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Shock Finding - Plants Take CO2 From Air

Plants buy Earth more time as CO2 makes them grow - Times Online

TREES and plants are growing bigger and faster in response to the billions of tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by humans, scientists have found.

The increased growth has been discovered in a variety of flora, ranging from tropical rainforests to British sugar beet crops.

It means they are soaking up at least some of the CO2 that would otherwise be accelerating the rate of climate change. It also suggests the potential for higher crop yields.

Some researchers believe the phenomenon is strong enough to buy humanity some extra years in which to try to reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. However, few dispute that this will provide anything more than a temporary reprieve.

However, scientists have warned against drawing false comfort from such findings. They point out that although levels will boost plant growth, other factors asso-rising CO2 ciated (sic) with climate change, such as rising temperatures and drought, are likely to have a negative effect.

“On average, the trees were getting bigger faster,” Lewis said. He found that each hectare of African forest was trapping an extra 0.6 tons of CO2 a year compared with the 1960s.

If this is replicated across the world’s tropical rainforests they would be removing nearly 5 billion tons of CO2 a year from the atmosphere. Humans, however, generate about 50 billion tons of the gas each year.

I can't quite get those figures to work as there are only about 4 billion hectares of forest in the world. And 4 x 0.6 doesn't equal nearly five. But then forests release 1.1 Gt of carbon annually from their stocks anyway....

Comments

Well I never: plant-life has been starved of growth because of not enough of one of its three necessities: CO2, water and light/warmth. And CO2 is the limiting factor that applies everywhere.

Through recognising this, humankind will be saved from the risk of starvation. The world will be able to support a greater population without us having to go to war for land on which to grow food.

Sounds OK to me. In fact the more we burn coal and oil, the less we will starve. And perhaps we will be able to burn some of the extra vegetation for energy too (but only when we have enough maize to feed Mexico), to save us when the coal and oil run out. And without the inefficiency and ugliness of windmills and hectares of solar panels. All this extra vegetation might look quite pretty (and natural?) too.

So, overall, it seems as though 380ppm (let alone 280ppm) of CO2 is just not big enough to be the optimal amount for life on Earth. Thank goodness humankind is helping back off all that sequestration in carbon deposits, and without even realising the true benefit of their labour.

Studies must be done as to the optimum level for atmospheric CO2, in the light of this new information. Doubtless government intervention will be required: new taxes to save the world through dig, drill and burn.

Hooray for progress!

Best regards

"Humans, however, generate about 50 billion tons of the gas each year." ... Really? So despite the economic turn-down and high prices of oil and gas last year, there seems to have been a sudden almost doubling of emissions during 2008!

http://www.pbl.nl/en/publications/2008/GlobalCO2emissionsthrough2007.html

So they've rediscovered that plants take in Carbon Dioxide and in return release Oxygen. Next they'll rediscover that aquatic plants that live on or near the surface of water bodies take in CO2 and release Oxygen. Next they'll discover that the most potent "green house" effect atmospheric gas is not carbon dioxide, or methane, but water vapor. Of course that's kind of hard to cap and tax.

Plants use Carbon Dioxide to grow and grow better when there's more of it around.

Wow? Who knew?

Apparently not Al Gore.

Why don't these people talk to some real scientists?

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