As CO2 levels climb, millions at risk of nutritional deficiencies

August 27, 2018, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) from human activity are making staple crops such as rice and wheat less nutritious and could result in 175 million people becoming zinc deficient and 122 million people becoming protein deficient by 2050, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study also found that more than 1 billion women and children could lose a large amount of their dietary iron intake, putting them at increased risk of anemia and other diseases.

"Our research makes it clear that decisions we are making every day—how we heat our homes, what we eat, how we move around, what we choose to purchase—are making our food less nutritious and imperiling the health of other populations and future generations," said Sam Myers, lead author of the study and principal research scientist at Harvard Chan School.

The study will be published online August 27, 2018 in Nature Climate Change.

Presently, more than 2 billion worldwide are estimated to be deficient in one or more nutrients. In general, humans tend to get a majority of key nutrients from plants: 63% of dietary protein comes from vegetal sources, as well as 81% of iron and 68% of zinc. It has been shown that higher atmospheric levels of CO2result in less nutritious crop yields, with concentrations of protein, iron, and zinc being 3%-17% lower when crops are grown in environments where CO2concentrations are 550 parts per million (ppm) compared with crops grown under current atmospheric conditions, in which CO2 levels are just above 400 ppm.

For this new study, researchers sought to develop the most robust and accurate analysis of the global health burden of CO2-related nutrient shifts in crops in 151 countries. To do so, they created a unified set of assumptions across all nutrients and used more detailed age- and sex-specific food supply datasets to improve estimates of the impacts across 225 different foods. The study built on previous analyses by the researchers on CO2-related nutritional deficiencies, which looked at fewer foods and fewer countries.

The study showed that by the middle of this century, when atmospheric CO2 concentrations are expected to reach around 550 ppm, 1.9% of the global population—or roughly 175 million people, based on 2050 population estimates—could become deficient in zinc and that 1.3% of the global population, or 122 million people, could become protein deficient. Additionally, 1.4 billion women of childbearing age and children under 5 who are currently at high risk of iron deficiency could have their dietary iron intakes reduced by 4% or more.

The researchers also emphasized that billions of people currently living with nutritional deficiencies would likely see their conditions worsen as a result of less nutritious .

According to the study, India would bear the greatest burden, with an estimated 50 million people becoming zinc deficient, 38 million becoming protein deficient, and 502 million women and children becoming vulnerable to diseases associated with deficiency. Other countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East would also be significantly impacted.

"One thing this research illustrates is a core principle of the emerging field of planetary health," said Myers, who directs the Planetary Health Alliance, co-housed at Harvard Chan School and Harvard University Center for the Environment. "We cannot disrupt most of the biophysical conditions to which we have adapted over millions of years without unanticipated impacts on our own and wellbeing."

Explore further: Global warming reduces protein in key crops: study

More information: Matthew R. Smith et al, Impact of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on global human nutrition, Nature Climate Change (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0253-3

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Bart_A
1.5 / 5 (15) Aug 27, 2018
Sounds like the answer is for the deficient people to eat more meat to balance their protein and other nutrition intake.

TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2018
Grains were never very nutritious. Eating grass is the last resort of any self-respecting hunter gatherer. Too much work, too little reward.

But we could grow a lot of it in otherwise unusable land, and we could store it throughout the off-season, and so it became a staple for generations of stunted, weak, and sickly unfortunates.

Since then we have constantly selected it for quantity over quality in a desperate attempt to continue to feed pops that consistently grow faster than the food supply.

The result? Disease, insanity, early death.
Sounds like the answer is for the deficient people to eat more meat to balance their protein and other nutrition intake
What do you care bart? You pray for a swift end to all of this, jesus out of the clouds on a big white horse and all that.
SCVGoodToGo
4 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2018
Grains[...]Too much work, too little reward.


I hope you're excluding beer from your sentiment.
cleanearth2
4 / 5 (8) Aug 27, 2018
Sounds like the answer is for the deficient people to eat more meat to balance their protein and other nutrition intake.


