Posts Tagged 'CO2'

CO2 Enrichment and Plant Nutrition

It was noted in previous posts that for crops with C3 photosynthetic pathway the current levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are limiting to plant growth. Crops are currently starved of CO2 in a similar way to being starved of water, nitrogen, phosphorus, light etc. Current atmospheric levels of CO2 can thus be regarded as a plant stress, which weakens them and makes them inefficient. At higher levels of CO2 this stress is reduced, and the plant copes better with all other types of stress, including heat and cold, atmospheric pollution, root pathogens, as well as shortages of water, minerals etc.

Sylvan Wittwer (Professor emeritus at Michigan State University, who directed the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station for 20 years and chaired the Board on Agriculture of the National Research Council) has remarked:

There has been and still remains, a great reluctance on the part of many climatologists and ecologists, and especially environmentalists, to accept the concept that the rising level of atmospheric CO2 could be more beneficial than harmful for plant growth, food production, and the overall biosphere…Yet the scientific evidence is overwhelming.

Summary data from 279 published studies is shown below in which plants of all types were grown under paired stress (red) and unstressed (blue) conditions. For resource-limited plants the benefits of increased CO2 are astounding.

ResourceLimited

Wittwer points out that of the hundreds of scientific reports documenting the benefits, Al Gore carefully selected five reports and a personal communication to emphasize possible negative aspects to enhanced CO2 on plants. Gore knew what he was doing, of course – he either deliberately rejected the facts, or gave instructions to researchers for his book only to cherry pick papers that support his alarmist agenda. Again we see him as a lying propagandist.

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Missing Fingerprints

According to the climate models used by the IPCC and other climate alarmists, the mid-troposphere should be rapidly warming if increasing CO2 is a forcing for warming. If this warming does not occur roughly as predicted then the climate models are proved to be worse than useless. The ‘fingerprint’ evidence of anthropogenic warming due to increasing CO2 is predicted to be a pronounced ‘hotspot’ in the troposphere between latitudes 30N and 30S (which comprises exactly half the surface of the earth) at a height of around 10km (cruising altitude for jet planes), see below for expected change during the 20th century from the latest IPCC report. Obviously, if anthropogenic global warming is going to ‘take off’ this century, then this hotspot will be considerably more pronounced in the 21st century. The models used by the IPCC predict warming of the troposphere some 12 km high at the rate of 4-5 degrees per century for this century. This hotspot is absolutely essential if the climate models have any validity at all.

Fingerprint

Other climate models predict the same thing: here are four others (showing effect of doubling of CO2). Note that all predict a pronounced tropospheric ‘hotspot’ 10km up and between the tropics.

FourModels

However, this hotspot has never been found – if it had been, we would certainly have heard about it, shouted from the rooftops by the climate alarmists. This missing fingerprint that they are peculiarly silent about (for obvious reasons) invalidates their models. It shows their models and their whole hypotheses to be trash. Below are the actual measured anomalies, and it is evident that not the slightest hotspot can be found.

AbsentFingerprint

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Growth of Crops, Weeds, CO2 and Lies

The USA has its own Climate Change propaganda. The latest is Obama’s first big scientific report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, signed off by Obama’s appointed President’s Science Advisor, John Holdren, the neo-Malthusian who has espoused forcible sterilization and abortion for reducing the US population. As expected, it’s a classic but crude piece of propaganda peppered with images that are designed to scare, but which are unrelated to the matter under consideration – for example pictures of floods from Hurricane Katrina, which has nothing whatsoever to do with climate change, but which was merely the result of a hurricane making landfall directly on New Orleans. The Space and Science Research Center in Florida put out a press release on July 13 with a call for Holdren and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenko to be removed from office because

These two individuals and other agency heads orchestrated and then signed off on the recently released government report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. This report was a piece of blatant, politically motivated bad science and pure propaganda…

And in a letter to Senator Boxer, the SSRC opine that it is

an international embarrassment of American scientific expertise and is so full of misleading data, false assumptions, and invalid conclusions that it simply cannot be relied upon as a policy making reference.

The report cites 569 references, but how many readers are going to go to the trouble of looking any of them up to discover that they don’t support the position of the text, or have been so selectively quoted that they are relied on to say the opposite to what was meant?

Unscientific

We can’t deal with the whole report, so we will mention one example from the chapter on agriculture (PDF here) as we have been considering the effects of elevated CO2 on plants. This example will demonstrate the lying propaganda, and the disregard and crafty twisting of the evidence; and this example is typical of the whole report, which is a compendium of lies.

The poster boy of the agricultural section of the report is the following image, which also appears on the associated website. The report text states

The most widely used herbicide in the United States, glyphosate (RoundUp®), loses its efficacy on weeds grown at carbon dioxide levels that are projected to occur in the coming decades (see photos below).
Higher concentrations of the chemical and more frequent spraying thus will be needed, increasing economic and environmental costs associated with chemical use.

