The Dangers of Low Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations

From MasterResource

By Craig D. Idso — November 1, 2022

Thus, CO2 literally is the “food” that sustains essentially all plants (and animals who consume plants, including humans) on the face of the Earth. And when that food supply is diminished, nature begins to diminish.

In my last post I shared the results of research findings demonstrating that rising atmospheric CO2 levels represent no current direct threat to human health and/or cognitive performance and decision making. Further, I explained that they present no realistic future threat either; for CO2 levels would need to increase some 36 times above the present concentration before they would even begin to pose a mild health concern.

That value (i.e., 15,000 ppm) will never occur, given it is a factor of ten above the approximate 1500 ppm atmospheric CO2 limit that scientists think is possible if society utilized all of the currently-known fossil fuel reserves on the planet.

But what about low CO2 concentrations? Might they pose a threat to humanity? In short, yes. The lower the CO2 concentration, the greater the risk. This certainly applies to net reductions in PPM, but it also applies to reductions in CO2 from government climate policies against market preferences for mineral energies, natural gas, coal, and oil. The more CO2 the better, in other words.

Explanation

Carbon dioxide is the building block of nature. It is the primary raw material utilized by plants during the process of photosynthesis to build and construct their tissues. Thus, CO2 literally is the “food” that sustains essentially all plants (and animals who consume plants, including humans) on the face of the Earth. And when that food supply is diminished, nature begins to diminish.

Consider, for example, the work of Faltein et al. (2020), who examined the impact of low levels of CO2 (relative to present, ambient CO2 air) on African wood-sorrel (Oxakis pes-caprae). O. pes-caprae was a key carbohydrate source for humans during the Middle Pleistocene, being regularly harvested by human gatherers for its edible underground storage organs (USOs).

Given that atmospheric CO2 is a substrate of photosynthesis and growth, Faltein et al. were curious to learn how much the bulb biomass of African wood-sorrel would have been reduced (relative to the present) in the Middle Pleistocene and how such a reduction would have impacted efforts to harvest sufficient biomass to attain daily calorific requirements.

To accomplish their design, the four South African researchers grew specimens of O. pes-caprae for three months in mini open-top-chambers under average CO2 concentrations of 227, 285, 320 and 390 ppm. All plants received sufficient water and nutrients. Not surprisingly, Faltein et al. report that at the end of the experiment plants grown under reduced concentrations of CO2 exhibited “significantly decreased plant biomass and bulb yield” (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Bulb biomass of Oxalis pes-caprae plants grown under sub-ambient atmospheric CO2 concentrations for three weeks. The letters denote significant differences between treatments at P < 0.05. Adapted from Faltein et al. (2020).

For example, the scientists say that under the lowest CO2 levels, “bulb biomass decreased by up to 80% compared to current ambient concentrations, while total plant biomass showed a two-fold decrease.” Naturally, such growth reductions were attributed to “the fundamental effects of low [CO2].”

With respect to the human impact of such growth reductions caused by low CO2, Faltein et al. note that lower CO2 concentrations “affect both the value of USOs as sources of carbohydrates and the effort that would have been required to harvest sufficient biomass to attain daily calorific requirements.” And in regard to the latter, they calculate “the time required to harvest 2000 calories was more than doubled when [CO2] was decreased from 400 to 180 ppm.”

Conclusion

The above findings (and others discussed here) demonstrate that humanity benefits from higher levels of atmospheric CO2, which increase plant yields and enhance available carbohydrate supply. On the other hand, reducing the current CO2 concentration of the atmosphere, which has become a platform of far too many politicians and activists, has the opposite effect. And the greater the reduction in atmospheric CO2, the more devastating the impacts will be, as research indicates plants begin to die at CO2 concentrations lower than 120 or 130 ppm.

Consequently, any reduction in the CO2 content of the atmosphere will negatively impact the current state of nature, reducing not only the growth of plants, but other benefits brought about by higher CO2 concentrations, including greater water use efficiencies and the ability to better withstand environmental stresses such as droughtdiseasehigh soil salinitylow light intensityozone pollutionheat wavesUV-B radiation, etc. Reducing these benefits would most certainly decrease global food supplies, potentially leading to civil unrest and conflict if the reduction is significant enough.

So, yes, there are consequences to reducing the air’s CO2 content by any amount. To claim otherwise or ignore this scientifically-based truth demonstrates the ignorance (and arrogance) of those hell-bent on reducing the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere.

Reference

Faltein, Z., Esler, K.J., Midgley, G.F. and Ripley, B.S. 2020. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations restrict the growth of Oxalis pes-caprae bulbs used by human inhabitants of the Paleo-Agulhas plain during the Pleistocene glacials. Quaternary Science Reviews 235: 105731.

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James F. Evans
November 3, 2022 6:05 am

This is the real story.

Life on Earth depends on C02

Man does not know the optimal concentration of C02 in the atmosphere.

Or if there even is an optimal level.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  James F. Evans
November 3, 2022 6:08 am

Around 1000ppm for tomatoes.

James F. Evans
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
November 3, 2022 6:16 am

A nice, ripe tomato… sweet.

