Rising CO2 a Boon for Biosphere – Earth in ‘CO2 Famine’ – Cutting CO2 ‘a profoundly evil act’ – Climate Depot Fact Sheet on CO2


By: - Climate DepotAugust 10, 2009 7:47 AM

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Climate Depot’s CO2 Fact Sheet (for additional updates on the CO2 see new articles tagged CO2)

Prominent Scientist Tells Congress: Earth in ‘CO2 Famine’ – Feb. 25, 2009

Excerpt: ‘The increase of CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind’ : Washington, DC — Award-winning Princeton University Physicist Dr. Will Happer declared man-made global warming fears “mistaken” and noted that the Earth was currently in a “CO2 famine now.” Happer, who has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, made his remarks during today’s Environment and Public Works Full Committee Hearing. “Many people don’t realize that over geological time, we’re really in a CO2 famine now. Almost never has CO2 levels been as low as it has been in the Holocene (geologic epoch) – 280 (parts per million – ppm) – that’s unheard of. Most of the time [CO2 levels] have been at least 1000 (ppm) and it’s been quite higher than that,” Happer told the Senate Committee. To read Happer’s complete opening statement click here: “Earth was just fine in those times,” Happer added. “The oceans were fine, plants grew, animals grew fine. So it’s baffling to me that we’re so frightened of getting nowhere close to where we started,” Happer explained. Happer also noted that “the number of [skeptical scientists] with the courage to speak out is growing” and he warned “children should not be force-fed propaganda, masquerading as science.” [In December, Happer requested to be added to the groundbreaking U.S. Senate Minority Report Update: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims ] Happer was pressed by the Committee on whether rising CO2 fears are valid. “I don’t think the laws of nature or physics and chemistry has changed in 80 million years. 80 million years ago the Earth was a very prosperous palace and there is no reason to suddenly think it will become bad now,” Happer added. Happer is a professor in the Department of Physics at Princeton University and former Director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy from 1990 to 1993, has published over 200 scientific papers, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Sciences. “I believe that the increase of CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind,” Happer told the Committee. “What about the frightening consequences of increasing levels of CO2 that we keep hearing about? In a word, they are wildly exaggerated, just as the purported benefits of prohibition were wildly exaggerated,” he explained.

2008: In praise of CO2: Earth ‘is the greenest it’s been in decades, perhaps in centuries’

Excerpt: Earths’ Biosphere is Booming, Satellite Data Suggests CO2 the Cause – Financial Post, June 07, 2008

Planet Earth is on a roll! GPP is way up. NPP is way up. To the surprise of those who have been bearish on the planet, the data shows global production has been steadily climbing to record levels, ones not seen since these measurements began. GPP is Gross Primary Production, a measure of the daily output of the global biosphere –the amount of new plant matter on land. NPP is Net Primary Production, an annual tally of the globe’s production. Biomass is booming. The planet is the greenest it’s been in decades, perhaps in centuries. [...] The results surprised Steven Running of the University of Montana and Ramakrishna Nemani of NASA, scientists involved in analyzing the NASA satellite data. They found that over a period of almost two decades, the Earth as a whole became more bountiful by a whopping 6.2%. About 25% of the Earth’s vegetated landmass — almost 110 million square kilometres — enjoyed significant increases and only 7% showed significant declines. When the satellite data zooms in, it finds that each square metre of land, on average, now produces almost 500 grams of greenery per year. Why the increase? Their 2004 study, and other more recent ones, point to the warming of the planet and the presence of CO2, a gas indispensable to plant life. CO2 is nature’s fertilizer, bathing the biota with its life-giving nutrients. Plants take the carbon from CO2 to bulk themselves up — carbon is the building block of life — and release the oxygen, which along with the plants, then sustain animal life. As summarized in a report last month, released along with a petition signed by 32,000 U. S. scientists who vouched for the benefits of CO2: “Higher CO2 enables plants to grow faster and larger and to live in drier climates. Plants provide food for animals, which are thereby also enhanced. The extent and diversity of plant and animal life have both increased substantially during the past half-century.”

