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Carbon dioxide, nitrogen and climate change are greening the Earth

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Carbon Dioxide (“CO2”), also known as “nature’s fertilizer,” has steadily been enriching Earth’s atmosphere, from 320 parts per million in 1970 to 365 parts in 2000, to more than 412 parts today. The evidence of a flourishing planet is plain to see, thanks to satellite imagery that has been monitoring the amount of greenery on the planet since 1979.

As noted in a 2016 Nature study that tracked the changes from 1982 to 2016, although Earth lost some tree cover where forests became farmlands, those losses were far exceeded by new forests. Overall, since 1982, Earth’s tree cover increased by 2.24 million square kilometres, an addition to nature’s bounty of 7.1 per cent.

CO2 fertilisation is only one, albeit a predominant, reason why the Earth is greening. The study also identified climate change, nitrogen fertilisation and land management as other important reasons.


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The abstract of the study noted:

Here we use three long-term satellite leaf area index (LAI) records and ten global ecosystem models to investigate four key drivers of LAI trends during 1982–2009.

We show a persistent and widespread increase of growing season integrated LAI (greening) over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated area, whereas less than 4% of the globe shows decreasing LAI (browning).

Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models suggest that CO2 fertilisation effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend, followed by nitrogen deposition (9%), climate change (8%) and land cover change (LCC) (4%).

CO2 fertilization effects explain most of the greening trends in the tropics, whereas climate change resulted in greening of the high latitudes and the Tibetan Plateau. LCC contributed most to the regional greening observed in southeast China and the eastern United States.

Zhu, Z., Piao, S., Myneni, R. et al. Greening of the Earth and its drivers. Nature Clim Change 6, 791–795 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3004 A copy of the study can also be found on ResearchGate HERE.

Further reading:

Carbon Dioxide Fertilisation Greening Earth, Study Finds

The following was originally published by the United States civil space and aeronautics agency (“NASA”) on 26 April 2016, and updated on 27 March 2019

From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.

An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

This image shows the change in leaf area across the globe from 1982-2015.  Credits: Boston University/R. Myneni

Green leaves use energy from sunlight through photosynthesis to chemically combine carbon dioxide drawn in from the air with water and nutrients tapped from the ground to produce sugars, which are the main source of food, fibre and fuel for life on Earth. Studies have shown that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide increase photosynthesis, spurring plant growth.

However, carbon dioxide fertilization isn’t the only cause of increased plant growth—nitrogen, land cover change and climate change by way of global temperature, precipitation and sunlight changes all contribute to the greening effect. To determine the extent of carbon dioxide’s contribution, researchers ran the data for carbon dioxide and each of the other variables in isolation through several computer models that mimic the plant growth observed in the satellite data.

Results showed that carbon dioxide fertilization explains 70 per cent of the greening effect, said co-author Ranga Myneni, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. “The second most important driver is nitrogen, at 9 per cent. So we see what an outsized role COplays in this process.”

NASA Goddard: Rising CO2 Levels Greening Earth, 26 April 2016 (1 min)

About 85 per cent of Earth’s ice-free lands is covered by vegetation. The area covered by all the green leaves on Earth is equal to, on average, 32 per cent of Earth’s total surface area – oceans, lands and permanent ice sheets combined. The extent of the greening over the past 35 years “has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” said lead author Zaichun Zhu, a researcher from Peking University, China, who did the first half of this study with Myneni as a visiting scholar at Boston University.

Every year, about half of the 10 billion tons of carbon emitted into the atmosphere from human activities remains temporarily stored, in about equal parts, in the oceans and plants. “While our study did not address the connection between greening and carbon storage in plants, other studies have reported an increasing carbon sink on land since the 1980s, which is entirely consistent with the idea of a greening Earth,” said co-author Shilong Piao of the College of Urban and Environmental Sciences at Peking University.

While rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the air can be beneficial for plants, it is also the chief culprit of climate change. The gas, which traps heat in Earth’s atmosphere, has been increasing since the industrial age due to the burning of oil, gas, coal and wood for energy and is continuing to reach concentrations not seen in at least 500,000 years. The impacts of climate change include global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice as well as more severe weather events.

The beneficial impacts of carbon dioxide on plants may also be limited, said co-author Dr. Philippe Ciais, associate director of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, Gif-suv-Yvette, France. “Studies have shown that plants acclimatise, or adjust, to rising carbon dioxide concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time.”

“While the detection of greening is based on data, the attribution to various drivers is based on models,” said co-author Josep Canadell of the Oceans and Atmosphere Division in the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Canberra, Australia. Canadell added that while the models represent the best possible simulation of Earth system components, they are continually being improved.