HerbicideEffectiveness

What this is supposed to show is that as CO2 increases, the effectiveness of a common herbicide decreases. Notice anything strange? The experiment is completely unrepresentative of an agricultural situation since it is evident from the picture that there are no crops present. Well, who sows and grows fields of weeds, and who wastes time and money spraying weeds with herbicide where there are no crops growing? Who cares about weeds where crops aren’t grown? No-one.

Don’t be deceived. What the picture actually shows is that weeds, like all plants, thrive under elevated CO2, can better utilize available resources, and can overcome stresses better (in this case, the application of herbicide, which is an extreme stress). This is expected, and we pointed this out in previous posts (World Food Supplies and Carbon Emissions, and Photosynthesis and CO2 Enrichment). The picture says nothing whatsoever about what would happen to the weeds under herbicide stress when they have to compete for the same resources (water, nutrients, light, CO2 etc) as herbicide-resistant crops growing in the same patch. What we find in the real world (as we will demonstrate below) is that in a competitive environment (which is the only real-world agricultural scenario worth considering) the fertilizing effects of enhanced CO2 on crops far outweigh any slight mitigation of herbicide stress on weeds. The result is that in elevated CO2 environments, crop yield is far higher for a given application of herbicide, or alternatively for a given crop yield the herbicide requirement is considerably reduced. Thus the report is lying, the scientists who compiled it are lying, and they know very well that they are lying. The trouble is, we’re not supposed to be informed well enough to know it. We will now prove it.

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Death by Eco-Fascism

Our beautiful world is being vandalized by eco-fascists and those with very dangerous motives. This CO2/climate change scam is the propaganda cover for massive social change, and it is utterly shameful that scientists are prepared to prostitute themselves to this new religion.

FirstChurch

As the renowned climatologist R.A. Pielke Sr, (Senior Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado in Boulder, and Professor Emeritus of the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins) has declared about the scientists behind the latest UK government climate report UKCP09:

The scientists who present the viewpoint of skillful multi-decadal regional predictions to policymakers are deliberately and dishonestly misinforming the public and policymakers.

Why the deliberate disinformation campaign? Digging into a recent study How to get climate policy back on course by the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society at the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Mackinder Programme makes chilling reading in the light of 20th century history:

…climate policy has come to serve many other political and social functions beyond its declared formal objective. Thus, undeclared political, religious, ethical and wider lifestyle and social purposes are being fulfilled…

Because climate policy performs so many other sorts of political, religious and psychological work, it has tremendous momentum within it.

…current conventional wisdom [for reducing CO2]…is grounded upon policies that have not worked in the past and which we know never to have been politically feasible except through the application of unacceptable political forces.

So, there are policies that will not achieve their objectives (the presently declared ones that we are supposed to be suckers for) and then there are policies that will achieve their ends through use of totalitarian force. Fascism pretends to allow private ownership, but controls everything to serve statist agendas, and ultimately morphs into a brand of socialism – not for nothing were German fascists known as ‘Nazis’, short for Nationalsozialisten.  Hitler said in 1927, “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system”, and in 1931 declared, “…every owner should feel himself to be an agent of the State… The Third Reich will always retain the right to control property owners.”

The fascist method is to get the population hooked on the ends (e.g CO2 reductions) and actually lobbying the government to take action, and when the merely unpalatable policies are seen to be largely ineffective, the populace will then accept the unthinkable. Thus in Nazi Germany – get the population to buy in to the aim of Aryan purity, and when it cannot be achieved by mild social engineering, the population will eventually accept mass sterilization, euthanasia, confiscation, war and genocide.

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Photosynthesis and CO2 Enrichment

The benefits of increased atmospheric CO2 on crops are so extensive that a long article or book needs to be written to do justice to the subject and to the results of thousands of research trials. The improvement in photosynthesis efficiency at higher CO2 levels does not tell the whole story, but it is a good place to start, since all plant growth relies on this process.

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants utilize visible light energy (e.g. sunlight) to convert aerial CO2 and water (from roots) into plant matter. This process also requires phosphorus and nitrogen.

There are three photosynthesis ‘pathways’, known as C3, C4 and CAM. CAM is unimportant for food crops, being the method used by cacti, succulents and agaves. Pineapple is the only food crop of any importance to use CAM, so CAM can be neglected for the present purposes. World food security depends on C3 and C4 photosynthesis.

Less than 1% of all plant species in the world use the C4 photosynthesis pathway. Of the 86 plant species that supply most of the world’s food, only five use the C4 photosynthetic pathway, of which only four are of much importance (corn [=maize], sorghum, millet, and sugarcane) yet these four constitute some 20% of all the food crops grown. Because of their high photosynthetic efficiency, the C4 crops corn and sugarcane are favoured for ethanol production by those who want to produce liquid biofuels rather than food, thus increasing food prices and poverty.