Higher Carbon Dioxide May Give Pine Trees A Competitive Edge

Excerpt: ScienceDaily (Aug. 4, 2009) — Pine trees grown for 12 years in air one-and-a-half times richer in carbon dioxide than today’s levels produced twice as many seeds of at least as good a quality as those growing under normal conditions, a Duke University-led research team reported Aug. 3 at a national ecology conference. Carbon dioxide readings that high are expected everywhere by mid-century. The findings suggest some woody tree species could, in the future, out-compete grasses and other herbaceous plants that scientists had previously found can also produce more seeds under high-CO2, but of inferior quality.

CO2 is ‘Plant Food’: Skeptical Physicist Declares ‘those who want to reduce use of fossil fuels are mortal enemies of the biosphere’ — ‘This is a profoundly evil act’ – August 5, 2009

Dr. Frank J. Tipler is Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University. He is the co-author of The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford University Press)

Excerpt: As the Senate considers the fate of the cap-and-trade bill, we should consider what it means for more carbon dioxide to be added to the atmosphere, something the bill intends to prevent. Carbon dioxide is first and foremost a plant food. In fact, plants take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use the energy from sunlight to combine the CO2 with water to yield glucose, the simplest sugar molecule. Carbon dioxide is also the source of all organic — this word just means “contains carbon” — molecules synthesized by plants. Without carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, there would be no organic molecules synthesized by plants. The less carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere, the fewer organic molecules synthesized by plants. All animals depend on plants to synthesize essential organic molecules. Without the organic molecules synthesized by plants, the animal world could not exist. Without plants, there would be no biosphere. Several million years ago, a disaster struck the terrestrial biosphere: there was a drastic reduction in the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere. The flowering plants evolved to be most efficient when the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere was about 1,000 parts per million. But the percentage had dropped to a mere 200 parts per million. Plants tried to adapt by evolving a new, more efficient way of using the little remaining CO2. The new mechanism, the C4 pathway, appeared in grasses, including corn and wheat, which enabled these plants to expand into the plains. If the carbon dioxide percentage had stayed low — or worse, had decreased further — the entire biosphere would have been endangered. Fortunately for the plants and the rest of the biosphere depending on them, a wonderful thing happened about 150,000 years ago: a new animal species, Homo sapiens, evolved. This creature was endowed with a huge brain, enabling it to invent a way to help the plants with their CO2 problem. Gigantic amounts of carbon had been deposited deep underground in the form of coal, oil, and natural gas. Not only were these reservoirs of carbon locked away in rock, but they were in forms of carbon that the plants could not use. [...] Due to the diligent plant-saving efforts of the humans, the CO2 atmospheric percentage is now at nearly 390 parts per million. Were humans to continue in their biosphere-rescuing efforts at the present rate, the CO2 level will be returned to normal in a mere few hundred years. The cap-and-trade bill is designed to stop this effort to save the biosphere. This is a profoundly evil act. [...] Those who want to reduce the use of fossil fuels are the mortal enemies of the biosphere. They must be stopped at all costs! Write your senator at once!

‘Crop yields could jump by up to 20%’ with rising CO2 – March 6, 2009

Excerpt: “Research carried out by the Department of Primary Industries in Victoria has shown that wheat crop yields could jump by up to 20 per cent under global warming. The trial pumped more carbon dioxide into the air around the wheat, to the level that’s expected in 2050. Glenn Fitzgerald, from the DPI, says that it’s not all good news though. “The caveat there is that that assumes sufficient water and nitrogen,” he says. “We’re looking at basically how the fertilisation effect of C02 can offset some of the reductions in water that we know [NOT!] are coming.”” “Wheat crop produces more in climate change test

Study: Biodiversity boomed during global warming — teeming with plants and animals – August 7, 2009

