Deserts 'greening' from rising CO2

Jul 03, 2013
Satellite data shows the per cent amount that foliage cover has changed around the world from 1982 to 2010.

Increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have helped boost green foliage across the world's arid regions over the past 30 years through a process called CO2 fertilisation, according to CSIRO research.

In findings based on , CSIRO, in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU), found that this CO2 correlated with an 11 per cent increase in foliage cover from 1982-2010 across parts of the arid areas studied in Australia, North America, the Middle East and Africa, according to CSIRO research scientist, Dr Randall Donohue.

"In Australia, our is superbly adapted to surviving in arid environments and it consequently uses water very efficiently," Dr Donohue said. "Australian vegetation seems quite sensitive to CO2 fertilisation.

This, along with the vast extents of arid landscapes, means Australia featured prominently in our results."

"While a CO2 effect on foliage response has long been speculated, until now it has been difficult to demonstrate," according to Dr Donohue.

"Our work was able to tease-out the CO2 fertilisation effect by using together with adjusted to take out the observed effects of other influences such as precipitation, air temperature, the amount of light, and land-use changes."

The fertilisation effect occurs where elevated CO2 enables a leaf during photosynthesis, the process by which convert sunlight into sugar, to extract more carbon from the air or lose less water to the air, or both.

If elevated CO2 causes the water use of individual leaves to drop, plants in arid environments will respond by increasing their total numbers of leaves. These changes in leaf cover can be detected by satellite, particularly in deserts and where the cover is less complete than in wet locations, according to Dr Donohue.

"On the face of it, elevated CO2 boosting the foliage in dry country is good news and could assist forestry and agriculture in such areas; however there will be secondary effects that are likely to influence water availability, the carbon cycle, fire regimes and biodiversity, for example," Dr Donohue said.

"Ongoing research is required if we are to fully comprehend the potential extent and severity of such secondary effects."

This study was published in the Geophysical Research Letters journal and was funded by CSIRO's Sustainable Agriculture Flagship, Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, the Australian Research Council and Land & Water Australia.

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geokstr
2 / 5 (24) Jul 03, 2013
All intelligent people of good will know that there is a proven consensus of 143.256% of all scientists that AGW is bad - for everybody and everything.

Dr Randall Donohue...his "doctorate" must be in Paranormal Basket Weaving, right?

Kiss your grants goodbye forever, "Doctor."
JohnGee
3 / 5 (23) Jul 03, 2013
This is certainly worrying news. Simply changing the color of large areas of the Earth can affect climate change as the loss of polar ice has shown. However, I'm sure those that haven't reasoned themselves into their denialist positions won't be swayed by this or anything except personal tragedy.

Jokepostr, why don't you try addressing the article instead of violating the rules here? I'm reporting this and all similar posts.
Caliban
2 / 5 (12) Jul 03, 2013
And this article serves as a slap in the face to all "the deserts are actually shrinking from Global Warming" -stripe of Denialist morons.
VendicarE
3.5 / 5 (17) Jul 03, 2013
-46.5% of what Geokstr says is rational.
runrig
4.3 / 5 (12) Jul 03, 2013
And this article serves as a slap in the face to all "the deserts are actually shrinking from Global Warming" -stripe of Denialist morons.


Err, AFAIK all living things need water to survive. Dont matter how much "fertilizer" you give trees, they will die in a lengthy drought.
Sean_W
1.5 / 5 (17) Jul 03, 2013
This is certainly worrying news. Simply changing the color of large areas of the Earth can affect climate change as the loss of polar ice has shown. However, I'm sure those that haven't reasoned themselves into their denialist positions won't be swayed by this or anything except personal tragedy.

Jokepostr, why don't you try addressing the article instead of violating the rules here? I'm reporting this and all similar posts.


(Let's ignore the fact that the polar ice is still there so it's absence can't "show" anything.) So desertification could stop global warming? I'm game for an experiment. Lets start bulldozing sand and rock south from the Sahara and see how cold the planet gets.

I don't know why you would be so offended by geokstr when you sound so much like his parody.
Sean_W
1.5 / 5 (17) Jul 03, 2013
And this article serves as a slap in the face to all "the deserts are actually shrinking from Global Warming" -stripe of Denialist morons.


Was that a parody or did you miss the first sentence?
Sean_W
1.7 / 5 (19) Jul 03, 2013
And this article serves as a slap in the face to all "the deserts are actually shrinking from Global Warming" -stripe of Denialist morons.


Err, AFAIK all living things need water to survive. Dont matter how much "fertilizer" you give trees, they will die in a lengthy drought.


Plants move water inland by transpiration, releasing of cloud forming aerosols, preventing runoff and generally altering the micro climate.
runrig
4.2 / 5 (14) Jul 03, 2013
And this article serves as a slap in the face to all "the deserts are actually shrinking from Global Warming" -stripe of Denialist morons.


Err, AFAIK all living things need water to survive. Dont matter how much "fertilizer" you give trees, they will die in a lengthy drought.


