CO2 Raises The Productivity Of Nearly All Herbaceous Plants
A 300 ppm increase in the air's CO2 content typically raises the productivity of most herbaceous (non-woody) plants by about one-third; and this positive response occurs in plants that utilize all three of the major biochemical pathways (C3, C4, CAM) of photosynthesis. Thus, with more CO2 in the air, the productivity of nearly all crops rises, as they produce more branches and tillers, more and thicker leaves, more extensive root systems, and more flowers and fruit.
On average, a 300-ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration leads to yield increases of 15% for CAM crops, 49% for C3 cereals, 20% for C4 cereals, 24% for fruits and melons, 44% for legumes, 48% for roots and tubers and 37% for vegetables (Idso and Idso, 2000). And as Sylvan H. Wittwer has stated, "the rising level of atmospheric CO2 is a universally free premium, gaining in magnitude with time, on which we can all reckon for the future."
Idso, C.D. and Idso, K.E. 2000. Forecasting world food supplies: The impact of the rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. Technology 7S: 33-35.
Wittwer, S.H. 1997. The global environment: It's good for food production. In: Michaels PJ (ed) State of the climate report: Essays on global climate change. New Hope Environmental Services, New Hope, p 8-13.
** For additional peer-reviewed scientific references and an in-depth discussion of the science supporting our position, please visit Climate Change Reconsidered: The Report of the Nongovernmental Planel on Climate Change (www.climatechangereconsidered.org), or CO2 Science (www.co2science.org).