IanE
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
November 3, 2022 11:07 am

Or 15,000 for doom goblins.

ravenise
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
November 10, 2022 2:21 am

And you need co2 to produce oxygen, which is necessary for a functioning brain, co2 sequestration is almost like a scene ripped right out of the film Oblivion, where giant ocean harvesting machines sucked the water off the planet, abandoning the remaining human survivors on a barren, dead world that was ransacked by aliens. But in this case, the planet’s air is being stripped of carbon, the “God element” that is the very basis of life on Earth.

Last edited 19 days ago by ravenise
TonyG
Reply to  James F. Evans
November 3, 2022 7:23 am

Man does not know the optimal concentration of C02 in the atmosphere.

I’ve been asking for that for years and I have yet to receive an answer.

kim
Reply to  TonyG
November 3, 2022 7:49 am

Plants know, even the unicellular critters.

kim
Reply to  kim
November 3, 2022 7:50 am

Oops, ==============

Reply to  TonyG
November 3, 2022 8:52 am

“What was Earth’s atmosphere like a few billion years ago, early in its history? Researchers at Penn State say they’ve found some clues by analyzing iron micrometeorites in ancient soils. These particles from space – a subset of cosmic dust – suggest that carbon dioxide made up 25% to 50% of Earth’s atmosphere 2.7 billion years ago.”

SOURCE:
Study suggests early Earth’s atmosphere was rich in carbon dioxide | Earth | EarthSky

Smart Rock
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 3, 2022 10:13 am

This is not exactly news. It was well known – or at least widely hypothesised – even in my student days in the 1960s, that Earth’s atmosphere was CO2 rich until the appearance of green plants about 2 billion years ago. The oxygen in our atmosphere is all derived from pre-existing CO2 by photosynthesis.

Robert Alfred Taylor
Reply to  Smart Rock
November 3, 2022 1:23 pm

Sorry. Oxygen is released from cracking water. CO2 goes round and round as structure: Wikipedia photosynthesis: “Samuel Ruben and Martin Kamen used radioactive isotopes to determine that the oxygen liberated in photosynthesis came from the water.” Fossil fuels were sequestered when there was little O2 in the atmosphere.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Robert Alfred Taylor
November 3, 2022 5:15 pm

G’Day Robert,

“… Wikipedia photosynthesis …”

Don’t be surprised if you catch some flack quoting Wikipedia on anything related to climate.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Robert Alfred Taylor
November 3, 2022 8:54 pm

Well, sort of, technically. But without the Fundamental Precursor of All Life (CO2) there would be no photosynthesis and hence no O2. If the Squirrel People sequester CO2, then O2 production will also diminish. Choke on that.

Luke B
Reply to  Robert Alfred Taylor
November 4, 2022 10:50 am

Photosynthesis uses an indirect route (by breaking apart water) but does, in fact, have the overall effect of taking in CO2 and releasing O2.

bobm
Reply to  Luke B
November 5, 2022 5:07 pm

Photosynthesis breaks apart the CO2 taken in through stomata on the leaves, with the plant keeping the carbon atom and releasing the O2 back to the atmosphere. The specific chemical reactions to strip/capture the carbon define the plant type, C3, C4, or CAM. The carbon atom(s) are then built into carbohydrates using water taken in through the roots.

Reply to  Smart Rock
November 4, 2022 5:46 am

Where did the water come from?

Reply to  HenryP
November 5, 2022 8:55 am

2H2 + O2 = 2H2O
With a big bang.
H2 was used up in the process.

Joe Wagner
Reply to  TonyG
November 3, 2022 9:15 am

The answer is: It depends on the critter.

As stated above- tomatoes are around 1000 ppm. I found one paper suggesting winter wheat it was around 890 or so. I’m sure everything else has their own sweet spot.

AndyL
Reply to  Joe Wagner
November 4, 2022 4:15 am

The paper is: The optimal atmospheric CO2 concentration for the growth of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) by Ming Xu
Abstract:
“This study examined the optimal atmospheric CO2 concentration of the CO2 fertilization effect on the growth of winter wheat with growth chambers where the CO2 concentration was controlled at 400, 600, 800, 1000, and 1200ppm respectively. I found that initial increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration dramatically enhanced winter wheat growth through the CO2 fertilization effect. However, this CO2 fertilization effect was substantially compromised with further increase in CO2 concentration, demonstrating an optimal CO2 concentration of 889.6, 909.4, and 894.2ppm for aboveground, belowground, and total biomass, respectively, and 967.8ppm for leaf photosynthesis.”

186no
November 3, 2022 6:06 am

On the other hand, reducing the current CO2 concentration of the atmosphere, which has become a platform of far too many politicians and activists, has the opposite effect.”

Will strike fear into all those unelected billionaires and incompetent WEF/UN/WHO apparatchiks otherwise known as politicians and government quango employees …..or it should

AndyL
Reply to  186no
November 4, 2022 4:26 am

The other paper that will strike fear into these people is:

ABSORPTION CHARACTERISTICS OF THERMAL RADIATION FOR CARBON DIOXIDE (Kubicki et al., 2022)

It places a massive question mark over the fundamental notion that CO2 is a ‘greenhouse gas’ because the properties of CO2 are such that the atmospheric thermal absorbtion limit of CO2 is around 100 ppm, and any increases of CO2 concentrations above this level have no effect.

