Forget Polar Bears, We’re Killing Our Food
Posted on May 16, 2010
Scientists once thought all that carbon dioxide that humans have been pumping into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution kicked off might be good for plants (even if it hotboxes the planet in the process), but recent studies show we have a lot to worry about.
It turns out that carbon dioxide, which plants depend on in normal doses, can, in excess, keep plants from absorbing important nutrients, according to the researchers. Put it this way: Too much carbon means unhealthy plants, and unhealthy plants means unhealthy humans.
If it becomes harder to raise crops and crops are less nutritious, we could have a very hard time feeding the growing global population—and we’re already not doing a very good job. —PZS with help from TLC
Los Angeles Times:
The findings have significant implications for agriculture, biologists said. They suggest that, as global warming continues and carbon dioxide levels rise, food may become poorer in quality and nutrition, and farmers may have to worry about crops that could be more prone to pest infestations (as plant eaters may have to eat more to get the same nutritional value as before).
Farmers will have to figure out how to fertilize their crops without poisoning them, researchers said, since ammonium (another form of inorganic nitrogen that can be used to feed plants) is not subject to the nitrate inhibition issue but can be toxic if not used wisely.
Flickr / Dodo-Bird (CC-BY)