Sounds like you are thumbsucking dumb comments swinging those trees again
Old_C_Code
2 / 5 (8) Aug 27, 2018
CO2 is the "greening" chemical, they are so full of s*** it's just amazing.
Phyllis Harmonic
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2018
Bart_A The answer is so easy when you prefer fairy tales over reality.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2018
I hope you're excluding beer from your sentiment
You must admit that products of rotting foodstuffs do tend to make people stunted, weak, and sickly, the unfortunate result of needing to store it for any length of time. Did pleistoceners use drugs or were they high on life? Science will eventually know for sure.
theredpill
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2018
Were going to need the precise zinc and iron uptake methods that are affected by higher CO2, because those elements come from the ground, so if the soil is lacking, so will the plants...this is common knowledge. What is not common knowledge is the mechanism the higher Co2 value triggered to cause the plants to reduce their uptake provided the soil contained the same amount currently available in nature.

"CO2 is the "greening" chemical, they are so full of s*** it's just amazing."

mmmhmmm.
barakn
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 27, 2018
Sounds like the answer is for the deficient people to eat more meat to balance their protein and other nutrition intake.


Gosh, I wonder where all those herbivores we eat get their protein from?
Whart1984
Aug 27, 2018
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Whart1984
Aug 27, 2018
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Whart1984
Aug 27, 2018
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dudester
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2018
CO2 is the "greening" chemical, they are so full of s*** it's just amazing.


Circular reasoning.

If a normal amount of something is good, a lot more must be better? Try putting your seedlings under a grow lamp for 10, 12, 16, better yet 24 hours a day and get back to me on your growth curve.

But light is the photosynthesizing energy! Someone must be full of s*** it's just amazing!
dudester
5 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2018
Meat comes from wild, foraging animals (hunting) or animals fed agriculturally produced forage which usually includes grains such as corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, but rarely wheat as it's high protein content has more value for human consumption in the form of bread.
Grains and such things as peas and beans are, of course, the reproductive phase of various kinds of plants. If the domesticated species are experiencing declines in nutrient uptake with higher CO2 levels what is to say non-domesticated species, i.e. "wild" plants amenable to "free range" meat production, would be taking up sufficient levels of nutrients as well?Lower nutrient levels in the reproductive phase of a plant's cycle could mean more difficult germination, less robust growth, and lower levels of nutrients in mature leaves and stems, all of which would add to the time animals would need to be left foraging to achieve the same weight gains, and then that meat might have lower nutrient levels, and so forth.
Whart1984
Aug 27, 2018
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Whart1984
Aug 27, 2018
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leetennant
5 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2018
This is where we need to pursue GMO but that's also been overtaken by the anti-science crazies.
Anonym518498
1 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2018
They got their money from weston foods, a canadian baking outfit, and from wellcome trust. Wellcome is a well known supporter of leftist causes, the bakers probably are angling for more government money to add iron to flour etc etc,

And the areas at risk: Regions at highest risk—South and Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East
the same blah blah blah about North American and European white privilege.

Their key assumption is: assuming constant diets,

well folks, if the natives improve their diets then your whole friggin argument goes up in smoke, er, CO2
Whart1984
Aug 27, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
leetennant
5 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2018
This is where we need to pursue GMO but that's also been overtaken by the anti-science crazies
The https://www.reddi...mo_hype/ on this planet.


*sigh*
howhot3
not rated yet Aug 27, 2018
"Soylent Green" What is the secret?

https://www.youtu...GOKYHxaQ

I saw this when I was a kid and it just stuck. Its so fitting with what appears to be next stages of global warming. The more numbers I crunch, the worst this situation is looking. The dates in this movie are so close to what could happen. If it all goes to the worst case 8C increase by 2100 yeah, it will be bad, "The Scoops are coming!!!"
leetennant
5 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2018
If we hit 8 degrees by 2100, we'll be long past a soylent green crisis.
howhot3
5 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2018
If we hit 8 degrees by 2100, we'll be long past a soylent green crisis.

I agree with you @leetennant. If you listen to the video, Soylent happens in 2022. Apparently, NY isn't flooded from sea level rise. But still, it was quite a good guess for a movie from 1973.
leetennant
5 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2018
Parts of NY have already been declared uninhabitable due to sea level rises, mostly because of increased storm surge risk. Won't be long before other areas will be too.
dudester
5 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2018
If a normal amount of something is good, a lot more must be better?
The question is, what the "normal" is. The thick layers of coal originate from times when the Earth was flooded by carbon dioxide and sequestered it by much higher rate. The Devonian forests and their coal reserves formed in times, when carbon dioxide levels were at least five-times higher, yet the Earth was full of wild life. Scientific research shows that in the past CO2 levels were 8000ppm. You heard that right. 8000ppm. And the Earth was overrun with greenery like true Eden. Huge plants, huge flowers, dinosaurs all around...


