Researchers Against CO2

Posted: September 9, 2016 by oldbrew in atmosphere, propaganda

Ron Clutz takes a closer look at the latest attempt to demonise the trace gas carbon dioxide, which as biology tells us is essential to plant life.

Science Matters

The media are reporting stories with a new theme: More CO2 is bad for plant life. This flies in the face of biochemistry, but the activist motivation is clear: They want people thinking CO2 is bad in every way. They don’t want the warming scare undermined by the idea that CO2 along with warming actually helps plant life and agriculture.

The current stories are coming from researchers involved with an outdoor laboratory site called Jasper Ridge, affiliated with Stanford University, my alma mater and home to famous alarmist Stephen Schneider (deceased). The headlines are occasioned by a new paper appearing Sept. 5 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, authored by Chris Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment..

Headlines Claim, Details Deny

Headlines and claims like those below are appearing this week, but as we shall see, the details do not support the conclusions…

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  1. tchannon says:

    Any data on real conditions? Not that I spotted. Are those overhead lamps? Is that how dragon gas works?

  2. oldbrew says:

    CO2 found not guilty …

    ‘Seven different data sets are in reasonable agreement show that temperature globally has barely risen for 20 odd years, while CO2 has risen sharply.’

    And the 2015/16 El Nino is over so its warming effect is going to be fading from the record soon.

  3. oldbrew says:

    For a longer analysis:

    by Jeffrey A. Glassman, PhD

    ‘Carbon dioxide does not accumulate in the atmosphere.’

    ‘Because the GCMs have been split into loosely–coupled atmospheric models and primitive ocean models, they have no mechanism by which to reproduce the temperature dependency of CO2 on water temperature evident in the Vostok data.’

  4. oldbrew says:

    oldmanK link: ‘Using CO2 in greenhouses is a common practice in the Netherlands’

    Stanford University – ‘More CO2 is bad for plant life’ [paraphrase]
    Who to believe – commercial growers or academics? No contest really – follow the money 😉

  5. oldmanK says:

    @ oldbrew: Visiting CC plants in the Netherlands twenty years ago was some learning experience, not only in ‘state of the art’ engineering but other things as well. Like preventing grass fires by grazing sheep (we adopted that for fuel pipelines) and chickens to clear insects that would foul air filters.

  6. tom0mason says:

    So they heated up the atmosphere and soils around these plants with heat lamps, added some sort of nitrogenous acid and watered it all in. They then relied on the natural CO2 rise over 17 years from about 370ppm to 40oppm, a miserable 30 parts per million, to indicate something.

    Now for some reason they could not see how this minimal amount of CO2 rise has no discernible effect on these experimentally stressed grass land.
    Maybe they don’t understand 400ppm is at the low end of scale for what plants need. Added to all the artificial stresses, by their own admission, these plants are trying to grow on land naturally low in phosphorous.
    Why are surprised the grasses didn’t thrive? What can be said apart from ‘What a waste of time and money?’

    “OK commercial growers, stop pumping CO2 into all your glasshouses as ascientist say it doesn’t work!”

    Oddly most of the scientific papers here ( finds quite the opposite.

  7. oldbrew says:

    They changed four variables then blamed the results on one of them.

  8. ivan says:

    oldbrew, that is typical climate science – decide on the result first and then fit the experiment to get that result. If that fails there is always the old standby – if the experiment doesn’t give the desired results fudge the data until it does.

    And they call themselves scientists!!

  9. oldmanK says:

    Its not only in climate science. Others have commented of “turning history on its head” when the point is not putting forward new discoveries but more like re-inventing the wheel by trying to fit a square shape.

    Yet perhaps that’s how humanity has progressed – to question what is known (Bronowski)..

  10. oldbrew says:

    How do they ‘increase atmospheric CO2’ in an open air environment?

    From the report:
    Elevated CO2 is achieved by a free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) system that emits pure CO2 from orifices in plastic tubes that surround the plot at the canopy level. CO2 emission is adjusted continuously for wind speed and wind direction so that CO2 concentrations averaged over every few minutes are almost always close to the target of 700 ppm. Warming is achieved with an array of four overhead infrared heaters. Dummy heater hoods are installed over plots not receiving the heat treatment. Water additions are applied to quadrants by above ground spray emitters. Nitrogen addition is achieved by adding dissolved or encapsulated calcium nitrate to the soil surface. [bold added]

  11. FTOP says:

    “The fourth environmental factor that we’re manipulating is rainfall”

    When Stanford researchers don’t understand the basic scientific concepts of independent, dependent, and control variables, it is a clear indication of how far science has fallen.

    Stanford “scientists” now resemble the movie “Idiocracy”

  12. oldbrew says:

    Which is preferable?

    A – the Stanford way with four variables (see post, above), or:
    B – the greenhouse test:
    1) Monitor a greenhouse plant-growing operation at standard atmosphere
    2) Monitor a greenhouse plant-growing operation at standard atmosphere except elevated CO2 level.
    3) Compare the ‘growing performance’ of 1 and 2.

    B gets my vote.

  13. oldbrew says:

    For their next trick, the Stanford group could try halving the carbon dioxide allowed to the plants, instead of doubling it. See how that goes.

    Under conditions of constant and uniform illumination the rate of photosynthesis can be increased by simply increasing the amount of carbon dioxide (i.e. increasing the atmospheric partial pressure) available to plants.

    As before, one can measure the rate of photosynthesis as a function of carbon dioxide pressure by placing a green plant in a sealed container and measuring the rate at which oxygen is produced.

    As the partial pressure of carbon dioxide increases there is an almost linear increase in the rate of oxygen production, which implies an identical increase in the rate of photosynthesis.

    This increase eventually levels off, and further increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide have no further effect.

    Conversely, reducing the carbon dioxide concentration reduces the rate of photosynthetic activity. The level at which the oxygen production rate drops to zero is called the compensation point for carbon dioxide. [bold added]

  14. oldmanK says:

    Something interesting – because it is a primary basic; it feeds us.

    “Several major factors influence the protein content in wheat. The Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development staff noted in a study that those factors include the timing and amount of growing season precipitation; the temperature and heat (degree days) during the growing season; soil nitrogen reserve levels; and applied nitrogen fertilizer pre-plant, at seeding and in-crop applications.” It mentions fertiliser but not herbicides to limit competition. Not soil preparation.

    Corn/wheat cultivation is a more complicated issue than thought. Our ancient ancestors went to great lengths to develop the stains of wheat that feed millions today. To the point that today there is a near symbiotic relationship between man and the cereals.