Sorry, U.S. News & World Report, Plant Growth Is Good, Not a Climate Harm

From ClimateREALISM

By H. Sterling Burnett

On Monday, U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) became the latest corporate media outlet to run a seasonal story saying climate change is making life harder for allergy sufferers. This is likely true, but the story lacks balance and context. The USNWR’s story ignores the more important point that the allergy season is longer because the planet is greening. Earlier springs and expanded areas of more verdant plant growth is good for the Earth’s human, animal, and insect populations.

A story posted by USNWR written by Health Day News reporter Serena McNiff, titled “Worsening Allergy Seasons: Is Climate Change to Blame?,” references a recent Harris/Health Day poll in which roughly half of the allergy sufferers surveyed indicated they believed their allergies had become worse or started earlier in recent years. Interestingly, the other half of the respondents said they were not suffering more severe or earlier allergy symptoms now that before.

Despite this mixed result, McNiff wrote:

The trend towards more prolonged and intense pollen seasons is likely to become increasingly unmistakable to those affected as global warming progresses.

“The people who are saying [their allergies] seem to be getting worse, they very well could be having more problems based on the scientific data that we have on temperature increase and pollen increase,” said Dr. Stanley Fineman during a HealthDay Now interview. Fineman is an allergist at Atlanta Allergy & Asthma and a former president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

“If we continue to have as much warming trends as we’re having, we’ll likely see higher and higher pollen counts with the seasons starting sooner,” he said.

The big picture is, however, harder times for allergy sufferers is a negative side effect of earlier springs and lusher plant growth, which is, on balance, positive.

One bit of evidence for this comes from NASA. The agency’s satellite measurements show the “longer, warmer growing seasons caused by climate change,” along with more atmospheric carbon dioxide, are spurring a tremendous greening of the Earth. NASA reports these factors have produced a 10 percent increase in global plant life across the past 20 years.

Reporting on NASA’s findings, Climate Realism notes, “The Sahara Desert and other desert regions are shrinking and being filled with life. Areas with existing plant life are becoming more lush with vegetation.”

These expanding, lusher ecosystems are good for pollinators, animals, and humans alike.

Both crop and non-crop plants evolved when carbon dioxide levels were much higher than today and do better (grow faster and larger) as carbon dioxide levels increase. Thousands of experiments and the actions of agronomists, botanists, and greenhouse operators worldwide confirm this.

One study involving 32 researchers representing nine countries, published in Nature Climate Change, using three long-term satellite-derived leaf area index (LAI) records and 10 global ecosystem models from 1982 through 2009, found “a persistent and widespread increase of growing season integrated LAI (greening) over 5% to 50% of the global vegetated area, whereas less than 4% of the globe shows decreasing LAI (browning).” The study traced this global greening directly to the carbon dioxide fertilization effect, reporting that it explains 70% of the observed greening.

In addition, people generally spend more time outdoors and exercise more in warmer weather, which does exposes them to pollen, exacerbating some allergies. However, such activities also produce obvious health benefits.

For humanity, perhaps most the most important beneficial effect of longer growing seasons is that they have boosted crop production. New crop production records have been repeatedly set for cereal grains, fruits, tubers, and vegetables, in recent years as growing seasons have expanded. As the Earth has greened and crop production increased, hunger, malnutrition, and starvation have declined dramatically around the globe.

Although no one should dismiss the plight of allergy sufferers resulting from the greener world, allergies are by and large treatable. On the whole, the positive benefits of a greener world for plants, humans, other animals, and insects alike mean the bad news for allergy sufferers is good news for the planet. This is a fact USNWR’s readers would have benefitted from hearing. Balanced, honest reporting, not one sided alarm, should be the goal when presenting the big picture facts on climate change for any credible news outlet.

H. Sterling Burnett

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is managing editor of Environment & Climate News and a research fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute. Burnett worked at the National Center for Policy Analysis for 18 years, most recently as a senior fellow in charge of NCPA’s environmental policy program. He has held various positions in professional and public policy organizations, including serving as a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Task Force in the Texas Comptroller’s e-Texas commission.