You need a refresher read on the Devonian-- aka The Age of Fish. Primitive plants without true roots on land. First arthropods on land, nothing close to the size of dinosaurs. First appearance of seeding plants, not flowers.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2.3 / 5 (6) Aug 28, 2018
Parts of NY have already been declared uninhabitable due to sea level rises, mostly because of increased storm surge risk. Won't be long before other areas will be too.

says lee

I have lived in NYC for a time and the only real storm surge that I saw was during Hurricane Sandy in various areas. But it is normal for low-lying areas to get flooded on occasion during storms. If the flooding becomes the usual thing - with or without a storm - then it is time to either sell and get out, or have the county build a dike around the perimeter to block the water under a certain level.
The Netherlands have had the dike system in place for centuries and have averted flooded streets and cropland. The Dutch are upbeat about the fact that they live in the "lowlands" which is the definition for Netherlands or Nederland.
The South Street Seaport in NYC is a low area also, but I don't know how it fared during Sandy.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2018
I had the link but I lost it. The SSS was devastated in 2012 by Sandy but has now recovered and there is a new building on the 17. I'm happy to no longer live in NYC, although there were some nice things about the city...the taxes are too high and getting even higher, thanks to the Democrats.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
1.7 / 5 (6) Aug 28, 2018
This is where we need to pursue GMO but that's also been overtaken by the anti-science crazies.

says lee

The GMO seeds were designed to be grown in third-world countries to help prevent starvation due to crop failures. But in western countries, most knowledgeable people are loath to buy and eat GMO products, and prefer the Organic-grown veggies and fruits rather than the Frankenstein fruit and vegetables. It is more expensive, but most people place their trust in natural foods.

And there is nothing anti-science about natural foods grown from Heritage seeds.
Thorium Boy
1.7 / 5 (6) Aug 28, 2018
So grow something other than rice. Why is it animals are smart enough not to live in floodplains but humans aren't? Or in areas hit by earthquakes and hurricanes? You wonder why the costs of these events is rising? Double the population, double the costs, but the morons think it's because "storms are worse." If things are changing, then ADAPT and shut up.
Old_C_Code
1 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2018
Why isn't 8 billion out of 8 billion people affected? Only 175 million = BS study.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2018
Parts of NY have already been declared uninhabitable due to sea level rises, mostly because of increased storm surge risk. Won't be long before other areas will be too...HAWW...HEE..HAWW...HEE

leetenantTard, The Chicken Chicken Little Jackass brays.
Please jackass, bray to us, how and when you stopped burning fossil fuels, so that us heretics can join you in saving NY.
barakn
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2018
The GMO seeds were designed to be grown in third-world countries to help prevent starvation due to crop failures.
The GMO seeds were designed so the third world farmers would become dependent on the GMO seed company for their expensive seeds every single planting time, rather than saving seeds from locally-adapted crops at every harvest.
Old_C_Code
1 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2018
Just more crap from studies that shouldn't be funded.
gkam
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2018
As we can see, our enemies are technical ignorance and political prejudice.
howhot3
5 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2018
SPOILER ALERT: What is the secret of Soylent Green?

If you can ever find the video for Soylent Green (SG), do watch it, It's from the 70s and has those unique innocents for a powerful sci-fi futurism message on the environment. So current concern with global warming is that food resources can't adapt to rapid climate warming and food/water won't be available in large urban areas. We are not there yet, but all indicators are pointing in that direction. In Soylent Green, they resolved the problem by voluntary cannibalism! When you died you were processed into Soylent green. It soon progressed from being voluntary to an enforcement tool against food riots, and riots against the government. The "Scoops" were the tools to collect all of that new food.

While the film is of "Planet of the Apes" quality, the deep story in this film is a warning to protect the environment (our mother planet) or meet the disaster you make.
grandpa
1 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2018
Lion's Tigers and Bears, oh my! If somebody doesn't do something, nobody will!
howhot3
not rated yet Sep 01, 2018
Protect the environment @grandpoo or those lions and tigers and bears will join the thousands already on the path to extinction. Oh wait, aren't some species of tigers almost extinct? OH MY, I think they are. See;
http://crownridge...t-tigers

Your one of them traitor trump lovers I gather, just posting crap to get your rocks off. Smooth man, really smooth.


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