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18 days ago

[…] Details to Carbon dioxide, nitrogen and climate change are greening the Earth […]

Petra
Petra
18 days ago

The alleged influence of CO2 to global climate is nothing more than a theory which is wrong.

biggrump
biggrump
Reply to  Petra
18 days ago

Unfortunately, I think many of those that are pushing the narrative know that it is a hoax but they are using it to help them take away people’s freedom and ultimately control the population entirely.

The Lizard of Oz
The Lizard of Oz
Reply to  Petra
17 days ago

Whereas the alleged influence of CO2 on plant life is well established fact discerned through observation and experiment by multitudes of biologists and horticulturalists over the last 200 years or so.

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18 days ago

[…] Carbon dioxide, nitrogen and climate change are greening the Earth. LINK […]

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18 days ago

[…] Go to Source Follow altnews.org on Telegram […]

Islander
Islander
18 days ago

The second image is of a flat Earth map-they know!

d vote
d vote
18 days ago

And? I fail to see the point of this article. The more humans there are the more roads and houses and factories there are, the more sewage pipes, the more slaughterhouses, the more war, and the more pain and misery. Anywhere there are less humans the better it is. That’s why you all try to live in houses far apart from each other and don’t have anything to do with anyone else except a handful of others (if that). Are you saying that if the planet gets greener that means you can cause more pain and misery and destruction to make up for it? According to your “scientists” the entire planet used to be one big forest, so any of your 30 percents don’t really mean anything do they? All you have to do is look around you, Where in the uk do you see “wildlife”? Anything bigger than a mouse is in a cage waiting to be slaughtered. Where do you see “green”? Go to google maps and look at any part of the “countryside” in britain. Every square inch that is green is a farm. Farmers kill everything that enters “their” land by shooting and poisoning and trapping with snares. The only reason you get birds in gardens is because there’s nowhere else for them to try and nest. The farmers will kill them. The rest is all concrete and factories and houses. If your “globalists” want to reverse that, for whatever reason, I’m all for it. Less humans = better for everything else. Humans, after all, are the root of all evil.

John
John
Reply to  d vote
17 days ago

Lead by example

The Lizard of Oz
The Lizard of Oz
Reply to  d vote
17 days ago

Where in the uk do you see “wildlife”?

London – Putney – used to be 3 fox cubs living in our back yard.
Strawberry Hill – lots of grey squirrels hopping around the trees on the way to the station.
Teddington Lock – ducks, geese, swans aplenty in their season.

You just need to open your eyes, there’s wildlife everywhere if you have the patience to wait and see it.

“Where do you see “green”? Go to google maps…”

How about you get off your arse and actually go to the countryside. Lots of places throughout England have lots of greenery. As a boy, I spent many a day playing with my mates in the woods around Basildon. A short bike ride and we could have been in Sherwood looking for a certain Mr Hood.

You clearly don’t know any farmers nor spent any time on a farm.

The more humans there are…”

You are about to find out, over the next 40 years, the effect of declining population. Irrespective of any medications being foisted on humanity, social changes now have women producing insufficient babies for population sustainment, let alone growth.

If you want to see what’s coming, look at the research done by Dr John B Calhoun, mouse heaven experiments in the 1970’s. Your world-view is consistent with a “beautiful people” mouse.

Anywhere there are less humans the better it is.”

Better than what?

Hmmm, I’ve been to Ouarzazate, Morocco, not a lot of people, don’t understand your definition of “better”. Flown over Siberia, looking down, thousands of miles, not a lot of people, dunno how that’s “better”.

Spend 5 days on a bus driving from Perth to Sydney and you’ll see how ludicrous is the claim that a few farting cows can possibly change the climate. When you get out of the city (and Europe) you’ll see the planet is a f*%#ing big place, and more of it is ocean than land.

 Less humans = better”

The problem is not that there are too many humans; the problem is that there are too many indoctrinated people with this false, flawed Malthusian belief system. Turn off the TV. Go to the fact checking sites, pick any “debunked claim”, then go to the source and see for yourself. You can educate yourself as to who’s spreading misinformation aka lies.

For one, stop listening to the people with solar panels, windmills, electric cars and carbon offsets to sell you.

There is a scarcity mindset promulgated by the inhabitants of Europe and Western city dwellers. It is promoted by little men (and women), of little vision, living in little countries or big cities for whom life is a zero-sum game. They look at problems (and there are many), cannot think of a solution so they think there is no solution.

There are alternative mindsets of creativity, positivity, growth and abundance. For any problem, sooner of later someone will devise a solution and someone will figure out how to make a buck out of it.