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Geoff Sherrington
April 30, 2022 10:14 pm

So what remedy do these allergy people propose?
Nothing specific. Simply do away with CO2 emissions? Simply reduce global food growth and kill millions of starving people?
Where is the benefit? Is this no more than me-too bandwagon reporting? Geoff S

Bryan A
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
May 1, 2022 7:20 am

Ebenezer would say, let them get on with their dying and decrease the surface population

Ron Long
April 30, 2022 10:16 pm

Take an antihistamine and get on with your life, and eat your happy vegetables. Greening of the earth is positive for people and animals.

Nick Graves
Reply to  Ron Long
May 1, 2022 1:44 am

Or switch to an unprocessed-food diet and bin the junk.

I’m sure Peta could say it longer and more amusingly, but it seems to work.

Blaming “carbon” for an immune problem is a bit of a stretch, unless they mean “carbohydrates” this time.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Nick Graves
May 1, 2022 11:05 am

When you peel the cheeseburger out of my cold dead fingers, Vegan Boy.

Jphn
April 30, 2022 11:07 pm

If you tell people with pollen allergy that there is more pollen around, then I am not surprised that half of them report worsening of symptoms.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Jphn
May 1, 2022 5:47 am

Dadburn hackable animals

Mike Maguire
April 30, 2022 11:28 pm

Climate change also increases obesity because it causes too much world food production from higher crop yields as a result of an increase in agricultural fertilization from elevated CO2 and its key role in photosynthesis.

An effective resolution for obesity from the higher CO2 would be to reduce CO2 back to its atmospheric level below 300 ppm prior to a century ago when plants were in CO2 starvation mode.

That would reduce global food production by around 30%, with the resulting famines and crop failures helping to greatly cut global obesity.

The downside to that is it would also cause nearly 1 billion people to starve to death and cause extreme price rationing that would result in food,prices to more than triple above the current, near record high price levels for many food items.

April 30, 2022 11:34 pm

Allergy symptoms naturally worsen with age, especially after 35 or so – I wonder what the age demographics are in their sample?

Frank Hansen
Reply to  writing observer
May 1, 2022 1:49 am

That is definitely not true. I had severe allergy symptoms and hay fever as young, but the symptoms have almost disappeared with age. This is consistent with the pattern reported by doctors.

James Winchester
Reply to  Frank Hansen
May 1, 2022 4:07 am

My allergies didn’t start until I was 50.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Frank Hansen
May 1, 2022 4:49 am

Same here, with recent exception. I had miserable allergy symptoms until about age 17, but then, lived nearly symptom free until this Spring.
I bought my first antihistamines in over 50 years, about two months ago.

Crikey! I may have just figured it out.
We always had dogs, growing up and my symptoms cleared when I struck out on my own at age 17.
I bought a house in February and the previous owners kept dogs.
Hmmm.
Of course, correlation is not causation and I may have just moved closer to some other allergen. Oh well.

Last edited 7 months ago by Alan Robertson
2hotel9
Reply to  Frank Hansen
May 1, 2022 5:22 am

I know people on both sides of this coin. Every person is different with regards to allergies.

Vlad the Impaler
Reply to  2hotel9
May 1, 2022 11:49 am

Agreed, I’m in my 70’s, and just in the past few years (maybe five, at the most) I’ve started noticing some susceptibility to Spring allergies, for a few weeks each season.

No, I’ve NOT been diagnosed with allergies, I just notice that I do ‘more’ sneezing for a few weeks, somewhere between mid-April and late-June. I also wake up with significant congestion during that time frame, which usually abates by the Fourth of July.

I never have taken any remedies for it, it’s just not that bad; more nuisance than anything else. But it is somewhat “new” for me.

Regards to all,

Vlad

beng135
Reply to  Frank Hansen
May 2, 2022 10:24 am

Yeah, I’d agree, my allergies, rather severe at times when young, have diminished quite a bit over the decades. Getting sinus surgery (polyps cleaned out) also helped immensely w/the sneezing.

Redge
April 30, 2022 11:37 pm

Take an antihistamine and then be thankful modern society is able to manufacture and distribute synthetic drugs through ingenuity and fossil fuels

Scissor
Reply to  Redge
May 1, 2022 5:48 am

For me the OTC Nasacort nasal spray is effective in eliminating allergy symptoms, especially itchy sinuses, throat and eyes.

