A new study published in the journal Science states that rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere aren't just affecting climate, but could affect the nutrition contained in the world's food crops too. Scientists at the University of California, Davis found that increased CO2 could reduce the protein content of crop plants by as much as 20 percent.
This slash in nutritional value happens because higher concentrations of CO2 interfere with a plant's ability to convert nitrates into proteins, which leads to a less protein-rich food.
The scientists tested two common forms of soil nitrogen (nitrate and ammonium) with wheat plants that were exposed to elevated CO2 and the plants had reduced abilities to produce proteins. This suggests new fertilizers will have to be developed to counteract this response, and soon, as the researchers see this 20 percent decline happening in the coming decades.
via Yale e360
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