climate realists have to be precise to counter the tendency of most alarmists to lie and obfuscate!
Most greenhouse growers use a CO2 level of about 1,000ppm. Trying to reach 1,500ppm isn’t cost effective as the additional costs outweigh the added growth and productivity of the plants. Now if atmospheric levels were in the 800-1,000ppm range that many smart people propose, it might be cost effective to give plants the amount they crave instead of restricting their diets!

Phil.
Reply to  Ronald Stein
May 10, 2021 8:04 am

Dinosaurs that roamed the Earth 250 million years ago knew a world with five times more carbon dioxide than is present on Earth today

And no modern trees or C4 plants like grasses.

May 9, 2021 6:36 am

a study = 2 tree’s – one with a normal amount of co2 the other with double co2 ? it showed the tree with more co2 to have grown faster ???? but ?? showed the quality of growth was very low, that is also what is shown in vegetable quality since the 50s ? the quality of food produced now has far less nutritional value,,, so yes we have more growth but less value for the body,, that might also be why we eat so much ? as we need more than the 50s to give the same energy ????????

Bob boder
Reply to  jonathan broadhurst
May 9, 2021 7:37 am

Johnathan

Then why do we increase co2 concentrations in actual greenhouses.

gringojay
Reply to  Bob boder
May 9, 2021 8:32 am

As I’ve pointed out before at WUWT: greenhouse growers are usually dialing back down daytime CO2 levels supplementation at night; ambient air CO2 levels are not (although there is CO2 fluctuation naturally occurring in relation to an established crop’s immediate interface with it’s environment).

Greenhouse growers are more interested in marketability than nutrition; this also extends to taste, wherein the ratios of flavor compounds may be less than otherwise. The supplement with CO2 for the extra mass and select varieties (ex: specific hybrids) that do well in their system of cultivation.

gringojay
Reply to  gringojay
May 9, 2021 10:00 am

Briefly, elevated CO2 on average relatively increases these plant factors: soluble phenolics, insoluble sugars, soluble sugars, total carbon and the ratio of carbon to nitrogen.

Briefly, comparatively non-elevated CO2 on average relatively increases these plant factors: organic acids, lipids, minerals, protein, total nitrogen and the ratio of nitrogen to carbon.

By the way a key plant phyto-hormone is auxin and auxin is technically a phenolic. Which mention as regards to T.Gorman’s earlier comment below mine about elevated CO2 and seed production increase.

Seeds are embryos and many different genes are involved in their development (ex: in angio-sperm flowering plants 40 genes direct the elements creating plant “body” pattern). Auxin plays a phased pulse in embryo formation; it dictates cells’ fate in an embryo and impacts embryonic patterns.

Auxin is integral to flower formation and the development of plant reproductive organs (ex: inhibited auxin apex-ward apical transport provokes fruit abnomalities) . Not only is auxin needed to form fruit, but it holds back the senescence (cessation of cell division) of a growing fruit.

Many have seen the picture WUWT commentators post comparing new trees at different CO2 showing them taller from more CO2 supplied; that elongating is an amplification function of the phyto-hormone gibberellin. And in one context increases auxin levels has the effect of also increasing gibberellin bio-synthesis gene activity (ie: auxin and gibberellin synergy coordinate for plasticity of plant cells, including synthesizing those internal cytosol cell proteins involved in cell elongation).

I venture some of the different growth gains under elevated CO2 exhibited by different kinds of plants, and likewise seen in different varieties (ex: cultivars, hybrids) of even the same plant, has to do with how their extra internal phenols being made relates to that particular plant’s auxin levels.

Last edited 1 month ago by gringojay
Phil.
Reply to  Bob boder
May 10, 2021 8:21 am

Perhaps because by increasing temperature in a greenhouse you reduce the efficiency of photosynthesis by increasing the rate of photorespiration. Photorespiration is reduced by adding CO2, not necessary at night since neither photosynthesis or photorespiration takes place in the absence of light.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  jonathan broadhurst
May 9, 2021 9:15 am

There is a lot wrong with this. What “quality of growth” is being discussed? Cereal grains are typically harvested for their seeds, not for their stems. Seed production quality appears to go UP with more CO2 even if stem growth is of lower quality. Otherwise cereal grain harvests would be going down, not up.

