NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 11, 2008

A study on the impact of rising CO2 levels finds a future world of thriving agriculture and lush vegetation, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).  Carbon dioxide, the gas some see as a threat, is the basis of all plant, and therefore all animal, life on Earth.

Researchers at the Johann Heinrich von Thunen Institute in Germany trained CO2 jets on plants, raising CO2 concentrations in the air around them to 550 parts per million (ppm), significantly higher than today's levels.  According to the researchers:

  • The rise in carbon dioxide levels appears to boost crop yields and may be a boon to plant life on Earth.
  • For barley, wheat, and beets, output increased by about 10 percent when exposed to the higher levels of CO2.

That the Earth is getting greener due to higher CO2 levels was confirmed recently by satellite data analyzed by NASA scientists.  They found that over a period of almost two decades, the earth's vegetation increased by a whopping 6.2 percent.

As atmospheric CO2 levels consistently have been increasing, global mean temperatures have not kept pace, says IBD.  Warming has not been constant -- it has been interrupted periodically by global cooling, and seems to have stopped entirely in 1998.  These are not the kind of temperature fluctuations you'd expect in the face of steadily increasing CO2 emissions, if CO2 was the main culprit.

Source: "G-8, CO2 And The Garden Of Eden," Investor's Business Daily, July 9, 2008.


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