Without the “CO2 is a greenhouse gas” soundbite these people cannot sell the fear.

strativarius
November 3, 2022 6:08 am

the ignorance (and arrogance)”

I’d call it sheer bloody-mindedness.

AndyL
Reply to  strativarius
November 4, 2022 5:55 am

I call it mindless greed.

Chaswarnertoo
November 3, 2022 6:08 am

The truth, at last.

Steve Case
November 3, 2022 6:11 am

Life on Earth is dependent on two chemical compounds, H2O & CO2, and one of them is in short supply. 

Yes, we are a carbon based life form. That means every carbon atom in your body was once CO2 in the atmosphere.

Last edited 26 days ago by Steve Case
Old.George
Reply to  Steve Case
November 3, 2022 6:37 am

Well said Steve Case.
“[E]very carbon atom in your body was once CO2 in the atmosphere.
Farmers farm the atmosphere for carbon for it is the very stuff of life.
As it happens CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas which has almost no effect on climate even at double current levels.

kim
Reply to  Old.George
November 3, 2022 7:48 am

Breathe in.
You just inhaled two molecules Julius Caesar exhaled with his ultimate vocalizariam, ‘Et tu, Brute?’
=========

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Steve Case
November 3, 2022 7:39 am

And will be again once you’re gone.

michael hart
Reply to  Steve Case
November 3, 2022 8:28 am

Decades ago I was taught in primary school that water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide formed the basis of the pyramid of life on Earth.

It’s a bit weird, frankly, that this has to be explained to so many people today.

John
Reply to  michael hart
November 3, 2022 6:30 pm

modern humans are dumb
The internet is increasing it
tiktok meta etc are the worst

R Terrell
Reply to  michael hart
November 7, 2022 9:59 am

There’s also the FACT that our schools have ceased teaching our students about the very basic, fundamentals of life! They are too busy teaching about equity, diversity and that white men are all racist’s. We need to return to the 3R’s!

John
Reply to  Steve Case
November 3, 2022 6:28 pm

and everything in your modern life has Carbon
Carbohydrates
Sugars
Fats
your clothes
your road
your car tires
your electronic
wind turbine
the list is continuous

Bryan A
Reply to  John
November 4, 2022 12:46 pm

Yep, remove the Carbo(n) from carbohydrates and you have hydrates (water)

November 3, 2022 6:20 am

Who came with this nonsense that co2 makes it warmer.

It is the earth, stupid!

https://breadonthewater.co.za/2022/08/02/global-warming-how-and-where/

n.n
Reply to  HenryP
November 3, 2022 7:31 am

Cause, effect, and attribution were established In isolation, with models, and through inferential treatise. Think Brockovich et al. CFLs, environmentalists, and industry. A Lejune justice act, while Flint is left to her own devices.

Reply to  n.n
November 3, 2022 8:51 am

n.n (no name?) and @E.Schaffer

If you click on my name, you can see and read 5 reports, including my own, showing that the net effect of more CO2 in the atmosphere is nothing.
However, yes, it can be shown that everywhere where it gets warmer it also gets greener. This alters albedo. But ja, or no. It is again cause and effect. Is it greener because it is warmer or does more greening cause more warming?
You tell me.

Reply to  HenryP
November 3, 2022 8:59 am

 “the net effect of more CO2 in the atmosphere is nothing.”

The exact effect of CO2 can not be determined because there are too many climate change variables, and no one knows exactly what each one does. However, CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas in lab spectroscopy experiments, so should impede Earth’s ability to cool itself by some harmless amount.

People who claim they know exactly what CO2 does, which can include “nothing”, are science deniers, who should be ignored. The right answer is we don’t know, but modest global warming is likely.

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 3, 2022 9:13 am

Richard, why don’t you look at my calculations (click on my name) and tell me where I am wrong?

Reply to  HenryP
November 3, 2022 2:49 pm

You are focused on minor issues like volcanoes, and ignoring the +50% increase of CO2 since 1850. There are many variables that cause climate change, so the net change is a result of combining perhaps 10 different variables, one of which is greenhouse gases.

Concerning ocean temperatures: Not accurate until the use of ARGO floats about 20 years ago, especially in the Sothern Hemisphere.

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 4, 2022 5:49 am

It is only 0.01% more CO2 since 1850.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 3, 2022 1:49 pm

Sorry, but observations support NO discernable “effect” whatsoever. That’s not “science denial” just because CO2 HYPOTHETICALLY would have an effect, ALL ELSE HELD EQUAL.

Which it has never been, is not, and will never be.

Correlation does not equal causation. REVERSE CORRELATION, however, pretty much seals the notion that there is NO causation. And there is plenty of REVERSE correlation in the climate record.

Observations Trump theory.

Reply to  HenryP
November 3, 2022 11:01 am

When it comes to CO2 related climate sensitivity, I will rather stick to my very own research..

https://greenhousedefect.com/the-holy-grail-of-ecs/the-2xco2-forcing-disaster

and here..

https://greenhousedefect.com/the-holy-grail-of-ecs/a-total-synthesis-the-ecs-estimate

R Terrell
Reply to  HenryP
November 7, 2022 10:02 am

The more greener (warmer) occurs mainly at the airports and major highways,as well as downtown in large metropolitan areas. That is, afterall, where the thermometers are placed now.

