Bloom: “But it doesn’t seem to work out as simply as that. Higher CO2 tends to inhibit the ability of plants to make protein … And this explains why food quality seems to have been declining and will continue to decline as CO2 rises – because of this inhibition of nitrate conversion into protein.”
That’s University of California-Davis Professor Arnold J. Bloom. Atmospheric CO2 levels have increased about forty percent since the Industrial Revolution and are continuing to rise. During the same time period, however, the nutrient levels in plants have decreased.
Bloom: “It’s going to be fairly universal that we’ll be struggling with trying to sustain food quality and it’s not just protein … it’s also micronutrients such as zinc and iron that suffer as well as protein.”
Some plants benefit from more CO2, while others suffer. Scientists are now trying to cultivate crops that maintain their nutritional value despite increasing CO2, but there is much work still to be done.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
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