Climate Change has become a hot topic. The Stern Report, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, and more recently the IPCC Report (Climate Change 2007: Impacts,Adaptation and Vulnerability [read the summary here]), have all helped to establish Global Warming high on most political agendas.
Yet, there are still sceptics. Some have claimed that increases in CO2 levels will only lead to better plant growth. After all, plants require CO2, so why wouldn’t more be better?
According to scientists in the US:
“If we maintain our current course of fossil fuel emissions or accelerate our emissions, the land and oceans will not be able to slow the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the way they’re doing now,” said Inez Y. Fung at the University of California, Berkeley, who is director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center, co-director of the new Berkeley Institute of the Environment, and professor of earth and planetary science and of environmental science, policy and management.
“Plants are happy growing at a certain rate, and though they can accelerate to a certain extent with more CO2, the rate is limited by metabolic reactions in the plant, by water and nutrient availability, et cetera.”
“In addition, increasing temperatures and drought frequencies lower plant uptake of CO2 as plants breathe in less to conserve water.”
With CO2, as with food, there is a limit to how much that can be absorbed. But whilst global climate change is relatively slow, there will always be those that doubt. Are we all frogs in the saucepan –as things warm up will be act in time?