Since agricultural scientists have announced earlier this week that carbon-dioxide increases crop productivity per acre while ultimately contributing to climate change, many respondents and commenters on social media have been expressing the “foolishness” of the scientific study, saying it goes contrary to the fundamentals of science.
For example, a reader on a news blog says “Ridiculous. Green plants capture CO2 to manufacture sugars using sunlight and water with Oxygen as the byproduct during the day, with a small CO2 output at night. Ancient Earth had concentrations of CO2 far higher than today, it is green plants that transformed the atmosphere and provide the Oxygen we breathe. CO2 is not a pollutant, it is plant food, any man-made increase of CO2 ppm is beneficial to plants”.
Another reader who disagrees with the latest published study says “There is no data provided to prove this refills hypothesis. Plants utilize CO² as a food source to create sugars the oxygen is then released back into the air. If crops are creating CO2 that would mean our atmosphere would be improved by killing of all plants and animals…Let’s set the crops on fire then set up firing squads the kills the billions of people on the planet who emit CO². What a crazy stupid thought”.
A reader sent a mail to this writer saying, “Interesting. If crops like corn, wheat, and soybean add CO2 to the earth when they die, what about cattail?”
But then, Mark Friedl, the lead author of the study from the Boston University maintains that “Over last 50 years, area of croplands in the Northern Hemisphere has been relatively stable, but production has intensified enormously. The fact that this land area can affect the composition of the atmosphere is an amazing fingerprint of human activity on the planet”.
And Liz Blood of the National Science Foundation adds that “This study shows the power of modeling and data mining in addressing potential sources contributing to seasonal changes in carbon dioxide. It points to the role of basic research in finding answers to complex problems.”
The fact remains that while the scientists have published the results of a study conducted over time, they will continue to bring research conclusions and hypothesis to the attention of the public to enable them make informed decisions.