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Does the Amount of CO2 Improve or Somehow Affect the Development of Plants? by City Tech Blogger Eduardo Bravo

During the development of a plant, CO2 is super important. By using sunlight and CO2, plants produce sugars and oxygen by the process of photosynthesis. Many of the plants on Earth depend on this system to be alive. Many important political people have said that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere does not cause any harm, and that in fact it helps plants to grow. There is some truth to this fact. According to the article “Does Rising CO2 Benefits Plants?” it says, “If you isolate a leaf [in a laboratory] and you increase the level of CO2, photosynthesis will increase. That’s well established.” Thus, the amount of CO2 benefits plants. But there is a misconception about this statement. Even though the increase of CO2 improves the growth of a plant, there are other factors that also need to be taken into account in order to predict whether or not CO2 is beneficial to plants. As is stated in the same article, “for example, nitrogen is often in short enough to supply that it’s the primary controller of how much biomass is produced….. If nitrogen is limited, the benefit of the CO2 increase is limited… You can’t just look at CO2, because the overall context really matters.”Many complexes play important roles in the development of a plant, and if a plant is overwhelmed with a high amount of CO2 the plant can suffer harmful consequences. For example, when a plant is overwhelmed by the concentration of CO2 its nutrients and growth get affected “plants get some benefits early on from higher CO2, but that [benefit] starts to saturate… The more CO2 you have, the less and less benefit you get.”

If the plants that we consume in our daily lives do not contain sufficient amount of nutrients we need for the production of energy, then, not only the CO2 concentration affects plants but also humans because we begin to develop various diseases from the insufficient amount of carbs for our diet “[Food crops] lose significant amounts of iron and zinc – and grains [also] lose proteins…. A total of 1.4 billion women of child – bearing age and young children who live in countries with a high prevalence of anemia would lose more than 3.8 percent of their dietary iron at such CO2 levels.”   As we know, if the high concentrations of CO2 persist in the atmosphere, the high concentrations of CO2 will cause an increase in the temperature of Earth, thus creating a more chaotic environment. A small increase in temperature due to the high concentrations of CO2 (greenhouse gases) will rise the sea levels and will create more floods in cities close to the sea. For the people saying that an increase in CO2 concentration on Earth usually helps the plants, these people forget that the most important part is that an increase on CO2 concentrations induces climate change, therefore affecting Earth, and not being beneficial to either humans or plants.


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  1. An increase in CO2 concentrations not only causes greenhouse effect, but it also poses a threat to human health. The main hazard of carbon dioxide to the human body is to stimulate people’s respiratory system, resulting in rapid breathing, increased smoke intake, and can cause headaches, confusion and other symptoms. The content of carbon dioxide in fresh air is about 0.03%. Humans will not get affected under this condition. However, if there are many people in a room and the air does not circulate in combination with indoor combustion of gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and coal stoves and the relative reduction of oxygen content in the air will result in a lot of carbon dioxide. Indoor personnel will have varying degrees of effects from poisoning. Similarly to the earth, the air contains about 0.03% carbon dioxide, but due to human activities (such as the burning of fossil fuels), the carbon dioxide content has soared in recent years, leading to the greenhouse effect, global warming, glaciers melting, and sea level rise. CMU’s analysis showed that “humans are pretty good sensors of high CO2 levels.” Occupant perception of indoor air quality drops sharply as CO2 levels rise from 600 to 750 ppm. According to predictions, global emissions of carbon dioxide in the air will reach 900PPM in 2100.


    Romm, J. (October, 2015). Exclusive: Elevated CO2 Levels Directly Affect Human Cognition, New Harvard Study Shows. ThinkProgress. Retrieved from https://thinkprogress.org/exclusive-elevated-co2-levels-directly-affect-human-cognition-new-harvard-study-shows-2748e7378941/

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