Plants move water inland by transpiration, releasing of cloud forming aerosols, preventing runoff and generally altering the micro climate.


Only mass WV transport by winds moves precipitation inland ( eg Monsoon and jet-stream driven air-mass advection ). Transpiration only increases evaporation from the soil. It doesn't create it. Seeding cant take place without large amounts of air-mass WV ( other than low level cloud/fog that can provide condensation onto leaf ).
deepsand
3.4 / 5 (20) Jul 04, 2013
This is certainly worrying news. Simply changing the color of large areas of the Earth can affect climate change as the loss of polar ice has shown. However, I'm sure those that haven't reasoned themselves into their denialist positions won't be swayed by this or anything except personal tragedy.


(Let's ignore the fact that the polar ice is still there so it's absence can't "show" anything.)

No, let's not ignore the fact that the diminished Arctic ice cap has indeed reduced Earth's albedo, thus increasing radiative forcing.

Nor should we ignore the fact that changing the color of any area of Earth affects its albedo, that darkening it reduces its albedo, while lightening it increases it.
ubavontuba
1.7 / 5 (22) Jul 04, 2013
Deserts 'greening' from rising CO2
Oh no! Wildlife habitat is increasing! Food production is sure to rise! Oh the tragedy! We must stop global warming and CO2 production right now! Let's return to the days of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. That'll put a stop to this madness! (sarcasm)

deepsand
3.5 / 5 (22) Jul 04, 2013
As usual, UTuba deliberately misrepresents by making false claims re. animal populations and food production.
Caliban
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 04, 2013
And this article serves as a slap in the face to all "the deserts are actually shrinking from Global Warming" -stripe of Denialist morons.


Was that a parody or did you miss the first sentence?


Read on, numbskull:

"...If elevated CO2 causes the water use of individual leaves to drop, plants in arid environments will respond by increasing their total numbers of leaves. "

More foliage for --existing-- plants is most definitely not the same thing as more plants in total.

Pay attention to what's being said, or keep your comments to yourself.

Now, piss off.

-Caliban

geokstr
1.8 / 5 (19) Jul 04, 2013
Jokepostr, why don't you try addressing the article instead of violating the rules here? I'm reporting this and all similar posts.

Mr Gee:

Please do. That will give the moderators at least two of my comments to establish a pattern of my massive violations of the rules. Unlike with Vendicar, deepsand and other leftists here, whose vile, vicious personal attacks on anyone who disagrees with them, have resulted in my reporting many hundred comments of both of them.

Do you report any of theirs at all, Mr Gee? Non? Gee (no pun intended), what a coincidence.

And wow, making fun of my sig, that's so intellectual and very impressive.

Some of my comments here, like the one above, are satire and sarcasm. I am quite aware that the left does not appreciate or even understand humor when it's aimed at them. It is only permissible to ridicule the right (St Alinsky, Psalm #5, Religion of Leftism).
geokstr
1.7 / 5 (17) Jul 04, 2013
-46.5% of what Geokstr says is rational.

Well, that's one of the least offensive comments you've ever made here. But as usual, it's a personal attack to respond to a generally directed satirical comment that was not aimed at you at all.

I wonder if you're so courageous when saying things like that to someone's face. I suspect not. That's one of the traits of the internet bully-wannabe who's just another coward in person.
JohnGee
3.2 / 5 (18) Jul 04, 2013
Do you report any of theirs at all, Mr Gee?
Ever reported a ryggesogn2 post? Freethinking? Ever reported yourself? The vast majority of your posts are off topic right wing talking points. Try discussing science instead of being a fat prick.

Don't you have stamps to counterfeit?
SteveS
4 / 5 (12) Jul 04, 2013
All intelligent people of good will know that there is a proven consensus of 143.256% of all scientists that AGW is bad - for everybody and everything.


A satirical comment aimed at all proponents of AGW.

Well, that's one of the least offensive comments you've ever made here. But as usual, it's a personal attack to respond to a generally directed satirical comment that was not aimed at you at all.


sat-ire (sat-ahyuhr) - a literary composition in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

So you accuse all proponents of AGW of folly or vice and subject them to scorn, derision, and ridicule. Is this better or worse than a personal attack?

At least there is nothing hypocritical about an obvious personal attack.
deepsand
3.1 / 5 (15) Jul 05, 2013
I am quite aware that the left does not appreciate or even understand humor when it's aimed at them. It is only permissible to ridicule the right (St Alinsky, Psalm #5, Religion of Leftism).

Even if true, which it is not, that would be one of the few things that you seem to be aware of.
Lurker2358
1.9 / 5 (10) Jul 07, 2013
More foliage for --existing-- plants is most definitely not the same thing as more plants in total.

-Caliban


More foliage = more surviving offspring = more plants.
Humpty
1.4 / 5 (10) Jul 08, 2013
Why do these "dickhead" scientists all talk in terms of, "Beneficial to farming and forrestry" - "It's good for the economy." etc..

What about ALL life on earth?

Idiots.

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