Redge
Reply to  Scissor
May 1, 2022 6:02 am

OK, take the OTC Nasacort nasal spray is effective in eliminating allergy symptoms, especially itchy sinuses, throat and eyes and then be thankful modern society is able to manufacture and distribute synthetic drugs through ingenuity and fossil fuels

😉 😋

PCman999
May 1, 2022 12:11 am

The best climate in the past 1000 years, and all they can do it complain.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  PCman999
May 1, 2022 1:29 am

The only real complaint is that it’s not as good as the Minoans, Akkadians and the rest had.

Rick C
Reply to  PCman999
May 1, 2022 7:37 am

Every silver lining has a dark cloud with these climate hysterics.

Doonman
Reply to  PCman999
May 1, 2022 12:42 pm

Wait until the Hippos migrate north and reclaim the Thames river, like they did in the Eemian. That will give them something real to complain about.

fretslider
May 1, 2022 1:36 am

My gas boiler is externally housed and the flue is ~2m above ground level. The plants growing nearby are doing very well indeed

I wonder why?

John
May 1, 2022 1:39 am

Immune systems destroyed by too many vaccines = more allergies.

keann
Reply to  John
May 1, 2022 3:02 am

More GMO’s, more processed foods with who knows what chemically altered substance, chemical additives injected in cows, poultry, pork and their feed, more DOW/Monsanto sprays, weed killers, plant & vegetable “boosters”…

Tom Gasloli
Reply to  keann
May 1, 2022 6:07 am

GMOs are an agricultural good-more food for more people with less pesticides.

Livestock are healthier and raised in healthier conditions today than ever before.

Modern agriculture is a net good.

MarkW
Reply to  keann
May 1, 2022 6:43 am

It really is fascinating how effictively scientific know nothings are able to spread their paranoias.

Reply to  keann
May 1, 2022 10:35 am

So, follow the science but don’t eat it?

Reply to  John
May 1, 2022 5:06 am

Crazy anti-vax nonsense.

2hotel9
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 1, 2022 5:26 am

Not opposed to real vaccines, all the shyte being pushed the last two years of Chinese Disease are not real vaccines.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 1, 2022 8:02 am

Try to do some good researching into the history of vaccines. It is not pretty at all. From earliest massed produced ones to the current day. They must be pushing 4 or 5 different vaccines on the US airwaves right now. A few years ago it was only the shingles vaccine advertisement. It would be far better for the country to stop illegal immigration and quarantine legal immigrants coming from 3rd world countries.

MarkW
Reply to  John
May 1, 2022 6:42 am

Do you have any evidence to support your paranoid assertions?

Peta of Newark
May 1, 2022 3:12 am

Surely Shirley (Wassup Hun, not seen you in a while) , haven’t us humans been living with plants since forever?

Why is then, that in our contemporary time, so many folks are effectively crippled by these plants? (the pollen esp in this story)
After however many 100’s thousands of years, wouldn’t our immune systems be attuned to the pollen(s)
What Is The Problem Now?

Then, how does that simple observation not dawn on anybody?
How is it not bleedingly obvious that something else is going on, that The Plants are not at fault here.
While there are only 2 parties in this little unpleasantness.

Take that thought all the way through, follow it wherever it may take you..

and……?
Ehrlich’s prediction came true didn’t it, pretty well on schedule.
Because that is why we are now in a scientific, political, financial and medical,…
Dark Age

And nobody can see that because, well, its so dark in here now.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 1, 2022 5:11 am

For the young folks reading this, here are Paul Ehrilch’s predictions:

comment image

He’s still around, and, remarkably, still revered in environmentalist circles.

Scissor
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 1, 2022 6:02 am

He’ll be 90 years old at the end of the month. Fortunately, none his dire predictions have come true.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 1, 2022 5:37 am

We didn’t understand what allergies were, until the 1800’s, but even Ancient Greek and Roman literature describes the symptoms.

MarkW
Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 1, 2022 6:46 am

I doubt alergies rise to the level of evolutionary drivers.

