Saturday, 17 August 2013

Carbon dioxide: The “gas of life” helps Giant Sequoias grow.

Tiny amounts of this miracle molecule make life on Earth possible

CO2: a colourless miracle molecule for plants.
By Paul Driessen (from the Canadian Free Press)

It’s amazing that minuscule bacteria can cause life threatening diseases and infections – and miraculous that tiny doses of vaccines and antibiotics can safeguard us against these deadly scourges. It is equally incredible that, at the planetary level, carbon dioxide is a miracle molecule for plants – and the “gas of life” for most living creatures on Earth. 
In units of volume, CO2’s concentration is typically presented as 400 parts per million (400 ppm). Translated, that’s just 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere – the equivalent of 40 cents out of one thousand dollars, or 1.4 inches on a football field. Even atmospheric argon is 23 times more abundant: 9,300 ppm. Moreover, the400 ppm in 2013 is 120 ppm more than the 280 ppm carbon dioxide level of 1800, and that two-century increase is equivalent to a mere 12 cents out of $1,000, or one half-inch on a football field.

Eliminate carbon dioxide, and terrestrial plants would die, as would lake and ocean phytoplankton, grasses, kelp and other water plants. After that, animal and human life would disappear. Even reducing CO2 levels too much – back to pre-industrial levels, for example – would have terrible consequences. 

Over the past two centuries, our planet finally began to emerge from the Little Ice Age that had cooled the Earth and driven Viking settlers out of Greenland. Warming oceans slowly released some of the carbon dioxide stored in their waters. Industrial Revolution factories and growing human populations burned more wood and fossil fuels, baked more bread, and brewed more beer, adding still more CO2 to the atmosphere. Much more of the miracle molecule came from volcanoes and subsea vents, forest fires, biofuel use, decaying plants and animals, and “exhaust” from living, breathing animals and humans.

What a difference that extra 120 ppm has made for plants, and for animals and humans that depend on them. The more carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere, the more it is absorbed by plants of every description – and the faster and better they grow, even under adverse conditions like limited water, extremely hot air temperatures, or infestations of insects, weeds and other pests. As trees, grasses, algae and crops grow more rapidly and become healthier and more robust, animals and humans enjoy better nutrition on a planet that is greener and greener.

Read more at the Canadian Free Press (link)

However, some alarmists scientists refuse to admit that the increased atmospheric CO2 is causing the biomass to grow faster and better.

Look how the L A Times treats a story about 
California coast redwoods that are growing at the fastest rate ever: (link)

Climate change may be speeding coast redwood, giant sequoia growth

Scientists find that since the 1970s, some California coast redwoods have grown at the fastest rate ever.

Finally, some good news about the effects of climate change. It may have triggered a growth spurt in two of California's iconic tree species: coast redwoods and giant sequoias.
Since the 1970s, some coast redwoods have grown at the fastest rate ever, according to scientists who studied corings from trees more than 1,000 years old.
"That's a wonderful, happy surprise for us," said Emily Burns, science director at the Save the Redwoods League, which is collaborating on a long-term study with university researchers on the effect of climate change on redwoods, the world's tallest trees, and giant sequoias, the largest living things by total mass.
"The forests are not experiencing detrimental impacts of climate change," Burns said.

By Climate change, does Ms Burns mean the falsified hoax of man-made global warming?
Humboldt State forestry professor Stephen Sillett, one of the researchers, said a variety of factors besides climate change could explain the increased growth rates.
Could professor Sillet be referring to the increasing atmospheric CO2?
Whoops, no! He is referring to the rising temperatures, (Isn't that part of the CAGW scare?)  Is professor Sillet unaware that temperatures have plateaued for at least 17 years?
Sillett said old giant sequoias could be growing faster because rising temperatures have lengthened the growing season in the Sierra Nevada.
And Ms Burns theory?
The redwoods could be getting more sun as a result of reduced fog related to climate change, Burns said, while still getting the precipitation they need.
But Sillett, who has done pioneering research on the complex biological community in the high redwood canopy, said it may be that a reduction in North Coast air pollution from wood processing plants has increased light in redwood stands, aiding growth. 
Another possibility, he added, is that by reducing wildfire damage, a century of fire suppression in forests has enabled redwoods to devote more energy to trunk growth.
Anything but admit the truth? The CAGW hypothesis has been falsified and increased atmospheric CO2 increases biomass.

More from Paul Driessen (from the Canadian Free Press)

Increased CO2 levels in greenhouses dramatically improve plant growth

Increased CO2 levels in greenhouses dramatically improve plant growth, especially when temperatures are also elevated; rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have likewise had astounding positive impacts on outdoor plant growth and survival. Lentils and other legumes grown in hothouses with 700 ppm CO2 improved their total biomass by 91%, their edible parts yield by 150 % and their fodder yield by 67%, compared to similar crops grown at 370 ppm carbon dioxide, Indian researchers found.

Rice grown at 600 ppm CO2 increased its grain yield by 28% with low applications of nitrogen fertilizer, Chinese scientists calculated. U.S. researchers discovered that sugarcane grown in sunlit greenhouses at 720 ppm CO2 and 11 degrees F (6 degrees C) higher than outside ambient air produced stem juice an amazing 124% higher in volume than sugarcane grown at ambient temperature and 360 ppm carbon dioxide. Non-food crops like cotton also fare much better when carbon dioxide levels are higher.

Research into natural forest and crop growth during recent periods of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, between 1900 and 2010, found significant improvements under “real-world” conditions, as well.

An analysis of Scots pines in Catalonia, Spain showed that tree diameter and cross-sectional area expanded by 84% between 1900 and 2000, in response to rising CO2 levels. The growth of young Wisconsin trees increased by 60%, and tree ring width expanded by almost 53%, as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increased from 316 ppm in 1958 to 376 ppm in 2003, researchers calculated.

University of Minnesota scientists compared the growth of trees and other plants during the first half of the twentieth century (which included the terrible Dust Bowl years), when CO2 levels rose only 10 ppm – to the period 1950-2000, when CO2 increased by 57 ppm. They found that carbon dioxide lowered plant sensitivity to severe drought and improved their survival rates by almost 50%. Swiss researchers concluded that, because of rising carbon dioxide levels, “alpine plant life is proliferating, biodiversity is on the rise, and the mountain world appears more productive and inviting than ever.”