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Global Vegetative Productivity: Its Response to the "Twin Evils" of High Air Temperatures and CO2 Concentrations
Reference
Chen, Z.M., Babiker, I.S., Chen, Z.X., Komaki, K., Mohamed, M.A.A. and Kato, K. 2004. Estimation of interannual variation in productivity of global vegetation using NDVI data. International Journal of Remote Sensing 25: 3139-3159.

Background
Climate alarmists continue to propagate the notion that one of the consequences of high air temperatures, which they say are due to high atmospheric CO2 concentrations, will be severe reductions in plant productivity and a consequent inability of earth's terrestrial vegetation to provide for the food and habitat needs of the planet's human and animal populations.

What was done
In a study that provides some insight into the validity of this concern, Chen et al. utilized the monthly satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset of 1987-1997 that was obtained from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer to calculate an 11-year history of global (75N to 55S) terrestrial net primary production (NPP), deriving three different results based on the three different "NPP coefficient sets" of Whittaker and Likens (1975), Atjay et al. (1979) and Olson et al. (1983).

What was learned
Based on the beginning and end points of the graphical presentations of Chen et al.'s results, we calculate that global terrestrial NPP increased by approximately 6.6% between 1987 and 1997 when the Atjay et al. coefficients were used, 9.9% when the Olson et al. coefficients were used, and 13.8% when the Whittaker and Likens coefficients were used, for a mean NPP increase of about 10% over the 11-year period.

What it means
In spite of the climate-alarmist claim that temperatures of the latter part of the 20th century were unprecedented over the past one to two millennia (which is highly debatable) and that atmospheric CO2 concentrations were the highest they had been for several hundred millennia (which is true), as well as the fact that mankind yearly harvests and/or destroys much of the planet's natural vegetation, the total yearly production of terrestrial vegetative biomass continues to rise, and at a remarkable rate.

Why is this so? Perhaps it is because the twin evils of the radical environmental movement are not the evils they are made out to be, but actually blessings in disguise, which those who are blind to reality simply refuse to see, but could, if they carefully perused our website with an open and unbiased mind.

References
Atjay, G.L., Ketner, P. and Duvigneaud, P. 1979. Terrestrial primary production and photomass. In: Bolin, B., Degens, E., Kempe, S. and Ketner, P. (Eds.), The Global Carbon Cycle, SCOPE 13, Wiley, Chichester, pp. 129-182.

Olson, J.S., Watts, J. and Allison, L. 1983. Carbon in Live Vegetation of Major World Ecosystems, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA.

Whittaker, R.H. and Likens, G.E. 1975. The biosphere and man. In: Leith, H. and Whittaker, R.H. (Eds.), Primary Productivity and the Biosphere, Ecological Studies 14, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany, pp. 305-328.


Reviewed 8 September 2004