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Green machine

07 Feb 2024 | Science Notes

As in planet Earth. As in put more CO2 in the air and watch it turn green. According to a new peer-reviewed study by a team led by Xin Chen of the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, rising CO2 levels in the air have not only allowed the world to keep greening, the process is accelerating despite extended droughts in some areas. A warmer world with more CO2 is supposed to be a crisis, but the world’s plants apparently didn’t get the memo.

The study has a refreshingly plain-spoken title: “The global greening continues despite increased drought stress since 2000.” And it begins with a refreshingly plain-spoken claim: “The global greening is an indisputable fact.” Even though people try to dispute it because, as you know, all climate news must be bad. And since there have been droughts in some parts of the world, the bad news bears have been out insisting that the greening trend is over and browning is now upon us. So the team of Chinese scientists gathered up all the satellite data they could find to see how bad it is getting.

What they found was that not only is greening still going strong, but across 55% of the world it is accelerating. Only 14% of the world is browning. And they examined various factors to see which ones matter the most. They found that declining soil moisture in some areas had a negative effect, precipitation changes have had no effect and warming contributed a bit to the greening, but all these taken together were small potatoes compared to rising CO2 levels which explained the vast majority of the pattern over 75% of the planet.

Greening is going strong, it’s indisputable and rising CO2 levels are the cause. Almost as if it were plant food not “pollution”. And the only people apparently dismayed by all this greening are the Greens themselves.

2 comments on “Green machine”

  1. I read that CO2 levels in the age of the dinosaurs was as high as 9000 parts per million, compared to 400 ppm today. Most of the earth shows stark evidence of the jungly growth that was everywhere, such as fossilized tree stumps on our Arctic coast and mammoths dug out of the Siberian ice that had semi-tropical plants in their mouths and gut. Of course, it's why greenhouse operators run their CO2 levels up to 2000 PPM, to get the flowers and vegetables growing faster and bigger.

  2. I am just humble greeney. Just in my humble yard, full of plants from roses to fig trees. I can tell you the planet is cooling.
    Fig is not really to be grown where I am . 8 years ago we had good crop of figs .
    After that it has tapered of. One year no ripe figs. next year no figs. And now 5 years later. Tree is ok but no fruit, as the weather has cooled too much.
    Yet the trees in the parks are flourishing. No artificial watering all natural. Anyway I just look around

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