Excerpt: A global warming span from 53 million to 47 million years ago strongly influenced the biodiversity of western North America, geologists said. The warming spurred a biodiversity boom of plants and animals, the researchers reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Today, the middle of Wyoming is a vast desert, and a few antelope and deer are all you see,” geologist Michael Woodburne, of the Museum of Northern Arizona, said. Fifty million years ago, however, when temperatures were at their highest, that area of Wyoming was a tropical rain forestteeming with lemur-like primates, small horses, forest rodents and other mammals, Woodburne said. “In fact, there were more species of mammals living in the western part of North America at that time than at any other time,” he said. Woodburne’s research into global warming was aided by Gregg Gunnell of the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology and Richard Stucky of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Shock: National Geographic’s Moment of Clarity: ‘Emerging evidence’ reveals ‘rising temps could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent’ – Sahara Desert Greening Due to Global Warming? – July 31, 2009

Excerpt: Desertification, drought, and despair—that’s what global warming has in store for much of Africa. Or so we hear. Emerging evidence is painting a very different scenario, one in which rising temperatures could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent. “Camel Contest” in National Geographic Magazine Ancient Cemetery Found; Brings “Green Sahara” to Life Exodus From Drying Sahara Gave Rise to Pharaohs, Study Says Scientists are now seeing signals that the Sahara desert and surrounding regions are greening due to increasing rainfall. If sustained, these rains could revitalize drought-ravaged regions, reclaiming them for farming communities. This desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago. [...] The green shoots of recovery are showing up on satellite images of regions including the Sahel, a semi-desert zone bordering the Sahara to the south that stretches some 2,400 miles (3,860 kilometers). Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences.

Oops! UN IPCC Wrong Again: Deserts Getting Greener: ‘It has been assumed that global warming would cause an expansion of the world’s deserts’ – July 16, 2009

Excerpt: It has been assumed that global warming would cause an expansion of the world’s deserts, but now some scientists are predicting a contrary scenario in which water and life slowly reclaim these arid places. They think vast, dry regions like the Sahara might soon begin shrinking. [...]The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned recently that rising global temperatures could cut West African agricultural production by up to 50% by the year 2020. But satellite images from the last 15 years do seem to show a recovery of vegetation in the Southern Sahara, although the Sahel Belt, the semi-arid tropical savannah to the south of the desert, remains fragile. The fragility of the Sahel may have been exacerbated by the cutting of trees, poor land management and subsequent erosion of soil.

Study: ‘Long-term (100 year) rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is not from anthropogenic sources’ – April 1, 2009

Atmospheric Residence Time of Man-Made CO2: Potential Dependence of Global Warming on the Residence Time (RT) in the Atmosphere of Anthropogenically Sourced Carbon Dioxide – Robert H. Essenhigh – Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210 – Energy Fuels, 2009, 23 (5), pp 2773–2784 – DOI: 10.1021/ef800581r – Publication Date (Web): April 1, 2009 – Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society

Excerpt: With the short (5−15 year) RT results shown to be in quasi-equilibrium, this then supports the (independently based) conclusion that the long-term (100 year) rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is not from anthropogenic sources but, in accordance with conclusions from other studies, is most likely the outcome of the rising atmospheric temperature, which is due to other natural factors. This further supports the conclusion that global warming is not anthropogenically driven as an outcome of combustion. The economic and political significance of that conclusion will be self-evident.

New Study: Most of rising CO2 level is not man-made – August 5, 2009

By Tom V. Segalstad, Associate Professor of Resource and Environmental Geology, The University of Oslo, Norway

Excerpt: The rising concentration of atmospheric CO2 in the last century is not consistent with supply from anthropogenic sources. Such anthropogenic sources account for less than 5% of the present atmosphere, compared to the major input/output from natural sources (~95%). Hence, anthropogenic CO2 is too small to be a significant or relevant factor in the global warming process, particularly when comparing with the far more potent greenhouse gas water vapor. The rising atmospheric CO2 is the outcome of rising temperature rather than vice versa. Correspondingly, Dr. Essenhigh concludes that the politically driven target of capture and sequestration of carbon from combustion sources would be a major and pointless waste of physical and financial resources.

Climatologist Dissents: ‘Greenhouse effect phenomenon is not a result of human emissions’ – ‘I am ashamed of what climate science has become today’ – April 2009

Hans Jelbring, Ph.D Climatology, Stockholm University, M.Sc, Royal Institute of Technology

Excerpt: Basic scientific principles demonstrate that the overall GE phenomenon is not a result of human emissions of “greenhouse gases”.