Sugar planet: rising CO2 adds carbs to crops

“We are witnessing the greatest injection of carbohydrates into the biosphere in human history―[an] injection that dilutes other nutrients in our food supply.” Irakli Loladze quoted by Helena Bottemiller Evich in Politico

The world is getting sweeter, as rising CO2 levels change not only our climate, but the plants we eat, too.

Helena Bottemiller Evich has written about the link between rising CO2 levels and how this changes our crops for Politico.

It’s an aspect of having more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that often gets neglected in favour of gloomier predictions about rising temperatures, melting ice caps and sea level rise.

But a mathematician called Irakli Loladze has led the way with some groundbreaking research and there’s now growing interest in what rising CO2 is doing to our food.

Basically, the greenhouse gas is also altering the nutritional composition and mineral and vitamin content of many crops like rice, wheat, barley and potatoes.

And importantly that means that some key crops that billions of people depend upon for their survival now contain more sugars and less protein than ever before.

“Rising CO2 revs up photosynthesis, the process that helps plants transform sunlight to food. This makes plants grow, but it also leads them to pack in more carbohydrates like glucose at the expense of other nutrients that we depend on, like protein, iron and zinc.” Helena Bottemiller Evich in Politico

Sugar planet: rising CO2 adds carbs to crops
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