Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will create a greener world and prevent the worst parts of global warming, according to a new scientific study.
Researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine found plants use water more efficiently when exposed to higher concentrations of CO2, meaning any droughts caused by global warming would be much less severe than previous estimates.
“This is something that everybody who has studied plant physiology and CO2 has known for decades” Dr. Pat Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the libertarian Cato Institute who was not involved with the study, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Millions of years ago plants there was a lot more CO2 on Earth than there is today,” he said. “Plants grown in high CO2 levels change their optimal temperature for conducting photosynthesis, they’re pre-adapted to a much warmer world with much more CO2 in the air.”
Research suggests more CO2 increases plant growth, which would limit the impact of global warming. High CO2 levels cause plant life to thrive, particularly in arid regions where carbon emissions are literally causing deserts to bloom.
The UCI study suggests rising CO2 emissions will not cause global agriculture to collpase and could even boost agricultural yields. The National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy funded the UCI study.
“Take a look at crop yields, not just in the United States, but around the world,” Michaels said. “One reason for these increasing yields is simply that there’s more CO2 in the air.”
Previous studies suggest global warming is causing roughly half of Earth’s land-mass to demonstrate “significant greening,” and only 4 percent of the world saw a decrease in plant life. The increased vegetation growth caused by warmer temperatures is likely slowing global warming as well, since more trees and plants equates to more sequestered CO2.
“The world of 100 million years ago which was much warmer and drought prone than the world we live in today was a much greener world than the one we live in today,” Michaels told TheDCNF. “If you put more CO2 in the air you create a greener world and the evidence supporting this is compelling. It is obvious that the Earth is greening up. There are literally thousands of studies in the refereed literature showing this.”
Several recent studies rebuke previous claims that global warming could cause the total collapse of American and global agriculture. It is the latest scientific study to show that nature is considerably more resilient to global warming than scientists suspected and even United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now believes that the evidence linking global warming to extinctions is sparse.
Other research authored by a research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Davis has also used climate and agricultural computer models to conclude that global warming have a generally positive impact on U.S. farming including fewer frosts, longer growing seasons and an earlier start of ﬁeld operations by the end of the century. The study also found, however, that plants could potentially suffer from more heat stress and more dry days.
Despite this growing consensus, environmental groups still believe that plants and animals aren’t capable of adapting to changing temperatures, leading to mass extinctions and agricultural disruptions attributed to global warming.
“One-fourth of the Earth’s species could be headed for extinction by 2050 due to climate change,” The Nature Conservancy claims. “Rising temperatures are changing weather and vegetation patterns across the globe, forcing animal species to migrate to new, cooler areas in order to survive.”
Scientists suspect that global warming will likely have many positive environmental impacts such as helping Canadian trees recover from a devastating insect infestation, creating more food for fish in the ocean, making life easier for Alaskan moose, improving the environment better for bees and literally causing deserts to bloom with foliage.
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