A new conspiracy theory: fighting the greenhouse effect will turn the Earth into a desert

Climate crisis skeptics have recently been increasingly sharing messages and links to publications that claim that by fighting the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we are contributing to the loss of plants, because they absorb CO2 and can thus grow stronger and stronger.

There are those who claim that this way we will eventually turn the planet into a desert. However, this is not true.

Carbon dioxide is a really important element of the planet’s ecosystem. Without it, the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect would be too weak to keep the average global surface temperature from falling below zero.

However, humans are increasing the natural greenhouse effect by adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, causing global temperatures to rise.

This is how social networks explain why we should not try to control the greenhouse effect

This is how social networks explain why we should not try to control the greenhouse effect

A natural cycle that has been disrupted by human activity

Through photosynthesis, plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, make their own tissues from carbon, and return it to the atmosphere through decay and decay.

CO2 can remain in the atmosphere for 50-200 years, depending on how it is recycled back to the land or oceans.

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is currently the highest in 650 thousand years. years.

It is also currently the fastest growing since the beginning of continuous concentration measurements in 1960.

The main reason for the increase in CO2 is the burning of fossil fuels, land use change, deforestation, etc.

A political scientist denies the climate crisis

In order to confirm the theory about the benefits of carbon dioxide, in 2016 the portal started to be shared on social networks latribune.fr published opinion essay.

Its author is Bjornas Lomborgas.

His bio statesthat B. Lomborg is a doctor of political science, a lecturer, but it is not indicated that he has any education in the field of climate science.

He is also credited as the author of the bestseller False Danger: How Climate Panic is Costing Us Trillions, Hurting the Poor, and Doing Nothing to Fix the Planet. „False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet“).

In the book, he criticizes the efforts of scientists to reduce the greenhouse effect and advocates the use of fossil fuels.

Screenshot  from climate.nasa.gov/ Here is the Earth's average temperature for 2013-2017 compared to 1951-1980.  base average.  Yellow, orange and red represent regions that have become warmer.

Screenshot from climate.nasa.gov/ Here is the Earth’s average temperature for 2013-2017 compared to 1951-1980. base average. Yellow, orange and red represent regions that have become warmer.

Greening is temporary

There is some truth to the claims that the planet has started to become greener due to the recent increasing greenhouse effect.

In 2016 in the scientific journal “Nature Climate Change” a study was publishedwhich states that previously barren areas of the Earth have become noticeably greener over the past 35 years due to the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

This study was led by an international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries that used NASA’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will use Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer satellite data to help determine the leaf area index, the amount of leaf cover in vegetated regions of the planet.

Green leaves using sunlight energy photosynthesis over time, chemically combines carbon dioxide absorbed from the air with water and nutrients extracted from the earth to form sugar, the primary source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth.

Studies have shown that increased carbon dioxide concentrations stimulate photosynthesis and plant growth.

Despite the seemingly encouraging changes, they are likely to be temporary.

One of the authors of the study Dr.Philippas Ciaisasdeputy director of the Climate and Environmental Sciences Laboratory in Gif-suv-Yvette, France, said the positive effects of carbon dioxide on plants may be limited.

“Studies have shown that plants acclimatize or adapt to increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, and the effect of fertilization diminishes over time,” the scientist warned.

Josvydas Elinskas / 15min photo/Nature illustrations

Josvydas Elinskas / 15min photo/Nature illustrations

It will not solve the climate crisis

Dr. Tristan Quaife, an expert in plant satellite monitoring at the University of Reading, comments on the situation told Carbon Briefthat this study demonstrates the enormous impact humanity has on the natural world.

According to the scientist, such results should be treated as a warning signal, not an excuse for not reducing emissions.

Climate crisis researchers scientists emphasizethat the benefits of a greening Earth are less than the negative effects of extreme weather events, sea level rise and ocean acidification.

Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard University Professor Samuel Myers warns that as a result of the climate crisis, the number of pollinating insects decreases, the number of pests increases, new pathogens appear and extreme weather conditions create a greening phenomenon due to the greenhouse effect will not outweigh the negative effects of carbon dioxide concentration.

123RF.com photo/Global warming

123RF.com photo/Global warming

More is not better

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology David Des Maraisstudying how plants respond to their environment, assertsthat plant growth is too complex for a universal law such as “more CO2 is better” to apply.

Experiments in which scientists piped extra CO2 into plant-growing chambers showed that the extra carbon dioxide made plants grow faster if other factors, such as the availability of soil nutrients and water, were kept constant.

However, passed D.Des Maraisoin real conditions things may not be so simple.

In additional experiments, plants were observed growing at free air carbon enrichment (FACE) siteswhere the researchers did not add CO2 to closed chambers, but to an open environment, such as agricultural fields, which more closely mimics reality.

Although the added carbon dioxide accelerated plant growth in these areas, it was not as fast as plants growing in closed, CO2-saturated chambers.

Droughts are increasing in areas such as the American West due to climate change caused by too much CO2 in the atmosphere.

As a result, there is a decrease in water reserves for plants, and at the same time, the risk of catastrophic fires increases.

In other places, plants will have to suffer more and more in the future from floods and extreme heat waves, and to encounter salt water due to rising seas.

Also, the environment will eventually increase the number of pests that like warmer winters.

123rf.com photo/Carbon dioxide CO2

123rf.com photo/Carbon dioxide CO2

We must stop the greenhouse effect

Professor of the Faculty of Chemistry and Geosciences, climatologist dr. Egidijus Rimkus, commenting on the situation 15min emphasized that carbon dioxide does not directly harm plants, but this does not mean that the negative processes occurring during climate change will not affect them.

“It is unlikely that the condition of the plants will improve significantly if, when the climate conditions change, they appear in a place where it is good for them to be in terms of soil conditions.

It is unlikely that the soils would be able to properly adapt to the appearance of new plants, which would only further intensify the extinction of species,” the climatologist commented on the theory spread on social networks.

“The second thing is that our planet was green and blooming enough when CO2 levels were just 280-300 parts per million (ppm).

This amount is sufficient, it is a balanced system. Any imbalance in the system contributes to negative changes felt by the entire ecosystem,” warned the scientist.

The publication was prepared in 15 minutes in partnership with Metawhich aims to stop the spread of misleading news on the social network. More about the program and its rules – here.

Source: 15min.lt RSS – suprasti akimirksniu | RSS by www.15min.lt.

*The article has been translated based on the content of 15min.lt RSS – suprasti akimirksniu | RSS by www.15min.lt. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!

*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.

*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!