Benefits of Carbon Dioxide




The UN bureaucrats in the IPCC and democrats in the US advocating for higher taxes for the general fund continue to push the scary propaganda lie that CO2 is a pollutant.   




If democrats or the IPCC actually managed to get rid of all the CO2 “pollution” then every living thing on earth would die.  This is because about HALF of the entire mass of all green growing things on the planet come directly from the minute trace quantities of CO2 in the air (less than one molecule in 2500).  The other half comes from rain water and less than one part in twenty comes from perhaps 20 essential elements in the ground [1].


And of course if democrats got the third world to reduce CO2, millions of children would continue to die each year as a consequence of poverty and the lack of affordable energy and electricity.




Before "global warming" began 18,000 years ago, when CO2 levels were very low, most of the earth was a frozen and arid wasteland.  More than half of earth 's surface was covered by glaciers or extreme desert. Forests were rare. Not a very fun place to live.


Fortunately a warmer world is a wetter world and this REDUCES the amount of desert where nothing grows (by a factor of three since the last ice age) and increases the area where plants and forests grow (by a factor of eight since the last ice age).   These wonderful effects as a consequence of warming have transformed the planet from an ice box into a GARDEN PARADISE and the effects continue to get better as the world naturally warms [2]; as shown below:




Today extreme deserts and glaciers have largely given way to grasslands, woodlands, and forests.



Note that humans have cleared some of the original forests for agricultural purposes especially over the last few centuries.




Plants on earth evolved millions of years ago when CO2 concentrations were nearly FOUR times higher than today (i.e. 1000-1200 parts per million which is the optimum for plants) and so today all plants are starved for CO2 which is the primary limit on growth.


As a consequence of recent CO2 starvation, evolution has driven the creation of new categories of plants (C4 types versus the original C3 types) which are able to grow in slightly lower CO2 concentrations [3].



When plants are cultivated in commercial greenhouses, the CO2 is quickly depleted and everything stops growing and dies.  As a consequence, because greenhouses are airtight to reduce convection currents, they require the installation of heavy duty CO2 generators to make up the CO2 deficit.  


Because CO2 has fortuitously and beneficially increased, as global temperatures naturally warm since the last ice age and the oceans outgas, the total mass of plant life on earth has increased perhaps from 10-20% to include grass, shrubs, trees, and cereal crops that people eat feeding MILLIONS [4].  This is DIRECTLY measurable because the seasonal swings in CO2, as measured at Mauna Loa in Hawaii and other at stations, which is attributable to summer plant growth and winter decay have increased by this amount [5].  This extra growth is also clearly visible in photographic surveys taken by satellites from orbit [6].


In addition, measurements of the trace gas carbonyl sulfide (COS) from Antarctic ice cores which are unambiguous markers of plant growth indicate that the growth rate is currently enhanced some +30% more than before the Industrial Revolution and a greater rate than any time in the last 50,000 years [7].


Of course, as a consequence of CO2 fertilization, the greatly enhanced plant growth also requires more water.  Fortunately however, excess CO2 causes plants, including those used for food, to use water more efficiently and even to grow more food with less water than was originally required.  The net result of excess CO2 is thus to expand the amount of arable land available for growing food especially in arid and semi-arid locales [8].


Since warm air holds more water vapor, a warmer world has in general more rain.   The trend for the US as a consequence of warming has been an increase of 1.8 inches per century again increasing crop acreage as well as crop yield [9].  And of course deserts have been decreasing world wide as well for similar reasons.


Climate alarmists are quick to point out that CO2 enhanced plant growth also increases the requirements for the 5% of plant matter that comes from essential elements in the ground, e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and so forth.   But if soil nutrients were the determining limit on plant growth world-wide, there wouldn’t be 15% more green growing things on earth and we wouldn’t be growing that much extra food either.


These cold hard facts seem to be so unsettling to climate alarmists that they contrive experiments that put plants in enriched CO2 environments but without water and in soil carefully denuded of all essential elements; and then claim that because everything withers and dies, or produces less protein, that excess CO2 has no effect or is even harmful.  This of course borders on desperation, or insanity, or perhaps both.




In March of 2014, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its 5th Report entitled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability [10].  The UN bureaucrats again claimed that man-made climate change was REDUCING world agricultural output and again cited the necessity for trillions of dollars in reparations from the US for causing this catastrophe.   Pushing this propaganda lie, the lead IPCC author Dr. Mark Howden amplified [11] his earlier remarks stating:


“There’s increasing evidence that climate change is also impacting on agriculture, particularly on some of the cereal crops such as wheat and maize. The NEGATIVE impacts are greater and quicker than we previously thought.”


Fortunately for the world, and especially its starving millions, most plant life on earth can’t read and thus continues to ignore such dire predictions.  In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, world agricultural production set all-time records for all three major cereal crops in 2014, with rice output up 1.1 percent, wheat up 11.2 percent, and corn up a whopping 14.0 percent over 2013 [12].







Although much less abundant [CO2<0.04% versus O2 at about 21% (a factor of more than 500)] , the tiny amounts of CO2 in the air are more important for life on earth than oxygen.   And since human population exactly matches our use of fossil fuels, to claim that CO2 is a pollutant is to claim that life itself pollutes the planet [13].











as referenced in Randall J. Donohue, Michael L. Roderick, Tim R. McVicar, and Graham D. Farquhar, “Impact of CO2 fertilization on maximum foliage cover across the globe's warm, arid environments”, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 40, Issue 12, pages 3031–3035, 28 June 2013.




Annual precipitation in the contiguous 48 United States between 1895 and 2006. U.S.

National Climatic Data Center, U.S. Department of Commerce 2006 Climate Review.