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Toxic Seawater Fraud

[Note: some understanding of chemistry (approximately A-Level) is necessary to understand this post, and it will be helpful to read the background in the previous post Ocean Acidification Scam.]

The theory behind the ‘toxic ocean acidification’ scam proceeds like this: as the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, the concentration in the oceans also increases due to dissolution [true – all other things being equal]. CO2 dissolved in water reacts with water to form carbonic acid, making the seas acidic [a half truth – they become very slightly less basic]. This acidity dissolves the shells of marine life causing mass extinction [an utter falsehood].

As a matter of fact, seawater is alkaline and basic. Dissolving the carbon dioxide from all the world’s known fossil fuel reserves would never make the sea acidic. The climate alarmists coined the phrase “ocean acidification” to make it sound alarming, whereas the process is actually what is known as neutralization. The term ‘acidification’ of course sounds more scary than talking about the oceans becoming slightly less basic or a little more neutral.

To put this into perspective, the pH of seawater is, on average, around pH 8.2. Pure water is pH 7.0, and clean rainwater is pH 5.6. What is more, seawater is a highly buffered solution – it can take up a huge amount of dissolved inorganic carbon without significant effect on pH. There is not the slightest possibility that the oceans could approach the neutral pH of pure water even if all the fossil fuel reserves in the world were burned, so all talk of ‘acid’ oceans is utter nonsense. What sort of change are we talking about? Possibly a change of pH of 0.2 units this century, say from 8.2 to 8.0. That would mean by definition that the concentration of the ‘acidic’ H+ ions would still be no more than 10% of their concentration in pure water.

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Ocean Acidification Scam

cid_image002

The evidence is inexorably mounting that the climate alarmists have been taking us all for a ride. It is only be a matter of time before their agenda is exposed as one of the biggest con tricks of all time. Thus they are already scrambling to breathe new life into the CO2 emissions scare. It will become obvious (by the passage of years if nothing else) that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not, after all, cause any significant climate change, thus it will be necessary to blame CO2 (and hence man) for some other catastrophic event. So, prepare yourself for the coming “ocean acidification” scam.

The media have already entered the fray with lying narratives that sound like science fiction scripts, warning about the catastrophe of ‘acid oceans’ and ‘toxic seas’. The BBC have churned out headlines such as ‘Marine life faces ‘acid threat”, ‘Acid oceans ‘need urgent action” and ‘Acidic seas fuel extinction fears’. Newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph and the Times have got in on the act with scary headlines such as ‘Mussels face extinction as oceans turn acidic’, ‘Pollution to devastate shellfish by turning seas acidic’ and ‘Acid seas threaten to make British shellfish extinct’. Just recently, it has got all the more strident: the Sunday Times (March 8, 2009) chimes in under the headline The toxic sea:

Each one of us dumps a tonne of carbon dioxide into the oceans every year, turning them into acidified soups — and threatening to destroy most of what lives in them.

And from the Guardian (March 10, 2009) under the headline Carbon emissions creating acidic oceans not seen since dinosaurs:

Human pollution is turning the seas into acid so quickly that the coming decades will recreate conditions not seen on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs…The rapid acidification is caused by the massive amounts of carbon belched out from chimneys and exhausts that dissolve in the ocean…the pH of surface waters, where the CO2 is absorbed from the atmosphere, has fallen about 0.1 units since the industrial revolution, though it will take longer for the acid to reach deeper water.

Note the continual use of the word acid. Yet there is not the slightest possibility that seawater will turn to acid, or even become mildly acidic, so this is drivel. Note also the claim that pH has changed by 0.1 units over the last 200 years: it was not possible a hundred years ago, never mind 200 years ago, to measure pH to the accuracy necessary to support that assertion, so it’s just posturing. Finally, notice that CO2 is branded ‘human pollution’, though CO2 is an entirely natural and absolutely essential nutrient for plant photosynthesis, without which all life on earth would certainly become extinct very quickly.

As an aside, we should note that if lower alkalinity per se were so unfavourable to shellfish as is claimed then we would have no freshwater shellfish and snails – but we do. The freshwater mussel has lived for thousands of years in waters that are genuinely acidic and with highly variable pH, not only seasonally, but geographically. With spring snowmelt and high rainfall, the pH of rivers and lakes can fall to below pH 5, and experiments have shown that mussels can survive this acidity indefinitely without any deleterious effects to their shells. Note: a pH of 5 has 1,000 times as many ‘acidic’ H+ ions per litre as seawater, and 100 times more than pure water. This is not to say that sea creatures can survive in fresh water – they are adapted to a radically different saline environment – the point at issue is that the idea of a small change in ocean pH due to increased dissolved carbon dioxide having a deleterious effect on marine shells of living organisms is not as obvious as the alarmists make out.

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