A while back while surfing the web, I came across a video in which a man was explaining that a recent study showed that dry parts of the earth were getting measurably greener in the last several decade and this was supposedly due to the increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere. The video was over 30 minutes long, so I didn’t want to use it as part of a blog post. Then the other day at the great MotorCityTimes blog, Steve ran a post on the same subject. Steve included in his post this quote from Investors.Com:
Carbon dioxide concentrations in our atmosphere recently hit the 400 parts-per-million mark. So is all that CO2 scorching the planet? No. But it does seem to be making our deserts greener.
Listening to the global warming alarmists, one would think that man-made CO2 emissions are threatening the globe. But that’s speculation. Let’s deal in reality. And the reality, according to Australian research, is that in this era of higher carbon concentrations, plant life in dry regions has grown lush.
The greening of the deserts is due to the “fertilization effect” — the impact carbon dioxide has on plant life.
So, thanks to Steve my interest in this phenomena was rekindled and I did some more searching. I found this source quoting from the Australian Research Council and Land & Water Australia.
Thanks to satellites we know the world has “greened up” since 1980, but we were not sure how much of that was due to the fertilizing effect of CO2. To solve that, one group suggests we need to look in warm arid environments where water is the predominant limiting factor. These are the areas which ought to show whether CO2 was really helping plants grow, because when there is more CO2 it enables plants to use water more efficiently for photosynthesis. In places where there is already a lot of water, it won’t make as much difference. So Donohue et al. did that, studying regions with a low level of rainfall. They found that the fertilization effect is real and significant and that the cover in these arid zones increased 11% from 1982 – 2010 and CO2 played a significant role.
This article has a detailed explanation of the modeling technique used by the scientist and how they allowed for differentiating for rainfall effects and other climate variables. This is the summary paragraph:
“The effect of higher carbon dioxide levels on plant function is an important process that needs greater consideration,” said Donohue. “Even if nothing else in the climate changes as global CO2 levels rise, we will still see significant environmental changes because of the CO2 fertilization effect.”
So, although CO2 concentrations have been increasing and have recently reached the threshold of 400 ppm, those claiming all kinds of calamities because of projected global warming due to the increased levels of carbon dioxide have some explaining to do since it is now known that so-called global warming stopped 16 years ago while CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere continued to increase.
Isn’t it ironic that the so-called “green house gas” is doing what green houses do: create an environment to make plants grow!
I also found an interesting article at Skeptical Science. There have been other eras in the earth’s history when CO2 levels were much higher than they are today. You would expect, if you believe the proponents of global warming that the earth heated up then too, right? Look at this:
CO2 was higher in the past
“The killer proof that CO2 does not drive climate is to be found during the Ordovician- Silurian and the Jurassic-Cretaceous periods when CO2 levels were greater than 4000ppmv (parts per million by volume) and about 2000 ppmv respectively. If the IPCC theory is correct there should have been runaway greenhouse induced global warming during these periods but instead there was glaciation.”
(The Lavoisier Group)
You will note that I put question marks in the title of today’s post. I did that because unlike our liberal friends and environmental extremist, I do not want to claim that the science is “settled”. Climate change is real. The earth’s climate has been changing ever since the earth was a fiery ball that became trapped by the sun’s gravitational field. So, wouldn’t it be nice if we were to apply some real science to climate change instead of “political science“.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?