Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Farming News .




FARM NEWS
Rising CO2 poses significant threat to human nutrition
by Staff Writers
Boston MA (SPX) May 12, 2014


The results showed a significant decrease in the concentrations of zinc, iron, and protein in C3 grains.

At the elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 anticipated by around 2050, crops that provide a large share of the global population with most of their dietary zinc and iron will have significantly reduced concentrations of those nutrients, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

Given that an estimated two billion people suffer from zinc and iron deficiencies, resulting in a loss of 63 million life years annually from malnutrition, the reduction in these nutrients represents the most significant health threat ever shown to be associated with climate change.

"This study is the first to resolve the question of whether rising CO2 concentrations-which have been increasing steadily since the Industrial Revolution-threaten human nutrition," said Samuel Myers, research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH and the study's lead author.

Some previous studies of crops grown in greenhouses and chambers at elevated CO2 had found nutrient reductions, but those studies were criticized for using artificial growing conditions. Experiments using free air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) technology became the gold standard as FACE allowed plants to be grown in open fields at elevated levels of CO2, but those prior studies had small sample sizes and have been inconclusive.

The researchers analyzed data involving 41 cultivars (genotypes) of grains and legumes from the C3 and C4 functional groups (plants that use C3 and C4 carbon fixation) from seven different FACE locations in Japan, Australia, and the United States. The level of CO2 across all seven sites was in the range of 546-586 parts per million (ppm). They tested the nutrient concentrations of the edible portions of wheat and rice (C3 grains), maize and sorghum (C4 grains) and soybeans and field peas (C3 legumes).

The results showed a significant decrease in the concentrations of zinc, iron, and protein in C3 grains. For example, zinc, iron, and protein concentrations in wheat grains grown at the FACE sites were reduced by 9.3%, 5.1%, and 6.3% respectively, compared with wheat grown at ambient CO2. Zinc and iron were also significantly reduced in legumes; protein was not.

The finding that C3 grains and legumes lost iron and zinc at elevated CO2 is significant. Myers and his colleagues estimate that 2-3 billion people around the world receive 70% or more of their dietary zinc and/or iron from C3 crops, particularly in the developing world, where zinc and iron deficiency is already a major health concern.

C4 crops appeared to be less affected by higher CO2, which is consistent with underlying plant physiology, as C4 plants concentrate CO2 inside the cell for photosynthesis so they might be expected to be less sensitive to extracellular changes in CO2 concentration.

The researchers were surprised to find that zinc and iron varied substantially across cultivars of rice. That finding suggests that there could be an opportunity to breed reduced sensitivity to the effect of elevated CO2 into crop cultivars in the future.

In addition to efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, breeding cultivars with reduced sensitivity to CO2, biofortification of crops with iron and zinc, and nutritional supplementation for populations most impacted could all play a role in reducing the human health impacts of these changes, said Myers.

"Humanity is conducting a global experiment by rapidly altering the environmental conditions on the only habitable planet we know. As this experiment unfolds, there will undoubtedly be many surprises. Finding out that rising CO2 threatens human nutrition is one such surprise," he said.

The study appears online May 7, 2014 in Nature. Other HSPH authors include Antonella Zanobetti, Itail Kloog, and Joel Schwartz. "Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition," Samuel S. Myers, Antonella Zanobetti, Itai Kloog, Peter Huybers, Andrew D. B. Leakey, Arnold Bloom, Eli Carlisle, Lee H. Dietterich, Glenn Fitzgerald, Toshihiro Hasegawa, N. Michele Holbrook, Randall L. Nelson, Michael J. Ottman, Victor Raboy, Hidemitsu Sakai, Karla A. Sartor, Joel Schwartz, Saman Seneweera, Michael Tausz, Yasuhiro Usui, Nature, May 7, 2014, DOI: 10.1038/nature13179

.


Related Links
Harvard School of Public Health
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FARM NEWS
As CO2 levels rise, some crop nutrients will fall
Champaign IL (SPX) May 12, 2014
Researchers have some bad news for future farmers and eaters: As carbon dioxide levels rise this century, some grains and legumes will become significantly less nutritious than they are today. The new findings are reported in the journal Nature. Eight institutions, from Australia, Israel, Japan and the United States, contributed to the analysis. The researchers looked at multiple var ... read more


FARM NEWS
Kazakhstan's First Earth Observation Satellite to Orbit

How Does Your Garden Glow? NASA's OCO-2 Seeks Answer

The first globally complete glacier inventory has been created

NASA-CNES Proceed on Surface Water and Ocean Mission

FARM NEWS
Latest Galileo satellite arrives at ESA's test centre

Glonass Failure Caused by Faulty Software

Homegrown high-precision positioning system put to use

Russia eyes building Glonass stations in 36 countries

FARM NEWS
Emerald ash borers were in US long before first detection

China demand for luxury furniture 'decimating rosewood'

Super-charged tropical trees of Borneo vitally important for global carbon cycling

Arctic study sheds light on tree-ring divergence problem

FARM NEWS
Plants' Oil-Desaturating Enzymes Pair Up to Channel Metabolites

SE Asia palm oil problems could hit consumers worldwide

Fueling aviation with hardwoods

ACCESS II Alternative Jet Fuel Flight Tests Begin May 7, 2014

FARM NEWS
AREVA commissions molten salt energy storage demonstration

IEA says extra $44 tn needed for clean energy future

Sun sets on Spaniards' solar power dreams

More people getting their paychecks from renewable energy sector, study finds

FARM NEWS
Offshore wind supported with U.S. federal funding

GDF Suez, others, selected to build offshore wind farms

U.S. moves closer to first-ever offshore wind farm

Irish 'green paper' outlines transition to a low-carbon economy

FARM NEWS
China coal mine death toll rises to 20: report

Rescuers race to save 22 trapped coal miners in China: Xinhua

U.K. Coal may close two deep mines

Your money or your life: coal miner's dilemma mirrors China's

FARM NEWS
China detains journalist over 'state secrets' leak: police

US urges China to free activists

China lawyer held ahead of Tiananmen anniversary: associate

Jack Ma: English teacher turned Internet visionary




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.