Reply to  HenryP
November 3, 2022 7:36 am

Your speculations over volcanos are hardly evidence for what you claim. Instead the fact that the distribution or warming correlates with the distribution of human population, points the opposite direction. The unpopulated south of Earth is barely warming at all.

  • This speaks against GHGs, which are evenly distributed over the globe
  • It speaks against cooling aerosols from pollution, which are concentrated in the NH. If aerosols are cooling or not is vital for the question in GHG related climate sensitivity btw.
  • Rather there has to be another anthropogenic factor in play. Indicidentally aviation induced cirrus clouds have a massive warming potential.
DMacKenzie
Reply to  E. Schaffer
November 3, 2022 8:48 am

ES, put some numbers out there, or here in this case….how much water vapor is in the exhaust of Top of Troposphere jet planes versus how much water is already in the atmosphere in the upper Trop…..you can do it ES….

Reply to  DMacKenzie
November 3, 2022 9:01 am

Irrelevant: The water vapor content of the troposphere is dependent on its temperature.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
November 3, 2022 9:11 am

The water emitted by aviation is totally negligible. You are asking the wrong question.

Reply to  E. Schaffer
November 3, 2022 12:47 pm

Following my calculations on the IR spectrum I don’t even believe in your starting point of the 3.7W/m2 for a doubling of CO2.
You guys all start from the wrong starting point: more heat produces more CO2 in the atmosphere. 70% of all volcanoes are unseen….laying on the ocean floor.

Last edited 25 days ago by HenryP
Reply to  HenryP
November 3, 2022 12:57 pm

I am fine with the 3.7W/m2 for a non-overlapped doubling of CO2. In reality however, we have these overlaps, and “climate science” is denying them. As I have written, including overlaps and realistic surface emissivity, it drops to 2W/m2 for a doubling of CO2.

CO2 IS influenced by climate. Paleo climate records seem to suggest a 800 year latency. But 800 years is way too long to explain why CO2 should be rising now (at much higher rates), as a response to the current warming. Also we know we are emitting CO2..

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  E. Schaffer
November 3, 2022 1:52 pm

No it’s not – subtract 800 from. 2022 and you’re in…

The Medieval Warm Period

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
November 3, 2022 3:21 pm

Brilliant logic! But lag does not mean memory. CO2 levels are not adepting to what happened (exactly) 800 years ago. Instead if there is some continuous warming over a long time, then on average it takes about 800 years for CO2 to follow..

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  E. Schaffer
November 3, 2022 9:09 pm

“There has to be an anthropogenic factor…”

No, there doesn’t. Correlation (more people, more warm) is not causation (people did it). Back to the drawing board. I suggest you come up with about a thousand correlations (NH is this, SH is that) and we’ll look them over to see if you’ve stumbled upon the magic eight ball.

Right? Isn’t that how science is done? Observe an obscure, microscopic phenomenon, measure it very poorly, smooth the measurements so all the variation is erased, and then throw wild “explanatory” theories against the wall to see if any of them stick long enough to fool the gullible.

MarkW
Reply to  HenryP
November 3, 2022 8:00 am

Geothermal is ignored because the total amount of energy would have to increase several hundred times to make it up to rounding error on solar energy.

kim
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 8:10 am

If all the sun’s energy which reaches the Earth were dedicated to sustaining human life, at 100 watts per life, then the human population of the Earh could reach the quadrillions, a million times greater than it is at present.
This is, of course an upper limit, not the least bit feasible.
Yet only a tiny percentage of increase in man’s use of solar energy could sustain many times the present population of the Earth in a style to which we would all like to become accustomed.
The path there is through ‘Green Revolutions a la the sainted Norm,
and not through revoltingly inefficient windmills and solar panels.
We have lost our way and wander in fear and hopelessness; the path is still there and some of us will find and follow it.
Yep!
================

Reply to  kim
November 3, 2022 8:54 am

How do you measure the upgoing heat flux from earth?

MarkW
Reply to  HenryP
November 3, 2022 9:32 am

They do it by measuring temperatures at various depths at locations all over the planet.

Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 10:40 am

So. I only need an extension of the inside of earth of 20 meters to get +0.6K….
Look 3)
https://breadonthewater.co.za/2022/08/02/global-warming-how-and-where/

MarkW
Reply to  HenryP
November 3, 2022 12:48 pm

In a word, no.

Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 8:53 am

I figured as much that there must be a mistake somewhere….

Reply to  HenryP
November 3, 2022 8:54 am

Co2 and other greenhouse gases impede Earth’s ability to cool itself. They do not directly heat anything. Your bread on the water link is claptrap

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 3, 2022 10:42 am

Yes. But if you were clever you would realize that co2 also deflects sunlight away from earth. So. Where is the balance sheet? Look at my claptrap.

MarkW
Reply to  HenryP
November 3, 2022 12:50 pm

CO2 has no affect on short wave radiation. It doesn’t absorb it, it doesn’t reflect it.

Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 1:43 pm

Can I suggest you read the Turnbull paper on the spectrum of a habitable planet? Fig. 6 bottom shows the deflection of the gh gases in various colors in the sw

John_C
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 4, 2022 2:07 pm

But that’s like saying Ammonia impedes the ability of a ammonia based refrigerator to cool itself because it’s a greenhouse gas. What matters is the net transport of heat from the surface to TOA and space. Adding an IR absorber means that the hot gas molecules will rise from throughout the atmosphere, rather than wait for the surface to warm the gas, and also that there are more radiators at the TOA to send the heat into space. In essence, you are adding more working fluid to the air conditioner.

kim
November 3, 2022 6:47 am

Anthropogenic CO2 likely fills an extra billion bellies, every day.
Attempting to diminish anthropogenic CO2 is unmistakably anti-human. So who does this deliberately? Well, haters, power mad monsters, and greedy sinners.
This is the Face of Evil, there it is.
===========

Reply to  kim
November 3, 2022 10:37 am

True.

TonyG
November 3, 2022 7:10 am

To claim otherwise or ignore this scientifically-based truth demonstrates the ignorance (and arrogance) of those hell-bent on reducing the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere.

These are the same people who want to limit farming, so no surprise. I don’t think it’s ignorance, they just think they’ll be among the survivors.

Doug
November 3, 2022 7:11 am

This present level must be dangerously toxic to the cognitive abilities of climate alarmists…It would account for the abject insanity of what they say and do .

kim
Reply to  Doug
November 3, 2022 7:40 am

At the root is the love of money and the urge to power.
‘Tis Evil, ‘tis.
================

Reply to  kim
November 3, 2022 11:33 am

True.

observa
November 3, 2022 7:16 am

I’m an integral part of Gaia’s grand plan to release all that lazy useless sequestered carbon in order to Green the planet. I’m not just some blow-in convert to Gaia as some of us have been around and know what it takes- https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/314161757853

kim
Reply to  observa
November 3, 2022 7:37 am

From Gaia’s point of view the whole point of evolving man into intelligence is to free those lazy(unemployed) carbon atoms from their bondage in hydrocarbon and carbonate bonds.
The sun and the vegetative biome conspire silently to almost irreversibly sequester those carbon atoms so effectively, only partially reversed by weathering and vulcanism.
Only man is capable of breaking those bonds and freeing Gaia’s carbon atoms into their rightful role in the biome.
==============

kim
Reply to  kim
November 3, 2022 7:45 am

Humans are a necessary component of carbon sustainability.
And yet, madmen seek to divert us from our duty and our rightful role in the biome of returning life giving carbon to the atmosphere.
This cannot stand.
And won’t.
========

Reply to  kim
November 3, 2022 12:51 pm

True.

Coach Springer
November 3, 2022 7:33 am

Well, we don’t seem to be facing a drop in CO2 levels anytime soon. So that’s good. Pretty sure the alarmists will go with we have to stop the increase to we have to stop the decrease to we have to stop the Earth from changing at all – no matter how immaterial.

Kalsel3294
November 3, 2022 8:01 am

It was not that long ago that we had idiot Green politicians in Australia claiming CO2 was a poison, and worst than that, people were believing them. Idiot politicians representing their idiot constituents.

kim
Reply to  Kalsel3294
November 3, 2022 8:14 am

Are they human or are they dancers?
Those tarantulic hoofers, where is the gong?
============

Bil
November 3, 2022 8:16 am

CO2 alarms on submarines are set above 5000ppm I believe.

James B.
Reply to  Bil
November 3, 2022 9:33 am

That is true. I was an Atmosphere Control Technician on a fast attack sub ’79 – ‘ 83, SSN 684. We set our CO2 alarm at 8,000 ppm. Low enough to avoid headaches. Normal levels were well below that but much higher than 430 ppm.

Last edited 25 days ago by JamesB_684
bil
Reply to  James B.
November 4, 2022 7:51 am

And I thank-you for your service. Son-in-law is a RN submariner.

Berne Stober
November 3, 2022 8:17 am

Does anyone know if the Social Cost of carbon generated by the feds takes into account any of the benefits of CO2 or warmer temperatures? My guess is no, but I haven’t researched. Mr. Eschenbach did a back of the envelope calc of the fertilization effect alone (in a tweet several months ago) and it was huge!

kim
Reply to  Berne Stober
November 3, 2022 8:21 am

Right.
No benefits are admitted.
This is egregiously unreal.
The Social Cost of Carbon is negative; it is actually a huge benefit.
The so-called SCC is a fantastical number, totally divorced from reality.
This too shall pass.
============

kim
Reply to  kim
November 3, 2022 8:26 am

Warmer temperatures, ameliorating storm severity, CO2 fertilization of crops feeding billions of bellies and minds, extended growing seasons in high latitudes, and, omigod, the incredible value of cheap energy in improving living standards of all humans.
What fools would ignore these benefits in lieu of imaginary costs? Pitiful simulacra of humans, these fearful, guilt ridden specimen.

kim
Reply to  kim
November 3, 2022 8:27 am

Yikes, twice in one day, I’m slipping. ====================

Reply to  kim
November 3, 2022 9:04 am

What f god are warmer temperatures, ameliorating storm severity, CO2 fertilization of crops feeding billions of bellies and minds, extended growing seasons in high latitudes … if we’re all going to die from runaway global warming? ha ha

Reply to  kim
November 4, 2022 1:31 pm

True.

