Some Crops Benefit From Rising Carbon Dioxide
Scientists have long expressed concerns that global climate change could negatively impact agriculture, but a new study published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change shows that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere could actually aid plant growth in some regions.
When scientists share concerns about climate change hurting crops, they generally talk about water scarcity and high temperatures. This latest study, conducted by an international team of 16 researchers, finds that rising carbon dioxide levels that accompany and exacerbate climate change can also enhance photosynthesis and reduce plants' need for water.
"Most of the discussion around climate impacts focuses only on changes in temperature and precipitation," said lead author Delphine Deryng, an environmental scientist at Columbia University's Center for Climate Systems Research in New York, in a press release. "To adapt adequately, we need to understand all the factors involved."
The study used climate data and carbon dioxide experiments in fields to study the impact of climate change and rising carbon dioxide levels on crops.