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Human activity causing massive environmental changes? Looks that way.

February 1, 2013

Alternate title: now that’s what I call self-regulation.

Alternate alternate title: Dear God, that’s too many plants!

Feed me, Seymour!

Did you know that the Earth is getting greener, quite literally? Satellites are now confirming that the amount of green vegetation on the planet has been increasing for three decades. This will be news to those accustomed to alarming tales about deforestation, overdevelopment and ecosystem destruction.

…What explains this trend? Man-made nitrogen fertilizer causes crops to grow faster, but it is having little effect on forests. There are essentially two possibilities: climate and carbon dioxide itself. Warmer, wetter weather should cause more vegetation to grow. But even without warming, an increase in carbon dioxide should itself accelerate growth rates of plants. CO2 is a scarce resource that plants have trouble scavenging from the air, and plants grow faster with higher levels of CO2 to inhale.

I haven’t gone through all of this guy’s links in a probably-vain attempt to verify his claims, so, y’know, grain of salt. But doesn’t it make sense? If more carbon dioxide equals more warmth, shouldn’t that equal more plants? And shouldn’t more plants equal less carbon dioxide, which should then – if the global warming theory is correct – mean less warmth?

Better question: when will the environmental lobby begin to worry over the sheer number of plants unbalancing the ecosystem?

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