MarkW
Reply to  Berne Stober
November 3, 2022 8:34 am

That is correct, they only calculate assumed harms (few of which actually exist and none to the extent assumed. They quite deliberately ignore all the benefits of CO2.

I’ve had a few alarmists get quite upset when I try to bring up these benefits. In their simple minds, things are either good or evil, and things that are evil must be pure evil.

kim
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 8:41 am

They dance, feet disconnected from the brain.
=========

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Berne Stober
November 3, 2022 1:58 pm

The short answer is NO.

Of course not. If the benefits BEGIN to be quantified, we would be talking about The Social BENEFIT of Carbon, not the “cost.”

Bill Taylor
November 3, 2022 8:47 am

some ole hillbilly told you folks long ago that co2is a NUTRIENT that is required for life as we know it……sadly people with an agenda of LYING to you mocked me for daring to post the truth and SCIENCE on that topic.

November 3, 2022 8:49 am

This context would have been useful

In the past 500 million years

Low CO2 180ppm
High CO2 4500ppm
Current CO2 415ppm
Best CO2 for most C3 plants 750ppm to 1500ppm

MarkW
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 3, 2022 9:34 am

Also the CO2 level at which plants begin to die.

MMcW
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 12:23 pm

I read somewhere a long time ago that photosynthesis stops at CO2<160ppm. Can anyone verify that?

jeffery p
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 1:04 pm

Attribution?

MarkW
Reply to  jeffery p
November 3, 2022 3:58 pm

Are you doubting that plants die when CO2 levels get too low?

Joel O’Bryan
November 3, 2022 9:13 am

Rising and falling atmospheric CO2 occurs over decades to be significant in either + or – directions. A simple examination of the MLO record show about a 8 ppm rise roughly October thru April (7 months), and 6 ppm drop May thru September. that gives the roughly a 2 ppm per annum rise seen in MLO CO2 record for the last 30 or so years.

For the experiment mentioned in article, the delta ppm between the 4 test levels are 58 ppm, 35 ppm and 70 ppm. Thus delta max tested ( lowest to highest) is 163 ppm. So about 80 years. That is sufficient time for plant adaptations to occur in nature to slowly rising or lowering CO2. It is not going change by 160 ppm one growing season to the next because of the way the Global carbon sinks and sources kinetically respond to partial pressure changes.
Le Chatelier’s principle  rules the physical chemistry of our global CO2 sources and sinks. This prevents wild year to year excursions. This makes any intrepretation of the results of a simple delta CO2 experiment a dubious proposition.

MarkW
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
November 3, 2022 9:37 am

Where did you get the notion that plants can “adapt” to varying levels of CO2 in just a few decades?
Do you suppose that plants can adapt to varying levels of water just as fast?
How about fertilizers?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
November 3, 2022 9:42 am

Additionally:
from a biology perspective, there are at least 5 levels of adaptations plants (all living things actually) can make to changing growing conditions. These are: genetic, epigenetic, transcriptional, translational, and post-translational. All 5 interact in a complex manner to drive evolution, natural selection, and rapid adaptations to changing conditions in life. These changes can occur over time scales of minutes to decades. the combination of all 5 makes simple interpretations of the results of a one time shot change of a critical factor (CO2 partial pressure in this case) further dubious proposition. The science is not settled in the understanding of biological adaptations to changing CO2 or climate.

Mark Pawelek
November 3, 2022 9:17 am

Were we to use all of currently-known fossil fuel reserves on the planet: many scientists think the maximum CO2 level in the atmosphere may reach 700ppm not 1500ppm. Because oceans will mop up excess CO2. As CO2 in atmosphere increses so will it in the oceans; due to Henry’s Law and the ease which it can be converted to bicarbonate in ocean water.

bdgwx
November 3, 2022 9:28 am

Craig Idso said: “And the greater the reduction in atmospheric CO2, the more devastating the impacts will be, as research indicates plants begin to die at CO2 concentrations lower than 120 or 130 ppm.”

Is there really concern that CO2 levels will crash to 120 ppm or even just drop below 280 ppm in the foreseeable future?

MarkW
Reply to  bdgwx
November 3, 2022 9:40 am

Levels reached 180ppm and below during the last glaciation phase.
The factors that caused CO2 levels to drop from 7000ppm to 180ppm over the last 60 million years or so are still in effect.

As the article shows, plants start suffering long before they reach starvation levels of CO2.

Why wait until plants are on the verge of death before doing something about it?

bdgwx
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 11:09 am

That’s like 1 ppm every 8900 years.

Then it should only take 2.7 million years to get us down to 120 ppm assuming the factor causing the increase today stops and the factors causing the decline over 60 million years ago continue.

They also start suffering if you alter the soil chemistry, soil moisture, ambient temperature, ambient humidity, sunshine, etc.

I suppose we could pump as much CO2 in the atmosphere in the hope that more now means it will take longer to get down 120 ppm later. If we can get CO2 up to 1500 ppm then it would take 13.4 million years to get down to 120 ppm. It buys us a little more time I suppose.