May 1, 2022 4:48 am

These top two photos are both from Bengal / India / Bangladesh, taken about 140 years apart. That’s a high-CO2 reality on the left, and a low-CO2 reality on the right.

I suppose that the guys in the photo on the left might have complaints about allergies.

Even so, I prefer THIS 🡷  Climate activists campaign for THIS 🡶
comment image

https://sealevel.info/learnmore.html?0=madrasfamine

Rising CO2 levels are only partially responsible for the trend seen in this next graph. Elevated CO2 (eCO2) has increased crop yields by about 20%, so far. Still, that’s nothing to sneeze at:

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

This is nothing to sneeze at, either:

https://ourworldindata.org/famines
comment image

Elevated CO2 (eCO2) improves food security and mitigates famines two ways:

#1. eCO2 increases crop yields through “CO2 fertilization.” More food = less starvation.

The modest 135 ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration that we’ve seen since the start of the industrial revolution has already increased global crop yields by about 20%, and the higher the CO2 level rises the greater the benefit. In fact, it’s an approximately linear relation (to levels far above what we could ever reach by burning fossil fuels).

comment image

Dr. Craig Idso writes about it here:

Here’s a great report from the GWPF:

The CO2 Coalition has a great deal of information about this, too:

The benefits of eCO2 for crops have been settled science for a century. Here’s a 1920 Scientific American article about it:

https://sealevel.info/ScientificAmerican_1920-11-27_CO2_fertilization.html
comment image

 ‍‍‍‍‍‍ 
#2. Droughts used to be the #1 cause of catastrophic famines, but eCO2 makes crops more water-efficient and drought-resilient, by reducing stomatal conductance, and water loss through transpiration. The effect has been measured by many rigorous studies. E.g.

https://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.”

E.g., here’s a paper about wheat:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26929390

Plus, drought incidence has actually been trending down (slightly):

https://www.nature.com/articles/sdata20141
comment image

Droughts used to be devastating. They still are, but they are not nearly as bad as they used to be. Drought-triggered famines used to kill vast numbers of people, but that doesn’t happen anymore, and rising CO2 level is one of the major reasons.

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of that blessing. Compare:  

  • Covid-19 has killed about 0.1% of world population, so far
  • The 1918 flu killed ≈2%
  • WWII killed ≈2.7%
  • But the global drought & famine of 1876-78 killed an estimated 3.7% of world population 

And that, certainly, is nothing to sneeze at.

Last edited 7 months ago by Dave Burton
Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 1, 2022 10:47 am

Excellent synopsis. A warmer world with abundant CO2 would be (or is) a boon to agriculture and all bioproductivity. All life benefits, even allergy sufferers.

Reply to  Dave Burton
May 1, 2022 2:59 pm

Dave – that’s good enough to be a post by itself. If you can negotiate the Byzantine court of WUWT that is…

Bruce Cobb
May 1, 2022 4:51 am

I’m allergic to stories such as USNWR’s. They give me hives, the heebee jeebies, and sometimes even the collywobbles.

2hotel9
May 1, 2022 5:18 am

It is quite simple, more CO2 equals more plants equals more oxygen equals more food. Any person who opposes this is an enemy of the human race and it is long past time we started treating them as the enemy.

Scissor
Reply to  2hotel9
May 1, 2022 6:33 am

Yes, photosynthesis gives us oxygen in direct proportion to carbon dioxide and the enemies of the human race can’t balance a checkbook, let alone chemical reactions. It’s taken over 50 years to figure out that bioethanol is net negative from energy production for example and yet the practice continues.

Photosynthesis is light energy + 6CO2 + 6H2O → C6H12O6 + 6O2

There are oxygen sinks at work also, and geologically speaking, atmospheric oxygen peaked at about 35% some 50 million years ago. Hydrocarbon combustion is one oxygen sink at play as illustrated for methane in which oxygen consumption is greater than carbon dioxide production. There are not enough fossil fuels being consumed to make much difference.

CH4 + 2 O2 CO2 + 2 H2O + Energy

Reply to  2hotel9
May 1, 2022 11:01 am

Minor correction:

More CO2 equals more plants equals more oxygen equals more food.

The effect on atmospheric oxygen level is a negligible reduction.

