In recent decades, select groups of scientists and politicians have blamed carbon dioxide (CO2) — a greenhouse gas — for increasing global temperatures to dangerous levels.
Is CO2 really destroying our planet?
CO2 is an odorless, invisible, trace gas in the atmosphere that acts as an important source of life for everything that lives on earth. In fact, plant and animal life on earth would be impossible without CO2.
CO2 is an integral part of the photosynthesis process. Plants synthesize CO2 and water to produce chemical energy that sustains the plant. Together with water and sunlight, CO2 acts as the elixir of life for the plant and animal kingdom.
Historical data suggest that increased CO2 concentrations have helped plant growth globally, enabling civilizations to increase their agricultural output drastically. Record food crop outputs in recent decades are due in significant part to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
Production of major crops like wheat, rice, maize, and soybeans increases with increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
After modern instrumental temperature records began, the past three decades were the warmest. Yet those were the same decades where plants registered their highest growth. Large-scale deforestation and occasional extreme weather events did not impede this record growth.
Zhu et al. captured relative change of leaf area index from 1982 to 2009 due to CO2 fertilization and found that most parts of the world recorded an increase in plant canopy by as much as 14 percent, primarily due to increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
Li et al. found that net primary production — the productivity of individual or groups of plants, increased by 21 percent globally between 1962 and 2010. The increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations was found to be the dominant factor for this extraordinary increase in plant growth.
How did CO2 — the elixir of life — turn out to be the evil gas of 21st century? [Continue reading at American Thinker.]