Last edited 25 days ago by bdgwx
MarkW
Reply to  bdgwx
November 3, 2022 12:53 pm

You are ignoring the impact of cold temperatures on the amount of CO2 the oceans can absorb

bdgwx
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 4:45 pm

I’m not the one who mentioned the decline from 7000 to 180 ppm over the last 60 million years and the fact that the same factors that caused it are still in effect today. If the impact of cold temperatures was forgotten then it was forgotten by you.

Last edited 25 days ago by bdgwx
MarkW
Reply to  bdgwx
November 3, 2022 5:43 pm

You are the one who assumed that only the long term geological factors would be in effect over the next 2.7 million years. I’ve pointing out that we are likely to have another glacial phase during that time offends you, you’ll just have to live with that.

bdgwx
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 8:30 pm

You said and I quote The factors that caused CO2 levels to drop from 7000ppm to 180ppm over the last 60 million years or so are still in effect.”

I don’t know that it would take 2.7 million years. I’m just working under the assumption (your assumption) that the factors that caused CO2 to drop from 7000 to 180 ppm over the last 60 million years is true. If you don’t think it started at 7000 ppm, ended at 180 ppm, took 60 million years, or that the factors then are the same as today then just say so. Or even easier if you think the drop from 420 to 120 ppm will be longer or shorter than 2.7 million years then present a different estimate.

MarkW
Reply to  bdgwx
November 3, 2022 4:06 pm

You are also assuming that the decrease in CO2 levels was uniform over that time. It was not. For example, when the Himalayas formed, there was a big increase in the rate of removal.

bdgwx
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 4:49 pm

I’m not the one who mentioned the decline from 7000 to 180 ppm over the last 60 million years and the fact that the same factors that caused it are still in effect today. So if the decline wasn’t uniform nevermind increasing then maybe the assumption that the same factors in play then are the same today is wrong. Either way I’m not the one making assumptions here.

MarkW
Reply to  bdgwx
November 3, 2022 5:44 pm

You just aren’t into basic math, are you.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2022 2:05 pm

Think you meant 600 not 60

Mike Maguire
November 3, 2022 9:51 am

Humans help rescue the planet from CO2 approaching a dangerously low/near starvation level for life.

That’s why the planet has been massively greening up from beneficial CO2 fertilization of plants/crops.
You can make up political decrees that state CO2=pollution for self serving agenda but you can’t repeal the physical laws of science and nature.

Photosynthesis still rules and always will.

Death by Greening:

https://www.marketforum.com/forum/topic/69258/

Screenshot 2022-11-01 at 12-12-32 Fake beer crisis_Death by GREENING! - MarketForum.png
Mike Maguire
Reply to  Mike Maguire
November 3, 2022 10:38 am
JOHN S CHISM
November 3, 2022 10:32 am

 “Faltein et al. note that lower CO2 concentrations “affect both the value of USOs as sources of carbohydrates and the effort that would have been required to harvest sufficient biomass to attain daily calorific requirements.” 

Need I repeat “We are what we eat.” I have repeatedly used that quote for years on WUWT and other sites. All fauna from the smallest of insects to the largest of elephants obtain their carbon from the flora they ingest and the fauna through various processes release more carbon dioxide than they inhale as carbon dioxide exhaled, and the excrements decaying releases carbon dioxide as well as fauna that die and decay or are burned releases carbon dioxide and remain as carbon/mineral complexes that returns to the soils if allowed to. By classification of size there are many times more micro-fauna than small fauna that are many times the number of large insects that are in greater quantities than small animals that are in greater numbers than…etc…to elephants.

All fauna therefore provide a large part of the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide, whereas, flora release carbon dioxide once photosynthesis is reduced and can no longer convert it to forms that build up their cellular structures from micro-flora to the largest of redwood trees. Any part of a living flora that becomes detached and is not ingested by fauna where it decays releases some of its carbon as carbon dioxide into the air, and carbon not used can be released into the soil through various flora root systems. Fire burning of flora and fauna increases carbon dioxide.

The Carbon Cycle of Life is a very complex subject, as flora and fauna by natural processes increase Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide during warmer climates, and flora do worse in cooler climates, reduced solar radiation and release more carbon dioxide than is taken in by flora.

Global Human Population expected to be 8 billion on November 15th 2022 that’s a lot of carbon dioxide. Humans Breathing “The gas exhaled is 4% to 5% by volume of carbon dioxide, about a 100 fold increase over the inhaled amount.” Breathing – Wikipedia

Greg Bacon
November 3, 2022 10:48 am

“CO2 literally is the “food” that sustains essentially all plants”
.
This is not true. Food provides energy to the organism that consumes it. CO2 does not provide energy to a plant. Sunshine is the “food” for plants.

IanE
Reply to  Greg Bacon
November 3, 2022 11:10 am

Well, food in the normal sense, provides both energy and raw materials for building more of you. Neither CO2 nor sunshine thus conform with a normal use of the term ‘food’; however, I think we can all understand either use of the term in the context of plants.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Greg Bacon
November 3, 2022 3:59 pm

Technically, in that case, carbohydrates are not ‘food’ for us. Without the oxygen we need to burn these carbohydrates, they’re useless to us. Oxygen provides the ‘energy’ by oxidising the carbohydrates.

MarkW
Reply to  Greg Bacon
November 3, 2022 4:00 pm

Are you going to argue that fertilizer isn’t plant food as well?

