Elevated Levels of Carbon Dioxide Can Affect Crop Growth in the FutureEarlier this year, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), released results of a new study, which found that by the year 2050, the elevated levels of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere will be significantly affecting crop growth all around the world.
These same crops are great sources of dietary protein, zinc and iron, and with an estimated two billion people suffering from protein, zinc or iron deficiencies, and around 63 million deaths per year due to malnutrition; it’s cause for concern. “The reduction in these nutrients represents the most significant health threat ever shown to be associated with climate change”, says the Harvard researchers.
41 Crops Tested for Impact of CO2
The study was done in free air environments, not green houses, and involved 41 different varying genes from wheat, rice, soy, field pea’s and sorghum.
The results found a large decrease in concentrations of protein, zinc and iron in these grains exposed to CO2.
Globally, 2-3 billion people derive 70% of their zinc and iron from these exact crops. This great reduction in nutrients could be catastrophic in the developing world.
Rising CO2 Threatens Human Nutrition
Lead author of the study, and research scientists for the Department of Environmental Health, Samuel Myers, says of our global pollution, “Humanity is conducting a global experiment by rapidly altering the environmental conditions on the only habitable planet we know. As this experiment unfolds, there will undoubtedly be many surprises. Finding out that rising CO2 threatens human nutrition is one such surprise,” he says.
All the more reason to try to lower our carbon footprint!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Honor Tremain - Nutritionist and health writerhttps://www.facebook.com/HonorTremain
Honor is a qualified naturopathic Nutritionist and health writer. She is very passionate about nutrition and health, and has been working in the field for almost 20 years.
Honor is the head nutrition writer for the multi-national Fitness First magazine, which won best app for an iPhone & tablet device in 2011 for the ‘Magazine excellence awards’.
Honor also has her own ‘Ask Honor’ column and weekly health article in the APN newspapers for The Fraser Coast Chronicle and Observer in QLD.
She designs weight loss meals and menu’s for Sydney based food manufacturer Core Food Concepts.
Honor has lectured and supervised the Nutritional medicine students at one of Sydney’s largest Natural therapies college’s- Nature Care College.
You can follow her and many of her articles on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/HonorTremain