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Lewis H. Ziska, USDA-ARS Thanks to: Linda Ford, MD American Lung Association, Omaha, NE James Straka, PhD, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN David Frenz,

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Presentation on theme: "Lewis H. Ziska, USDA-ARS Thanks to: Linda Ford, MD American Lung Association, Omaha, NE James Straka, PhD, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN David Frenz,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lewis H. Ziska, USDA-ARS Thanks to: Linda Ford, MD American Lung Association, Omaha, NE James Straka, PhD, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN David Frenz, MD, the Bethesda Clinic, St. Paul, MN Jonathan Patz, MD Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD Dennis Gebhard, Multidata Inc., St. Paul, MN Paul Epstein, MD, Harvard, Boston, MA Climate Change, and Public Health: the Botanical Perspective. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, February 19, 2009

2 Atmospheric CO 2 So what if CO 2 goes up?

3 I. An indirect effect of rising carbon dioxide: warmer temperatures. Gas% Nitrogen (N 2 )78.1 Oxygen (O 2 )20.1 Argon (Ar)0.93 Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 ) 0.04 up to Water (H 2 O) 0.05 to 1.00 No H 2 O and CO 2 ? Surface temperature would be –18 o C. With H 2 O and CO 2 ? Surface temperature is 15 o C.

4 H 2 O vs. CO 2 Poles Deserts Winter If water vapor is high, it will be the dominant warming gas….little effect of CO 2 If water vapor is low, adding CO 2 will increase the surface temperature. Equator latitude

5 Greenland is melting Greenland ice loss rate doubled in last 10 yrs

6 CO 2, warming and public health. Changes in range of insect or rodent borne diseases. Changes in water or seafood borne diseases. Increasing ground-level ozone, and respiratory ailments. Contamination of drinking water due to excessive flooding. Heat-related deaths / fewer cold related.

7 So what if CO 2 goes up?, Part II, direct impacts Carbon dioxide is the source of carbon for photosynthesis, and consequently for 99% of all life. CO 2 + H 2 O + light O 2 + organic C + chemical energy Nutrients, H 2 O CO 2 Food, Glorious Food!

8 Plants are Important. People who imagined that life on earth consisted of animals moving against a green background, seriously misunderstood what they were seeing. That green background was busily alive. Plants grew, moved, twisted and turned, fighting for [resources]; and they interacted continuously with animalsdiscouraging some with bark and thorns, poisoning others, and feeding still others with pollen and seeds. It was a complex, dynamic process…one which most people didnt understand. Michael Crichton, Page 86, Jurassic Park Plants are necessary for the flow of energy and carbon through ecosystems. 90% of all living matter consists of plant life. With the exception of a few subterranean organisms, if plants did not exist, life would not exist. Plant growth however is dependent on four physical inputs. Any perturbation in these inputs will alter all living systems.

9 But isnt more plant growth desirable? We are living in an increasingly lush environment of plants and animals as a result of the carbon dioxide increase. This is a wonderful and unexpected gift from the industrial revolution. WSJ

10 CO 2 is a VERY smart molecule. Green is not always good.

11 All life will be affected not only by temperature, but by the increase in carbon dioxide of and by itself. What are the implications for Weed Biology? Specifically: Crops and weeds Invasive weeds Public Health.

12 How can plants affect public health? Some direct effects: Allergies / Asthma: Contact dermatitis: Poison/Toxicology:

13 1. CO 2, plants and allergies Principle Fall Allergen ~35 million sufferers Common ragweed.

14 Determining Ragweed Pollen Production Determining Ragweed Pollen Production Sampling pollen from ragweed catkins.

15 Response of common ragweed to CO g plant -1 g plant -1 Chamber Study, USDA Functional Plant Biology 27: Functional Plant Biology 32: Pollen Production 280 ppm 4.8 g 370 ppm10.9 g* 600 ppm20.5 g* Antigen Amb a1 ELISA / mg protein 280 ppm ppm ppm8180*

16 Ragweed in real life All this is blue-sky hypothetical &*^$%# anyway. It wont happen in real-life, and even if it does, temperature and carbon dioxide effects are a long ways away. Mauna Loa, Official CO 2 data. 10,000 feet on a mountaintop in Hawaii.

17 Is the rise in CO 2 the same everywhere? Change in average day-time CO 2 concentration (ppm) from downtown Baltimore to an organic (rural) farm

18 Is the increase in temperature the same? Change in average daily temperature ( o C) from downtown Baltimore to an organic (rural) farm (2002)

19 Urbanization and climate change. Are these differences consistent? What about other meteorological variables? 8-h daytime ozone season CO 2 differences August, 2004 Overall: Urban-induced increases in carbon dioxide, air temperature and growing season are consistent with most IPCC near-term scenarios. With the exception of N deposition, other variables did not differ consistency, but N low relative to soil N.

20 And if it isnt…Can we study the effects of climate change NOW? Placing four 2x2 m 2 plots Near downtown Baltimore. Use same soil and seed bank in suburban and rural locations.

21 2006 Got ragweed? Urban locale had longer growing season (milder winter), warmer temperatures, and more carbon dioxide.