John_C
Reply to  MarkW
November 4, 2022 2:37 pm

Fertilizer is probably best thought of as nutritional supplements, adding appropriate minerals, compounds, and buffers to allow the plant best use of the CO2 and sunshine (as for us, meat and potatoes needs greens and fruits and grains for best utilization.)

Bob
November 3, 2022 11:56 am

This needs wide distribution to all major media outlets. Make a public report of any outlet that refuses to report it.

Olen
November 3, 2022 12:26 pm

The left is always talking about crimes against humanity! This looks like their crime by reducing CO2.

To be fair, the greens have never done anything right so maybe their mistakes are natural.

jeffery p
November 3, 2022 12:33 pm

That’s all fine and dandy, but it ain’t about CO2, carbon or the meaningless “carbon pollution.” It’s all about ending capitalism and creating a de facto world government.

November 3, 2022 1:54 pm

Regarding “research indicates plants begin to die at CO2 concentrations lower than 120 or 130 ppm”: What does this have to do with actual CO2 levels, which have their lowest dips during Pleistocene ice age glaciations about 180 PPM, and the debate about what to do has to do with how much above 280 PPM we should have?

MarkW
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
November 3, 2022 4:02 pm

Had man not graciously returned so much CO2 to the atmosphere, the next glacial phase could have pushed CO2 levels to levels low enough to start killing plants.

Clarky of Oz
November 3, 2022 3:29 pm

Patrick Moore and others have been putting this line for some time. Limestone, chalk, marble coal are all evidence of CO2 being removed from the atmosphere by living organisms.It is something I have have believed for many years since first year high school. The teacher there, after describing photosynthesis asked the class for opinions on where the wood for trees came from. From the soil or the air. I was the only one in class to identify CO2 in air as the source of the carbon for the wood. I must admit my thought process was not wholly scientific rather relying on the observation that the soil at the base of a tree is usually raised. If the carbon came from the soil, the tree would be sitting in a hole. Still when I first heard of the claim of CO2 being a problem, this memory came back to me. Everthing I have read since suggests I should follow scientists such as Patrick Moore, Will Happer and others before failed politicians, swedish schoolgirls and people who glue themselves to roads.

John
Reply to  Clarky of Oz
November 3, 2022 6:34 pm

the swedish girl is a drop out
she is an uneducated idiot

John Oliver
Reply to  Clarky of Oz
November 3, 2022 7:41 pm

I actually think thats some pretty brilliant common sense reasoning Clarky.You deserve more “+” s young man.

John
November 3, 2022 6:23 pm

in the plant age (cretaceous age) CO2 was suppose to be 7000ppm then along came those pesky shell fish and sucked it right down to 180ppm and then along came homosapien and added some to bring it up to 350ppm

guess what if I was writing a specification

Safe operating range 180 – 7000ppm

Oddgeir
November 4, 2022 11:46 am

“Consequently, any reduction in the CO2 content of the atmosphere will negatively impact the current state of nature, reducing not only the growth of plants, but other benefits brought about by higher CO2 concentrations,”

The article seems to be studying the leafes of a tree. When discussing forests, looking at leafes data is at best futile. Step back not to see the tree but the entire forest:

CO2 reduction is impossible. Were it possible, our CO2 sinks would release all as much CO2 to maintain the partial pressures vs the atmosphere for the prevailing temperature, be that from landfills, rotting plant, fertile soil or our oceans.

As the CO2 concentration in our oceans also to a minor degree depend on freshwater run-off (salinity), you will find that said concentration for the overwhelming part is given by…

Temperature. Which also regulates freshwater run-off.

Oddgeir

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
November 5, 2022 2:03 am

“…scientists think is possible if society utilized all of the currently-known fossil fuel reserves on the planet.”

This needs a qualification. It depends on how quickly the reserves on the planet can be accessed. The PhD thesis of Willem Nel (UJ, RSA) examined what fossil fuels are available, doubled that estimate, considered how quickly they can be accessed, and how much there is total extracted per year. He then mapped various things on a timeline to discover “peak oil”, peak uranium (way too soon), peak energy (2050) and peak coal (2070). He notes that the scary part is peak energy, not peak oil.

Anyway, he found that the rate at which fuel can be burned is limited by access restraints and the peak atmospheric concentration will be about 525 ppm, conditioned on the assumption that human emissions will continue to be drawn down by biomass growth in line with known response to an enhancement.

If the rise in concentration is actually natural, or mostly so, it might continue rising whether we burn anything or not.

On the upside, we suffer very little harm from rising CO2 and it is unlikely we will see a drop below 300 ppm within the next few centuries.

Because photosynthesis has a critical and sub-optimal step in its energy pathway, we could correct the misstep in all major food crops within a small number of years. Whatever happens, this is a day that shall not be followed by night.

The planet is not overcrowded, long term we are not going to run out of food, we will find new and unlimited sources of energy, but we will have to give up war and the extraordinary waste that is military spending. That is, if we are going to make through the next few decades. If peace cannot be permanently established CO2 will be about the least of our concerns.

kim
Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
November 5, 2022 9:58 am

I have long said that though there is a lot of energy in the universe, man will not ultimately use all of it.
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