Earth Is Greening Due to Rising CO2
A new study finds rising CO2 concentrations (and warming) have driven the rapid increase in Earth’s photosynthesis processes, or greening. CO2-induced planetary greening leads to an enormous expansion of Earth’s carbon sink. By 2100 this greening-sink effect will offset 17 years of equivalent human CO2 emissions. This easily supersedes the effect of Paris Agreement CO2 mitigation policies. In a break from the deflating global news of viral infections and rising death rates, a groundbreaking new study (Haverd et al., 2020) affirms the “beneficial role of the land carbon sink in modulating future excess anthropogneic CO2 consistent with the target of the Paris Agreement” via the fertilization effect of rising CO2. There has been a 30% rise in global greening since 1900. CO2 fertilization is the “dominant driver” of these greening trends, with an additional positive contribution from climate warming. When CO2 levels double (to 560 ppm), this CO2-fertilization-greening effect is expected to increase to 47%. Growth in the land’s carbon sink – absorbing excess CO2 emissions – will reach 174 PgC by the end of the century. This is the equivalent of eliminating 17 full years of human CO2 emissions.