A NEW finding by the scientists of the
New Delhi-based Indian Agricultural
Research Institute (IARI) brings good
tidings for Indian farmers. High levels of
carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere
and the predicted climate change leading to global warming could mean
increased agricultural output in countries like India. IARI scientists have
reached this conclusion after a series of
It is generally believed that an
increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere
would produce greater plant biomass
and yield, because it forms the substrate
for photosynthesis., But IARI scientists
feel that rising temperatures could also
be useful for greater productivity.
According to Y P Abrol, ex-head of
IARI's plant physiology division, "When
CO2 goes up, the process of the metabolic
machinery of the plants and the kinetics
of the enzymes change, with the result
that plants are able to function at
comparatively higher temperatures.
There is not much explanation for this
phenomenon." The findings showed a
10 to 40 per cent increase in some crops;
in other cases like cotton, there was
nearly an 100 percent increase.
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