Rising CO2 Levels Causing Deserts to Green

Some interesting research has come out of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) that shows deserts have actually begun to green because of the rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere:

In findings based on satellite observations, CSIRO, in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU), found that this CO2 fertilisation correlated with an 11 per cent increase in foliage cover from 1982-2010 across parts of the arid areas studied in Australia, North America, the Middle East and Africa, according to CSIRO research scientist, Dr Randall Donohue.

Many proponents of global warming have been claiming that the rising CO2 levels have lead to an increased in temperature, which has lead to an increasing rate of desertification. Others have been claiming that the Earth is in a state of CO2 starvation, which has cause a decrease in plant life. If CSIRO’s research pans out the latter group could be proven correct if deserts continue to green as CO2 level increase.

The most interesting aspect of this research, in my opinion, is it demonstrates how little our species knows about the consequences of various planetary changes. This is an important lesson because many people become so enamored with certain ideas that they become willing to use force to propagate them. Such zealotry should be avoided as our species is discovering new data every day that stands to change our previous conclusions. At one time many people thought the Earth was flat but today we know it is roughly spherical. Today a majority of people believe global warming is a man made phenomenon but in the future we could learn that it’s being caused by an extraplanetary phenomenon. Because of this I believe it would be prudent to avoid using force to coerce individuals into reducing CO2 output. As time goes on we may even learn that increased CO2 levels are beneficial if it leads to a reversal of desertification.