Seeing the CO2 greening of Planet Earth

Two years ago the big scientific news was that increasing CO2 levels were increasing plant productivity around the world. CO2 is the global food supply so this is good news indeed.

CFACT’s Larry Bell explained the science in this article:

CO2 ‘pollution’ is greening the planet

Global greening is the most important ecological trend on Earth today

CFACT, May 9, 2016

Now NASA has produced a spectacular short video based on this research together with other satellite images:

20 Years of Global Biosphere

NASA Scientific Visualization Studio, Nov 2017

It basically shows the greenness of the Earth every month for 20 years. Along the way we see the seasons, the ebb and flow of snow cover, and a lot more.

The fact that atmospheric CO2 is feeding the world, and feeding it more, needs to be taught. Along with the new NASA video, there are bunches of earlier videos that can be used to get this vital message out. Some examples follow.

1. NASA has this earlier video that makes the point explicitly:

Rising CO2 Levels Greening Earth

Released on April 25, 2016

Goddard Media Studios

2. Here is a semi-technical animation that explains the science:

Increasing carbon dioxide levels affect plant growth

G. Morwong et al, Oct 2015, 10 minutes

3. British journalist Matt Ridley really took up the cause in 2016. Here is his presentation, the invited annual lecture of the prestigious Global Warming Policy Foundation:

Matt Ridley: Global Warming Versus Global Greening

GWPF Annual Lecture, October 2016, 40 minutes

Greenhouse operators have long known that increased CO2 increases plant productivity. So much so that they spend money making it happen. Here are some videos about it:

1. Carbon Dioxide 101

Everest Fernandez, Just Growers, March 2016, 5 minutes


co2themax, May 2012, 5 minutes

There are also these two great classic videos, both worth watching today:

1. The Greening of Planet Earth (1992)

Posted by CO2 Science, 28 minutes

2. The Greening of Planet Earth Continues (1998)
Posted by CO2 Science, 29 minutes

Here are two major websites that have a lot of information on atmospheric CO2 and plant productivity:

1. The CO2 Coalition

2. CO2 Science

It should be noted that there is a bit of a semantic confusion in some of these discussions. The increase in pliant productivity is sometimes incorrectly called a “fertilization” effect. In reality fertilizer is like vitamins. It provides trace elements that plants need a tiny bit of.

In contrast, CO2 is the actual food of plants. When you watch a plant grow you are watching CO2 (and water) building a body. When you watch a child grow, or play, you are watching that CO2 be reprocessed. Everything that we eat is primarily composed of processed CO2.

That the world’s food supply is increasing thanks to increasing CO2 is a science story that needs to be told, loudly and well, in today’s absurdly anti-CO2 policy environment.


About the Author: David Wojick, Ph.D.

David Wojick is a journalist and policy analyst. He holds a doctorate in epistemology, specializing in the field of Mathematical Logic and Conceptual Analysis.