BIOARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY BIANCA BHENINA S.
J. BERNABE12STEM-19 Accordingto the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2011), exactlystated climate change as “a change in the state of the climate that can beidentified (e.g. using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or thevariability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period,typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time,whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity”. Variousstudies and research are being carried out in regard to the issue of climatechange in the modern world due to the fact that it has become a major area ofconcern and a significant addition to the spectrum of environmental healthhazards encountered by humankind (Woodward, et al.
, 2003). Climate change hasaltered the planet’s natural course of life. It has brought a lot of changesthat affect both human activities and wildlife. Due to shifting weatherpatterns caused by climate change, it likely affects food security at theglobal, regional, and local level. Therefore, food availability, food access,and food quality are disrupted (United States Environmental Protection Agency,2014). Withthis problem of climate change regarding agriculture, it all comes back down tothe autotrophic producers of the ecosystem, plants. One of the foremost lessonstaught in biology class is that plants exhale oxygen that animals inhale andthat animals exhale carbon dioxide that plants inhale. “Photosynthesis” is aprocess wherein plants use light energy to convert carbon dioxide and water tosugar and oxygen.
Based on various researches I have encountered during theproduction of this paper, since plants thrive on carbon dioxide, and that thegas is directly connected to global warming. Based on an article entitled ‘Globalatmospheric CO2 levels hit record high’ by Watts (2017), contains informationabout rises in carbon dioxide levels, in that article, the United Nations warnsthat the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere greatly increasedand surpassed a level not seen for more than three million years. The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin,the UN weather agency’s annual flagship report, exactlystates that “Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts permillion (ppm) in 2016, up from 400.
00 ppm in 2015 becauseof a combination of human activities and a strong El Niño event,”. Increasinglevels of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere have various impacts onthe planet’s temperature (Arrhenius, 1895). Since this study, scientists andresearchers in the field have refined their understanding regarding thegreenhouse effect and the connection of rising levels of carbon dioxide. Globalwarming is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide is 72%most of the totally emitted greenhouse gases, therefore carbon dioxideemissions is the most important cause of global warming.
Is the real issue here is that does global warming affectplant life, rather than climate change? Therefore, this essay will be based on theargument of enhanced plant activity due to global warming. Accordingto a research published in the “Geophysical Research Letters” about the “CO2Fertilization Effect”, states that an increase of carbon dioxide in theatmosphere increases the rate of photosynthesis in plants. The research isheaded by Randall Donohue of the Commonwealth Scientific and IndustrialOrganization in Canberra, Australia plus his team of researchers, specificallyfocused their research in various dry regions of the planet (Middle East, partsof Africa, Australia’s Outback, and North America’s southwest). After averagingthe appearance of flourishing vegetation or “greenness” over three yearperiods, combining the data from the different locations of research accordingto known records of rainfall, and the data of different variations in thefoliage over a 20 year period, have come to a conclusion that carbon dioxidefertilization effect accounts for the 11% increase in global foliage since1982. Their drawn conclusion is what’s known as a negative feedback in biology,considering the additional plant growth due to the increasing levels of carbondioxide in the atmosphere. With their research implies good news forbiodiversity and good news for food availability, since plants are theautotrophs of the ecosystem or the primary producers that feed all animals. Dr.Donohue exactly states that “Even if nothing else in the climate changes as globalcarbon dioxide levels rise, we will see significant environmental changesbecause of the carbon dioxide fertilization effect.
“. Anotherarticle published in “ScienceDaily” entitled “Global Warming Increasing TheDispersal Of Flora In Northern Forests” by the researchers of the University ofHelsinki, addresses the impact of global warming on seed and pollen dispersal,specifically in Northern Forests. It states that an increase in temperatureholds the possibility of increasing dispersion of seeds, pollen and increasedplant population in forests. In addition to the dispersion of seeds and pollen,the researchers also found out that if there’s a decrease of temperature,specifically three degrees Celsius warmer, increases the dispersal of seeds.Therefore, this research comes to a conclusion that global warming thereforeincreases the dispersal of plant seeds and pollen, meaning increased plantpopulation in forests. In2007, Stephen Montzka, a NOAA scientist, wrote a pivotal research paper identifyinga trace gas called “carbonyl sulphide” as a key in estimating the amount ofcarbon dioxide, plants inhale as they grow. Recently, Montzka was part of ateam of researches headed by Elliot Campbell from the University of California,Merced, that inspected the 54,000 year-old data of carbonyl sulphide in theatmosphere from measurements of air trapped in the snowpack at the South Pole.After inspecting the data, the researchers discovered a significant, alteredsignal from the biosphere.
In photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide inorder to photosynthesize, but also releases it when during respiration and whenthey decay or get burned. This then implies that the exhalation rate of carbondioxide by plants is not connected directly estimated on global scales frommeasurements of carbon dioxide alone. Aside from plants needing carbon dioxide,it needs sulphur too. Unlike when plants release carbon dioxide, plants don’tgive back sulfur to the atmosphere.
Carbonyl sulphate, a molecule consisting ofa carbon atom, a sulphur atom, and an oxygen atom~ is found in minisculeamounts in the atmosphere. With preceding sampling and analysis of air trappedin ice cores of the Antarctic, has equipped researchers and scientists toestimate various changes in plant inhalation of carbonyl sulphate during thepast century and then reckon the amount of carbon dioxide plants are absorbing.After all the researches and studies done of the impact of elevated carbondioxide to plant growth, this research then supplies information regarding theestimated amount of carbon dioxide plants absorb into their systems. Thisresearch therefore estimates the amount of carbon dioxide that plants “fix”into their tissues like leaves in reaction to the increasing levels of carbondioxide in the atmosphere. The NOAA scientist then states that tracing carbonylsulphate will aid scientists in monitoring the amount of carbon land plants aredrawing out from the atmosphere as carbon dioxide levels increase. “Theseresults will help us better predict the biosphere’s response to continuedfossil fuel emissions and ultimately improve our predictions on climate change”said by Montzka. Accordingto these researches and various researches approved by various scientificjournals and publications, imply that an increase in carbon dioxide or alsoknown as global warming, boosts and enhances plant activity. These studies alreadybear enough proof on the positive effects of global warming in plant growth.
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