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Biological Impacts

The biological effects of climate change can be evaluated on the basis of seven factors: impact on plants and soil; impact on plant characteristics; impact on plants under stress; likely future impacts on plants; impact on terrestrial animals; impact on aquatic life; and impact on human health.

The Issue

The productivity and growth rates of forests, crops, and wild vegetation throughout the world have gradually increased since the Industrial Revolution in concert with, and in response to, the historical increase in the air’s carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration. As the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration continues to rise, plants will likely respond by growing more robustly and expanding their ranges.

Our Stance

How CO2 enrichment has affected global food production and biospheric productivity is a matter of fact and not opinion. The evidence is overwhelming that it has and will continue to help plants thrive, leading to greater biodiversity, shrinking deserts, expanded habitat for wildlife, and more food for a growing human population.