Rising carbon dioxide is already affecting our world, and the effects will only get worse: rising and acidifying oceans, changing and more intense weather conditions, increased heat and habitat destruction for billions of animals. Nicola Davis at The Guardian reports that there is one more big hiccup we need to add to the list. According to new research, rising carbon dioxide levels will sow some of our plant's nutrients and cause nutritional deficiencies for millions of people.
In 2014, field trials with conventional crops such as wheat, rice, corn and soybeans showed this. As the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased, the levels of iron, zinc and protein in dietary staple diets decreased by 3 to 1
In the new study in the journal Nature Climate Change researchers have calculated the impact of declining nutrients on human health. According to a press release, the team investigated the impact of rising CO 2 on 225 different food types. Based on population estimates for 2050 and an expected increase in carbon dioxide from 400 ppm today to 550 ppm by mid-century, the team noted that the nutritional deficit of those already suffering will worsen, and another 175 million could join the EU 1, 2 billion people with zinc deficiency and 122 million people would join the 622 million who do not get enough protein. About 1.4 billion women of childbearing age and children under the age of 5 years could see their iron intake decline by about 4 percent.
"This is further evidence that a higher CO 2 could affect global health well-recognized," co-author Matthew Smith of Harvard's TH Chan School of Public Health tells Davis at The Guardian . "Through this research, monitoring for CO 2 2 continues to gain importance."
In an editorial in The Hill first author Samuel Myers, also of Harvard, says these shortcomings are only the starting point for much larger problems.
"What these numbers mean They mean that more children die from pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea, and other infections because their immune system is compromised by zinc deficiency, which means that more women die at birth and infants die due to iron deficiency They translate into reduced IQ and chronic growth retardation and wasting in children and reduced working capacity in adults. "
Charli Shield at Deutsche Welle reports that India was hit hardest, where it would be less by 2050 Being nutritious could lead to 50 million more people having zinc deficiency, 38 million more protein deficiencies and 502 million iron deficient women and children.
Researchers are not sure why increased CO 2 reduces nutrients. "We still do not really understand why that happens, but we think it's a lot more complicated than a simple 'carbohydrate dilution effect," says Myers Shield. "What we do know is that at higher CO 2 food crops become less nutritious."
Until recently, it was believed that any nutrient loss in crops would be offset by an increased amount; more CO 2 it was believed that it would boost plant growth. But recent experiments have shown that this only works to a certain point. Elevated temperatures are beginning to negatively impact plant growth and, according to some reports, the earth has already reached this point of decreasing yields. In his editorial Myers points out that there is another problem with CO fertilization – if we need to eat more food to get the same amount of nutrients, it could lead to other health problems like obesity and metabolic disorders. 19659003] Davis reports that there are some possible solutions to the nutrient problem. We could try to breed new, more nutritious plants or crops that can withstand nutrient loss. We could try to fortify food or increase the intake of animal protein that contains much higher levels of zinc, iron, or protein. All these have different consequences or require a lot of time and investment. Or we could do the most logical thing and tackle climate change by developing strategies and plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the effects of carbon in the air. If it is not already too late.
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