Who says the quality of food produced today has far less nutritional value? Exactly what food is being discussed? The quality of vegetables has gone down because of harvest and processing techniques, not because of CO2 increases. Far too many mass produced vegetables today are not harvested at peak nutritional value in order to allow for them to ripen during processing and transport on a national level instead of a local level. If you buy locally grown produce at a local farmers market you will find much better produce.

Abolition Man
Reply to  jonathan broadhurst
May 9, 2021 11:34 am

Jonathan,
Nice red herring! Many of the organic and specialty crop growers use enhanced CO2! To provide their plants with the necessary nutrients they use this thing called “fertilizer!” Apparently you haven’t heard of it!
I don’t know of ANY study that shows greenhouse raised crops are deficient; could you cite your sources for this claim?

Reply to  jonathan broadhurst
May 9, 2021 12:25 pm

Don’t believe that Loladze/Myers “nutrition scare” nonsense.

Loladze & Myers are not agronomists. Loladze is a mathematician. But he’s made a name for himself among climate activists, promoting the bogus nutrition scare.

The fact that it’s nonsense should be obvious if you consider that crops grown in commercial greenhouses at 1500 ppmv are as nutritious as crops grown outdoors with only 30% as much CO2.
comment image

≥1500 ppmv CO2 is optimal for most crops. That’s why commercial greenhouses typically use CO2 generators to raise daytime CO2 concentration to about that level. They go to that expense because elevated CO2 (eCO2) makes crops much healthier and more productive. (They don’t typically supplement CO2 at night unless using grow-lamps, because crops can’t use the CO2 without light.)

If elevating CO2 by nearly 1100 ppmv doesn’t cause crops to be less nutritious, then elevating CO2 by only 140 ppmv obviously wouldn’t, either.

Better crops yields, due to eCO2 or any other reason, can cause lower levels (but not lower total amounts) of nutrients which are in short supply in the soil. But it doesn’t happen with agricultural best practices.

I had an impromptu online debate about the nutrition scare, with its most prominent promoter, mathematician Irakli Loladze, in the comments on a Quora answer.

https://www.quora.com/Is-Irakli-Loladze-right-that-rising-CO2-levels-are-affecting-the-nutritional-value-of-plants/answer/Dave-Burton-2

If you’re not a Quora member you can’t read it there, so I saved a copy here:

https://sealevel.info/Is_Irakli_Loladze_right_that_rising_CO2_levels_are_affecting_the_nutritional_value_of_plants.html

The nutrient scare is an attempt to put a negative “spin” on an enormous benefit of eCO2: that it improves crop yields.

Faster-growing, more productive crops require more nutrients per acre, though not more nutrients per unit of production.

Inadequate nitrogen fertilization reduces protein production relative to carbohydrate production, because proteins contain nitrogen & carbohydrates don’t. Likewise, low levels of iron or zinc in soils cause lower levels of those minerals in some crops.

So, it is possible, by flouting well-established best agricultural practices, to contrive circumstances under which eCO2, or anything else which improves crop yields, reduces levels of protein or micronutrients in crops.

Farmers know that the more productive crops are, the more nutrients they need. Competent farmers fertilize accordingly.

Or, for nitrogen, they may plant nitrogen-fixing legumes — which benefit greatly from extra CO2:

If you don’t fertilize according to the needs of your crops, negative consequences may include reductions in protein and/or micronutrient levels in the resulting crops. The cause of such reductions isn’t eCO2s, it’s poor agricultural practices.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave Burton
gringojay
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 9, 2021 3:55 pm

You are seeing seed dormancy breaking earlier giving emergence; that is gibberillin phyto-hormone’s action (doing so by getting hydro-lytic enzymes like amyl-ase active). And are then seeing auxin phyto-hormone’s movement into the apical region driving the apex upwards (under the influence of the gene for tryptophan mono-oxygen-ase enzyme); with support from gibberellin in logistics of elongating .