22 Allergenic pollen producers, Northeast Weeds: Season: May through September Ragweed (A. atemissiifolia) English plantain (Plantago lanceolata) Giant Ragweed (A trifida)Russian thistle (Salsola kali) Marsh elder (Iva species)Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium, X. spinosa) Pigweed (A. retroflexus)Lambsquarter (Chenopodia album) Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) Allergenic pollen producers, Mid-Western Weeds: Season: May through October Ragweed (A. atemissiifolia) Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) Giant Ragweed (A. trifida)English plantain (Plantago lanceolata) Russian thistle (Salsola kali)Fireweed (Kochia scoparia) Marsh elder (Iva species)Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium, X. spinosa) Lambsquarter (Chenopodia album) Allergenic pollen producers, Southern Weeds: Season: April through November Ragweed (A. atemissiifolia) Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) Giant Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)English plantain (Plantago lanceolata) Marsh elder (Iva species)Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium, X. spinosa) Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)Lambsquarter (Chenopodia album) Allergenic pollen producers, Western Weeds: Season: April through November Ragweed (A. atemissiifolia) Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) Giant Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)English plantain (Plantago lanceolata) Russian thistle (Salsola kali)Fireweed (Kochia scoparia) Marsh elder (Iva species)Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium, X. spinosa) Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)Lambsquarter (Chenopodia album)

23 Fungal decomposition of plants. Alternaria alternata has been associated with a number of respiratory problems such as rhinitis, asthma, allergic dermatitis and allergic sinusitis. The spores are the cause of the allergic reactions. For timothy grass grown from ppm CO 2, rising carbon dioxide levels results in reduced leaf N levels. Initial data suggest that increased C:N ratios could increase the rate of sporulation.

24 2. CO 2, plants and contact dermatitis Can rising CO 2 alter plant based dermatitis?

25 The Duke University FACE Site: State of the Art.

26 Poison ivy at Duke Face ring.

27 Poison ivy plants grow faster at elevated CO 2

28 Poison ivy allergenicity Ambient Elevated Duke University, USDA study, PNAS 103:

29 3. CO 2, plants and poison Castor bean (Ricinus communis), produces ricin, one of the deadliest poisons known to man. Increasing CO 2 by 300 ppm results in a 34% increase in photosynthesis (Grimer and Komor 1999). Vanaja et al. (2008) reports large response to rising CO 2.

30 How can plants affect public health? Some indirect effects : Food and Nutrition. Medicines / Narcotics. Disease vector biology. Pesticide use.

31 CO 2 and human nutrition. % Flour protein from wheat lines released during the 20 th century. Recent cooperative work with NIH indicates an increase in omega-3-fatty acids in mung bean with rising CO 2.

32 Temperature / Flowering Rice and temperature

33 Water and food security

34 Agriculture and water Today, approximately 230,000 people were added to the population. Three cereals, rice, wheat and corn feed 50% of that population. These cereals in turn are heavily dependent on irrigation. ~80% of freshwater is used in irrigation. How will we maintain food supply with less water? Rice production

35 The Big Three at present. 1980s: 3.1% per year 1990s: 1.4% per year 2000s: 0.8% per year Rice 1980s: 2.9% per year 1990s: 0.9% per year 2000s: 0.4% per year Wheat

36 Only maize has kept pace with population. 1980s: 2.2% per year 1990s: 2.5% per year 2000s: 3.5% per year Maize Energy Independence? Maize is a heavy user of nitrogen fertilizer. This comes from natural gas (Haber process, N 2 NH 4 NO 3 ). Russia: 47,570 billion ft 3 Iran: 26,370 billion ft 3 U.S.A.: 5,600

37 2a. CO 2, plants and medicine Approximately 15% of all current pharmaceuticals in developed countries are derived solely from plants (85% in undeveloped countries).

38 Alkaloids derived from plants Atropine Caffeine Cocaine Codeine Morphine Nicotine ScopolamineThebaine

39 Atropine and scopolamine

40 2b. CO 2, plants and narcotics. Effects unknownGrowth increases.Anecdotal evidence

41 Papaver setigerum DC. (Wild poppy) Quantify growth and alkaloid production to carbon dioxide 300 ppm~ ppm Current 500 ppm~ ppm~2090

42 P. setigerum is sensitive to even small (100 ppm) increases in carbon dioxide. Greatest relative stimulation has occurred with recent (last few decades) CO 2 increase.

43 AveragesP-value Variable CO 2 Effect ____________________________________________________________ Capsule No *** Capsule Wt. (g) *** Latex (mg) *** Morphine (%) Concentration of other alkaloids did not increase with increasing CO 2.

44 3-4 x increase in alkaloid production in wild poppy with recent and projected CO 2 increases. Accepted in Climatic Change

45 Nicotine production Nicotine Concentration 294 ppm4.7 µg g ppm4.4 µg g ppm3.6 µg g -1

46 3. CO 2, plants and disease vectors plants are not vectors per se, but: CO 2 / temperature Hanta virus Nectar & pollen

47 4. CO 2, plants and pesticide usage. As carbon dioxide increases, glyphosate efficacy is reduced Why cant we just control these weeds? Ambient CO 2 Future CO 2

48 Canada thistle: Best of the worst. 3 years of field trials at +250 ppm above ambient.

49 A synopsis of CO 2 impacts on herbicide efficacy Efficacy is reduced in a number of studies. The basis for the reduction is not entirely known. However, if more pesticides are needed to kill weeds, then more trace chemicals are likely in the environment.

50 Climate change, plants and public health Direct Effects Allergies Contact dermatitis Toxicology Indirect Effects Nutrition Medicine Spread of disease vectors Increased pesticide use.

51 What is USDA doing? In the last 6 years have lost one full time scientist, and two three technicians. Budget cut every year for the last 6 years. The new farm bill has no money for studying climate change and agriculture. No stimulus funding. National Program 204, Global warming and agriculture was eliminated in May of (although some work may continue)


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