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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