The reason you see leaf arrays, but don’t see branching in the video is because the auxin (“IAA”) is not being tied up (which would have been to lysine under the influence of the gene for IAA-lysine synthet-ase) and thus a high level of auxin freely circulates. There is auxin transported upward to convergence points when leaf primor-dia arise for both compound and simple leaves; the primor-dia act as sites for auxin to “sink” (accumulate) to then shunt it (auxin) into pro-vascular tissue (get leaf veins; by the way, auxin also involved in leaf margin serration development).

In time developing leaf primor-dia start to make their own auxin. Again elevated CO2 engenders increased phenol synthesis, auxin is a phenol and this would contribute to more leaf area both early on and as develops.

Elevated CO2 also leads to more internal soluble sugars. Auxin’s (IAA) availability and dispersal in the plant is enhanced by the fact that “sugars” conjugate with auxin, yet in a reversible manner; “sugars” tied up to auxin transported by the plant’s vasculature will still allow that auxin to get free and become available for use [incidentally most amino acids and peptides also reversibly conjugate with auxin; however it is glutamate and aspartate which conjugate irreversibly with auxin leading to catabolization of auxin – I have not checked if the elevated CO2 alteration of plant amino acid profiles decreases the ratio of glutamate and/or aspartate to parse any possible auxin “longevity” under elevated CO2].

Last edited 1 month ago by gringojay
Phil.
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 10, 2021 8:34 am

The usual commercial greenhouse temperature is I understand about 30ºC, at which temperature the efficiency of photosynthesis is dropping. In order to counteract the effect of photorespiration it’s necessary to increase the level of CO2.

PCman999
Reply to  jonathan broadhurst
May 9, 2021 9:32 pm

What do you mean by food quality? Some subjective crap about some runt organic food with pits from insects laying their eggs in it, tasting better than some professionally grown food?

fretslider
May 9, 2021 6:38 am

Yet, some alarmists still sniff at this fact, or deny it.

And you wonder why?

‘It’s a crisis, not a change’: the six Guardian language changes on climate matters

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/16/guardian-language-changes-climate-environment

The climate crisis is really just a bizarre game of wordplay.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  fretslider
May 9, 2021 7:01 am

Next it will be “Global Climate Annihilation”!

Abolition Man
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 9, 2021 11:36 am

I’m really gonna miss global weirding!

Notanacademic
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 9, 2021 12:39 pm

Or anthropogenic global climate annihilation. After all what ever it’s called it has to be our fault.

Bob boder
May 9, 2021 7:22 am

As I have saying all along, no one can actually show one person who is suffering from anthropogenic climate change, but I can show you 7+ billion who are benifiting

Reply to  Bob boder
May 9, 2021 7:54 am

Good point. 7+ billion wouldn’t be here without CO2 growth.

comment image

Sara
May 9, 2021 7:58 am

I’m sorry to tell you this, but you can’t say such things in public! Das is VERBOTEN!!!!!

More CO2, huh? Well, that might explain why, when I never put commercial fertilizer on my lawn, the grass is thick enough to feed one milk cow and keep her healthy, never mind make chickens happy looking for bugs to eat.

But think of the utter pain that making this kind of thing public will foist on the ecohippies and Greenbeaners and all the other nerdish nits that believe the Earth is on fire or dying right in front of them, especially when they seldom go outside.

Really, whoever puts this into the public venue should have more sensitivity to the Feewings Of The Doomed Earth groups, because otherwise, they have nothing to make loud unpleasant noise about.

You’re taking away their entire Purpose for Existence! For shame!!

(Do I have to post the “sarc” tag for this?)

John
May 9, 2021 8:11 am

Did you provide a link to the study?

gush
May 9, 2021 8:15 am

Wrong, probably a combination of more carbon and more rainfall.

Alexander Vissers
Reply to  gush
May 10, 2021 1:29 am

and more nitrogenoxide fertilization and even until 1990 sulphuroxide.