When carbon comes and goes from the atmosphere it does not change the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, only the form that it is in: O2 + C = CO2
Each additional CO2 molecule represents one fewer O2 molecule.

So, increasing the amount of CO2 in the dry atmosphere from 0.0280% to 0.0415% decreased the amount of O2 in the dry atmosphere from about 20.9600% to about 20.9465%. (Those figures have two too many digits of precision shown, of course, but that’s necessary to avoid loss of precision when subtracting them.)

280 ppmv ➔ 415 ppmv is a (415/280)-1 = 48.2% increase in atmospheric CO2

That causes a (20.9600-20.9465)/20.9600 = 0.0644% decrease in atmospheric O2

That’s about the same O2 partial pressure change that you would get from an elevation change of 19 feet. (I.e., negligible.)

Bob Ernest
May 1, 2022 5:22 am

Where was the beautiful wild flowers photo taken? How can we get a full size version? Thanks

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Bob Ernest
May 1, 2022 5:30 am

The pic sure is eye catching.
You can get a larger image by opening the image in another tab, then save it, if you wish.

Scissor
Reply to  Bob Ernest
May 1, 2022 6:35 am
Last edited 7 months ago by Scissor
May 1, 2022 5:38 am

The necrophile death-eaters of the climate death cult never stop trying to paint global greening and CO2 enhancement of plant growth as something bad. Life bad death good. Well us “deniers” don’t agree with that proposition. We like life.

MarkW
Reply to  Phil Salmon
May 1, 2022 6:53 am

I realized the other day, that more CO2 in the air means that plants will be able to survive at higher elevations.
Everyone knows that with animals, as you go higher, it gets harder to breath. The ratio of O2 in the air hasn’t dropped, but because of the lower air pressure, there are fewer molecules of O2 in a given volume of air.
The same is true of CO2, as the altitude increases, there are fewer molecules of CO2 in a given volume of air, and eventually you reach a point where plants are no longer able to survive on what is left.

More CO2 in the air, means plants can survive at higher altitudes.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Phil Salmon
May 1, 2022 8:06 am

They want everyone to have a plant based diet while at the same time decrying the greening of the world with more plants. Which sounds just like every argument they have.

Bruce
May 1, 2022 5:53 am

It’s May 1 here in Kenora, ON, +2 C, a foot of snow still in the field and water covering the still ice covered pond in front of the house. I don’t see any ‘early greening’. However, snow mold allergies are up, I suspect.

Tom Gasloli
May 1, 2022 6:03 am

Of course the article provides no actual data on pollen concentration in ambient air or measured changes in the duration of “pollen season”. All over America there are EPA required stations collecting ambient particulate. If anyone actually thought pollen was a problem the samples collected by these stations could show any trend.

But like all of “climate science” we get instead an article full of “seems” and “could”. Surprised they didn’t include a “model”.

MarkW
May 1, 2022 6:39 am

On one hand they tell us that global warming is going to be devastating for food crops.
On the other hand they tell us about how global warming lengthens the growing season of flowering plants.

Yet another direct contradiction from the wonderful world of global warming alarmism.

griff
May 1, 2022 6:53 am

Because 47C heat is good for the population of Pakistan and N India?

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
May 1, 2022 7:33 am

I’ve lived in 116F Summer temps before. Toasty but not unlivable just drink more of that atmospheric level enhanced H2O

Matt Kiro
Reply to  griff
May 1, 2022 8:12 am

That’s why we invented air conditioning. Before that we had fans. Before that they used houses designed for cross breezes and high ceilings. Shades and curtains on windows to keep direct sunlight out. It is quite amazing how we humans keep adapting and making life more comfortable where the temperature can get hot.

Scissor
Reply to  Matt Kiro
May 1, 2022 8:49 am

Few live in places where temperatures regularly exceed 50C, but the conveniences you mention make it possible.

Reply to  griff
May 1, 2022 10:39 am

When the population of Pakistan and N. India start to decline I’ll worry that high temperatures had something to do with it.

Bryan A
May 1, 2022 7:17 am

And So…I will start taking my hay fever meds a little sooner and otherwise enjoy the greenery

stpaulchuck
May 1, 2022 7:36 am

Useless News and World Reform has been bird cage liner for decades. All the way back to the 70s I caught them printing lies about world events. Nothing has changed.

