When I was in college I worked for Phytofarms of America, which produced the highest quality leafy vegetables in a hydroponic environment. The environment was completely artificial, high-powered lamps, nutrient controlled water and CO2 at three times the atmospheric level.
Years later when I was working at NREL I received incredulous guffaws from some co-workers when I mentioned the growing advantages of high CO2. They were certain, of course, that any deviation from the “normal” CO2 level was bad.
We’ve now had two decades of dire predictions of disastrous effects from CO2. People who have suggested possible advantages of elevated CO2 have been treated like kooks. This adherence to quasi-religious dogma is usually flawlessly practiced a the Church of NPR. But something slipped by the editors.
A recent episode of Science Friday covered the discovery of the dinosaur Dreadnoughtus Schrani. This dinosaur, they tell us, was as massive as a Boeing 737. It had to eat a lot to get that big. How could it find enough food to sustain itself?
Ira Flatow (host): It would seem like it would take a lot of food to feed a body that size. Is it constantly eating all day long just to stay in shape? … Would this mean that you couldn’t have a lot of them living together because they would just eat so much and, you know, compete for food?
The guest, Kenneth Lacovara says…
Well, you know, it depends on what the baseload productivity is in the eco-system, the phyto productivity…
Then Locovara said this (click link to play mp3)…
…the temperatures in the Mesozoic, especially in the Cretaceous, are high, CO2 levels are high. Plants love this, so you would imagine that plant productivity is high.
I guess its time for the re-education camp for an NPR sound editor