Sunday, 7 June 2009

It's Climate Crock time again

Climate denialists, when they're in full flood trying to mislead people, often claim that CO2 is a plant food and they encourage their gullible audience to join up what seem like the common-sense dots like this - if CO2 is a plant food then more of it will act like fertiliser and we'll get more crops and bigger trees which by themselves will suck up any excess. No problem - stupid climate scientists!

Of course, like some of the most effective, twisted propaganda, there is a fair amount of truth behind this claim - increased CO2 does indeed increase crop yield but only if the other nutrients and growing conditions are suitably balanced - if they are not, then increased CO2 is bad for plant growth. In the controlled conditions of a greenhouse, it can increase yields but, on the contrary, in the uncontrolled outside world the climate changes that increased CO2 will, and are, causing will alter growing conditions so much that global food supplies are highly likely to be very compromised.

Furthermore, I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that increased acidification of sea water due to increasing levels of CO2, which is happening now, will not prove to be a major problem for plankton and thereby the entire ocean food chain, which may end up going for a Burton... Here's a link to an article from the Telegraph last week, headlined

CO2 levels may cause underwater catastrophe

Just imagine - the famous "seafood diet" joke - if I see food, I eat it - may end up meaning little in a few decades when people ask "what was sea food, Daddy?"...

Here's the latest Climate Crock of the Week video demolishing the propaganda about CO2 as plant food.



Anonymous said...

The other key factor in this point about CO2 and plant growth is that plants also need water. The expected impacts on rainfall and drought will severaly limit green growth in many parts of the world.

Nick Palmer said...

Changes in rainfall, both amount (inches) and the pattern of seasonal variations will be a big problem.

It's amazing what some people try to prove by just looking at one aspect of a situation - did no-one ever tell them the story of the three blind men trying to guess what was in front of them by feeling various bits of the elephant's anatomy?