John C
May 1, 2022 7:59 am

U.S. News and World is just another Propaganda rag now. They disregard real science all of the time now. They are a fraud and a shadow of their former selves. They should go under.

GLM
May 1, 2022 8:36 am

Fossil fuels are “green energy” fuels.

Phil.
May 1, 2022 8:53 am

Both crop and non-crop plants evolved when carbon dioxide levels were much higher than today and do better (grow faster and larger) as carbon dioxide levels increase.”

Not true, C4 plants evolved during periods of low CO2.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Phil.
May 1, 2022 11:06 am

That theory has been questioned. C4 plants arose during the Eocene/Oligocene transition when atmospheric CO2 was 450-1500 ppm. Concurrently ice sheets began to form on Antarctica, reducing rainfall globally and especially in mid-continental zones. Drought is thought to have played a major role in C4 plant evolution.

Phil.
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
May 1, 2022 12:36 pm

The main drivers for C4 evolution are high temperatures, drought and low CO2, convergent evolution of C4 occurred at least 60 times. This was during a period of declining CO2 concentration. After all the C4 process uses the Kranz anatomy which locatly concentrates CO2 in the leaf to optimise the carboxylase activity of Rubisco in the Calvin cycle, peak efficiency is reached by 300ppm, if the atmospheric concentration is above 1,000 ppm there would be no advantage in the C4, C3 would be just fine.

Reply to  Phil.
May 2, 2022 4:36 pm

Let’s not forget that, at ground level, CO2 concentration is rarely uniform, if there are plants (living and/or dead) anywhere near. So:

1. Even when the global/average CO2 level is dangerously low, there can be times and places in which ground level CO2 is high enough to sustain C3 plants.

2. Even when the global/average CO2 level is high, there can be times and places in which ground level CO2 is very depleted, so C4 plants’ enhanced ability to scavenge carbon from the air in those situations can still be advantageous to them.

It is widely believe that rising CO2 levels confer little benefit for C4 crops, yet field tests show that the two most important C4 crops, corn (maize) and sugarcane, both benefit greatly from elevated CO2 levels. Here are a couple of papers:

Corn:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00103624.2018.1448413

Sugarcane:
https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/pubag/downloadPDF.xhtml?content=PDF&id=32236

Do you wonder why?

I am pretty confident that the answer is to be found in local CO2 level variations. Even with our current relatively high (416 ppmv) average atmospheric CO2 concentration, the CO2 level isn’t always high.

On sunny, windless days a healthy corn field can severely deplete CO2 by noon, at which time it simply stops growing. So all that afternoon sunshine goes to waste. But if the air there starts out in the morning with a higher initial CO2 concentration, it will take longer to deplete the CO2, which means the corn can keep growing into the afternoon.

The result is that C4 corn and sugarcane yield benefit from elevated CO2 (eCO2) only a little less than C3 crops.

The third-most and fourth-most important C4 crops are sorghum and millet. They benefit from elevated CO2 for a different reason:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2811-africas-deserts-are-in-spectacular-retreat/#:~:text=a%20survey%20among%20farmers%20shows%20a%2070,recent%20years.
comment image

EXCERPT:

” a survey among farmers shows a 70 per cent increase in yields of local cereals such as sorghum and millet in one province in recent years.”

Sorghum and millet are drought-hardy crops, so they’re often grown in semi-arid regions. Because they’re C4 plants you might expect that they would benefit little from eCO2. But under dry conditions both C3 and C4 crops benefit enormously from eCO2, because eCO2 enables plants to use water more efficiently. It does so by reducing stomatal conductance, and increasing carbon uptake relative to transpiration.

