Scientists continue to assert CO2-induced global greening will continue unabated in the 21st century…just as it has since the 1980s. As Earth’s surface becomes greener, it becomes cooler, offsetting much of the projected warming.
Satellite observations affirm the planet has become much greener over the last 4 decades, and this greening trend is largely attributed to the rise in CO2 concentrations (Zhu et al., 2016, Winkler et al., 2019, Chen et al., 2019).
Further, “nearly all” climate models “project continuous greening of the planet during the 21st century” (Wu et al., 2022).
Greening-induced increases in evapotranspiration lead, in turn, to an increase in the global cloud cover. Increases in cloud cover reduce incoming solar radiation. A decline in incoming solar radiation cools the surface.
So rising CO2 concentrations ultimately contribute to global-scale greening, and, consequently, to a surface cooling that offsets warming projections.
Image Source: Wu et al., 2022
By how much does CO2-induced greening counteract future warming as it cools the surface?
Another group of scientists (Alkama et al., 2022) quantifies the estimates at -0.71°C of CO2-induced greening/cooling by 2100.
Probably because it doesn’t advance the anti-fossil fuel energy agenda, Alkama and colleagues point out that the cooling effects of CO2-induced global greening “are largely ignored in climate treaties”.
Image Source: Alkama et al., 2022
So, to summarize:
- CO2-induced global greening has been detected since the 1980s.
- Models say this greening will continue in the 21st century.
- Greening leads to land surface cooling.
- By 2100, high CO2 emissions will offset warming by cooling the Earth’s surface by as much as 0.71°C.