NY Times: Can Weeds Help Solve the Climate Crisis?

Normally, I don’t post these kind of articles, since, well, horticulture isn’t exactly my cup of tea. But this article caught me right away. Lewis Ziska, a weed ecologist with the Agriculture Research Service of the USDA, wasn’t able get funding to create a lab that would allow him to examine the effect of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. His solution was really quite ingenious:

When he checked, he found that in fact the temperatures in Baltimore run 3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer on average than those of the surrounding countryside, and the concentration of CO2 in the local atmosphere (440 to 450 p.p.m., or parts per million by volume) is well above the current global average. This, coincidentally, matched almost exactly what the panel on climate change predicted for the planet as a whole 30 to 50 years in the future in its “B2 scenario,” a middle-of-the-road projection that envisions continuing greenhouse gas increases but also some success in abatement programs.

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