Understanding Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change

J. Kasting and K. Freeman

The Wall Street Journal (16 May 2013)

URL: http://goo.gl/DtG5ue

In the op-ed "In Defense of Carbon Dioxide" (May 9), Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer argue that higher carbon dioxide concentrations will be beneficial because they will encourage growth and increase the efficiency of certain C3 crops, including wheat and rice. But other studies have shown that the beneficial effects of CO2 may be more than outweighed by decreases in soil moisture and increases in heat stress and insect pests associated with future climate change. Furthermore, weeds which are C3 plants may outcompete C4 crops like corn in a CO2-rich world. Higher CO2 isn't likely to solve the problem of world hunger.

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