For three years I have published over 70 posts on the benefits of elevated CO2 levels, contrary to the warmists version of ‘science’. Yet another here discusses what they have missed or avoided. From the Idso Brothers at CO2 Science: Elevated CO2 Increases Minerals at the Base of Human Nutrition: … contrary to what is claimed in a recent scientific publication.
In a meta-analysis of 130 different species/cultivars of various agricultural plants, Loladze (2014) concludes that an atmospheric CO2 concentration increase on the order of 300 ppm tends to decrease the overall mineral concentrations of the edible portions of almost all agricultural plants by an average of 8%, exacerbating the prevalence of what he calls “hidden hunger.” But does this small percentage reduction really intensify this latter malady?
In the case of the two main food crops Loladze mentions – rice (Oryza sativa) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) – it is important to also consider the increase in crop biomass production that is provided by a 300-ppm increase in the air’s CO2 concentration, which is something that we have regularly tabulated on our website for the past several years whenever a new study of the subject has been published. And when we go there to see what has been learned about wheat in this regard, we find that the mean crop yield increase of 260 separate studies is 33.4%, while in the case of rice the mean yield increase of 224 different studies is 36.1%, or approximately 35% for the two crops together.
So if M represents the amount of minerals found in these plants when grown in ambient-CO2 air, the amount of minerals found in these plants when grown in air enriched with an extra 300 ppm of CO2 is 0.92M. But if the yields of the two crops per unit land area are approximately 35% greater, we multiply 0.92M by 1.35 to obtain a net increase in mineral mass of 1.24M or 24% from the same amount of cropland, which should greatly help to rid humanity of “hidden hunger.”
Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso
Closer to my own field of research and environmental work: The Effects of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment on Seed Germination: What are they? … and how significant are they?
What was learned
The two researchers report that “across all studies, parental eCO2 increased subsequent germination by 9%,” and that “despite a considerable interspecific variability,” they found “a positive correlation between germination success and seed mass responses to parental eCO2,” with the response being “significantly higher in trees than in other life forms.”
What it means
In light of the results of their several analyses, Marty and BassiriRad conclude “it is reasonable to speculate that, if parental eCO2 significantly affects regeneration success, and if such effects are species- and genotype-specific, the potential for ecological and evolutionary consequences is immense.”
Now that’s what I like about CO2, benefits all round. Read them all at the links.