2hotel9
May 9, 2021 8:43 am

Burn, baby, burn!!! Lets get those coal fired power plants up and pumping. More and cheaper electricity and more and cheaper food. Win-Win!

n.n
May 9, 2021 10:49 am

Go green, emit. Think of the seedlings.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  n.n
May 9, 2021 10:57 am

“Think of the Seedlings”. Good one. Sounds like a bumper sticker.

YallaYPoora Kid
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 9, 2021 4:59 pm

being a son of a farmer, I like this one too – one vote from me.

Maybe we could have a Seedlings Day to celebrate the greening of the earth!

Maybe just after Mother’s Day since it is on the same theme as birth and growth from Mother Nature. I have now posted the link on Facebook as a survey to my connections.

Last edited 1 month ago by YallaYPoora Kid
Al Miller
May 9, 2021 11:21 am

I celebrate CO2- after all without it the earth would be a barren desolate wasteland!

RoHa
May 9, 2021 6:22 pm

But it’s the Bad type of vegetation, isn’t it? The type that increases Global Warming?

EwinBarnett
May 9, 2021 7:41 pm

The question that seems to be off limits is where is our present climate in relation to the biosphere we all depend upon. To the extent the climate is changing, is it moving towards the optimum or away from it? More vegetative matter is probably a good thing, unless it is more kudzu. But on a different day, we will be scolded about all the rain forest we are losing to row crop land. No worries that biofuel mandates in the US induce corn farmers to devote more than 25% of their acres to growing a crop to burn in motor vehicles.

Jean Parisot
May 9, 2021 8:56 pm

Not questioning the science, but how did they let this get published.

Eric Vieira
May 10, 2021 1:13 am

“Yet, some alarmists still sniff at this fact, or deny it.” And these people call others “deniers”.

Stephen Skinner
May 10, 2021 3:39 am

Or is it more warmth and longer growing seasons? At the end of the last glacial maximum the temperatures rose and the growing seasons expanded and there was more rainfall. CO2 would have increased as a consequence of more vegetation. Is the extra 20/30 billion tons that humans produce sufficient to cause this? Of course farmers use elevated CO2 to improve growth but that can be more than double the natural atmospheric amount.

Fred the Head
May 10, 2021 7:03 am

CO2 is plant food. This has been “known” since the 18th century.

David Blenkinsop
May 10, 2021 7:51 am

So the CO2 alarmists must hate Green quite a lot.

bwegher
May 10, 2021 9:53 am

CO2 increases plant growth and crop yields in the real world of 1920.
In this case, blast furnace effluent gas was diverted onto test plots and into greenhouses.

http://sealevel.info/ScientificAmerican_1920-11-27_CO2_fertilization.html

May 10, 2021 3:36 pm

The new “Great green wall of Africa” will receive a significant boost – likely un-acknowledged of course – from CO2.
A green belt across the Sahara.

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
May 10, 2021 11:03 pm
Michael E McHenry
May 10, 2021 4:45 pm

Not too long ago Facebook had a climate info page that said high CO2 levels harmed plants. I challenge them on that and other climate claims and they took them down

Gordon A. Dressler
May 11, 2021 9:50 am

From the paragraph under the graph displayed in the above article:
“As the diagram above shows, crops . . . will surge as CO2 concentration rises to 550 ppm by 2050.”

Well, I was following the article and considered it to be good until I ran into that unsupported assertion about the rate of rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration. With the world’s atmosphere currently at about 416 ppm (Mauna Loa data), to rise to 550 ppm in 29 years would be a projected CO2 concentration rise rate about 4.6 ppm/year.

However, the actual rise rate of CO2 concentration over the last three years has been at 2.7 ppm/year and the acceleration in this parameter is very, very small. (ref: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/ ).

The above article gives no indication of why Merbach, et.al., authors of the study reported in Journal of Land Management, Food and Environment, would assert such a future rapid acceleration in atmospheric CO2 concentration, especially given that the “greening” of trees and vegetation that they focus on would, if continued, necessarily involve removing large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere.

TILT!

Last edited 1 month ago by Gordon A. Dressler
%d bloggers like this: