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Book: Impact of Carbon Dioxide, Trace Gases, and Climate Change on Global Agriculture
Published by: American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America

 

This chapter in IMPACT OF CARBON DIOXIDE, TRACE GASES, AND CLIMATE CHANGE ON GLOBAL AGRICULTURE

  1.  p. 61-69
    ASA Special Publication 53.
    Impact of Carbon Dioxide, Trace Gases, and Climate Change on Global Agriculture

    Bruce A. Kimball (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-319-8

     

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doi:10.2134/asaspecpub53.c5

Interactive Effects of Carbon Dioxide and Climate Variables on Plant Growth1

  1. Sherwood B. Idso
  1. U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory Phoenix, Arizona

Abstract

The climate variables predicted to experience major modification as a result of future increases in atmospheric CO2 and other radiatively active trace gases are temperature and precipitation. Predicted changes in these two parameters should intensify the hydrologic cycle over the globe, but could produce opposite trends in certain regions. A “worst-case” scenario of consequent local reductions in summer soil moisture is evaluated in terms of the beneficial effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment on plant water use efficiency and the interactive effect of air temperature increase on the growth-enhancing effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment. It is demonstrated that the direct biological impacts of concomitant increases in CO2 and air temperature are probably sufficient to offset the adverse effects of summer soil moisture reductions predicted by state-of-the-art climate/water balance models. It is also noted that the worst-case climate scenario is unrealistic. Consequently, plant growth the world over should be significantly stimulated by atmospheric CO2 enrichment, a phenomenon that many people feel is already evident in a number of ecological indicators.

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Copyright © 1990. Copyright © 1990 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc., Crop Science Society of America, Inc., Soil Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA