NASA: Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth

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Image: NASA Change in leaf area.

Come on guys, make your minds up! Is it good for us or not? You can’t have it both ways. Currently CO2 in the atmosphere is about 400 parts per million. That’s historically pretty low and not too far off the critical level of 150 ppm which would just about obliterate plant life on Earth but miles from the 4,000ppm that of the Cambrian age which produced fauna that led to fossils and fuel. So this news from NASA is interesting. Does it show that the Earth is good at self-regulating?

From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.

An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.