In other words, when grown with higher CO2 levels, plants need less water to get the carbon they require 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 one of the reasons that large-scale, catastrophic, drought-triggered famines are fading from living memory. For all of human history until recently, famine was one of the great scourges of mankind: the “Third Horseman of the Apocalypse.” But, thanks in part to eCO2, that is no longer the case.

https://ourworldindata.org/famines
comment image

Last edited 7 months ago by Dave Burton
Phil.
Reply to  Dave Burton
May 4, 2022 9:41 am

Maize is a very artificially evolved crop, very different from the teosinte grass from which it was developed in Mexico. It does indeed have the ability to locally deplete the CO2 concentration during the day. Measurements in a Maize field when atmospheric levels were ~360ppm were shown to reach ~515ppm at night and drop to ~300ppm during sunlight. The fact remains that the Kranz anatomy evolved to deal with low CO2, if it weren’t for the Rubisco problem at low CO2 it wouldn’t be necessary. Dry conditions leads to stomatal control of transpiration and thus reduced CO2/higher O2 in the leaf, in C3 plants that leads to lower efficiency in photosynthesis. This problem will be worse when atmospheric CO2 is low so low CO2 in dry conditions favored the evolution of C4 plants. At 300ppm a C4 plant would be running at peak efficiency whereas a C3 would be lees than half that. At 200ppm a C4 would still be performing near optimum while the C3 would be ~20%, hence the natural selection.

Olen
May 1, 2022 9:29 am

There is an allergy for all seasons and even though there are more plants now I suspect it is only caused by the natural changes that have been going on forever since the Earth formed.

Brad-DXT
May 1, 2022 11:54 am

The increase in allergies has a lot to do with our living away from nature. Going urban and away from the agrarian lifestyle has people growing up without exposure to germs and pollen which does not allow for the build up of the immune system while we’re young and strong.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274838052_Urban-rural_differences_in_the_prevalence_of_allergen_sensitization_and_self-reported_rhinitis_in_the_elderly_population

https://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/health-news/hygiene-hypothesis-agrarian-lifestyle-zmfz13mazmel/

TonyG
Reply to  Brad-DXT
May 1, 2022 12:42 pm

Anectodal, but that reflects my experience after moving from the suburbs to a rural community where I’m surrounded by trees (and now my fields). I definitely suffer less allergies than I used to.

Matthew Sykes
May 1, 2022 12:55 pm

So no plants is better is it, for those with hayfever? Right,

Patrick Henry
May 1, 2022 1:59 pm

USNWR needs AGW.

roaddog
May 1, 2022 8:38 pm

Prosperity is nothing to laugh at.

RoHa
May 1, 2022 10:41 pm

“Plant Growth Is Good”
Not when the plants are triffids.

Old Cocky
Reply to  RoHa
May 2, 2022 2:05 pm

They’re alright if they’re pruned regularly

RonK
May 2, 2022 1:40 am

what fertilizer problem, the people doing this line are spewing so much horse manure they could fertilize all the farm land in Nebraska and Iowa for the next ten years. A while back, about 2 decades the WSJ had an article on Phoenix, where you would go if you had consumption (tuberculosis) because of the air, not anymore with the big influx of people from all over they brought there favorite vegetation, and now the Phoenix are has 5 allergy seasons

Andy Pattullo
May 2, 2022 11:42 am

I doubt any such data on increasing allergies. As a physician I see continual expansion of disease diagnostic criteria that seems primarily focused on medicalizing normal phenomena and creating more business for the medical system. Most of what I see in allergy histories is more related to indoor irritants and quite a lot is patient perception based on a cavalcade of medical advertising and linked reports making ailments seem far more common than they are. Even if warming allowed plants and trees to make pollen and seed earlier it won’t make them do it for longer. Production of pollen and seed has to be synchronized for a species and focused on a point in time. Warming will just increase the growing season – a good thing.

Spending more time outdoors, avoiding an overly clean, sterile living environment and having wide exposures to antigens very early in life are the best strategies to reduce the majority of common allergies.

Harkle Pharkle
May 3, 2022 4:36 am

This article is a sleeper and the title is clickbait. Draw in the grumpy alarmists with “allergies are worse than we thought” and then smack ‘em with  “longer, warmer growing seasons caused by climate change,” along with more atmospheric carbon dioxide, are spurring a tremendous greening of the Earth. NASA reports these factors have produced a 10 percent increase in global plant life across the past 20 years.”

Michael S. Kelly
May 5, 2022 9:58 am

H. Sterling Burnett – his close friends just call him H.

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