The article describes the greening of our planet. You may not notice it living in a city in damp & dreary Merry Olde England. In Australia it is very evident in the increased vegetation at the margins of our vast deserts and this is measurable from space. It’s not that they’re getting more rainfall, but that plants use water more efficiently when there’s more CO2 in the air.

What strikes me is that ALL the people calling for less people on our planet are all unwilling to lead by example in reducing the population, ie doing their bit to reduce it by one.

A. L.
A. L.
Reply to  The Lizard of Oz
17 days ago

I agree with you and I especially like your last sentence. Do we need Bill Gates, Klaus Schabb, Tedros, George Soros, King Chuck and their likes?

Dave Owen
Dave Owen
Reply to  d vote
14 days ago

Hi d vote,
Although I do not agree with your point of view, it’s good that we can read them.
In the UK 20 years ago, the population was going down.
I did think, well things will last longer.
So what did the aliens do, they let in another 20 million people.

vaboon
vaboon
17 days ago

The worldwide CO2 emission is at 37 billion tons
but the trees worldwide absorb 72 billion

and that is just the trees!
biggest hoax there was to control the population
now if you are talking pollution thats another issue – big company, big business are at fault there – not the people

Vita
Vita
17 days ago

2009 and 2011 Climategate https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/11/29/climategate-ii-more-smoking-guns-from-the-global-warming-establishment/ A new release of incriminating e-mail exchanges between leading climate scientists that is now being termed “Climategate II” actually represents but another episode in a continuing scandal that has been taking place for decades. This fraud of massive scope and consequence has served as the basis for arguably the greatest regulatory overreach of all time “If there were any doubts remaining after reading the first Climategate e-mails, the new batch of e-mails that appeared on the web today [November 22] make it clear that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an organized conspiracy dedicated to tricking the world into believing that global warming is a crisis that requires a drastic response,” said Myron Ebell, Director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center on Energy and Environment. “Several of the new e-mails show that the scientists involved in doctoring the IPCC reports are very aware that the energy-rationing policies that their junk science is meant to support would cost trillions of dollars.”  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2011/12/07/climategates-michael-mann-channels-his-inner-palpatine/ : The ongoing Climategate scandal, including 5,000-plus Climategate 2 emails released two weeks ago, reveals prominent global warming advocates acknowledging flaws in the theory that humans are causing dramatic climate change, coordinating efforts to hide such flaws, coordinating efforts to misrepresent scientific data, coordinating efforts to destroy evidence of these inconvenient truths, and coordinating efforts to blackball or induce the firing of scientists and editors of peer-reviewed science journals who publish evidence contradicting the alarmist storyline. The most important revelation from the Climategate scandals is that global warming scientist-activists are misrepresenting the scientific data regarding global warming. The second most important revelation is that scientist-activists are waging a brutal and dirty war of personal and professional destruction against skeptical scientists who disagree with them.  Yes, and that political spin has already been exceedingly costly. The U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) reports that federal climate spending has increased from $4.6 billion in 2003 to $8.8 billion in 2010 (a total $106.7 billion over that period). This doesn’t include $79 billion more spent for climate change technology research, tax breaks for “green energy”, foreign aid to help other countries address “climate problems”; another $16.1 billion since 1993 in federal revenue losses due to green energy subsidies; or still another $26 billion earmarked for climate change programs and related activities in the 2009 “Stimulus Bill”.

Virtually all of this is based upon unfounded representations that we are experiencing a known human-caused climate crisis, a claim based upon speculative theories, contrived data and totally unproven modeling predictions. And what redemptive solutions are urgently implored? We must give lots of money to the U.N. to redistribute; abandon fossil fuel use in favor of heavily subsidized but assuredly abundant, “free”, and “renewable” alternatives; and empower expanding government bureaucracies to protect us from free market excesses.

The Lizard of Oz
The Lizard of Oz
Reply to  Vita
16 days ago

They can stick their dodgy climate models and fraudulent data up where the sun never shines.

Time to abolish the UN and ALL of its corrupt, hijacked agencies and start over.

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16 days ago

[…] Details to Carbon dioxide, nitrogen and climate change are greening the Earth […]

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[…] Carbon dioxide, nitrogen and climate change are greening the Earth […]

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[…] Read More: Carbon dioxide, nitrogen and climate change are greening the Earth […]

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9 days ago

[…] Koolstofdioxide (“CO2”), ook bekend als de “kunstmest van de natuur”, heeft de atmosfeer van de aarde gestaag verrijkt, van 320 delen per miljoen in 1970 tot 365 delen in 2000, tot meer dan 412 delen vandaag. Het bewijs van een bloeiende planeet is duidelijk te zien, dankzij satellietbeelden die sinds 1979 de hoeveelheid groen op de planeet monitoren, schrijft Rhoda Wilson. […]