More grass growing means less dust blowing.
There is a yin and yang to the life of plants on this planet. Our planet has two basic regimes, that of land and that of water.
The plants on land have all of the minerals they need, they are stuck in it, in the dirt.
And the plants in the oceans have all of the water they need, they are stuck in it, in the water.
So here is how Nature doles out her favours. For the plants on land water evaporates out of the oceans and blows in the wind. Often those water carrying winds release that water as rain which sustains plants on land. That’s the Yin of Nature.
For the plants in the ocean the lands give up dust dirt that blows in the wind and this dust carries the mineral nutrients the plants of the ocean need. When some of that dust falls on the oceans it sustains life in those ocean plants. That’s the Yang of Nature.
It could not be more simple. Plants on land must share what they have in abundance with plants in the oceans and vice a versa. Nature’s ultimate Yin Yang.
So here’s how to mess this wonderful balance of Nature up. We have been burning fossil fuels for a century and a half. All of that fossil carbon, coal, oil, natural gas has turned into CO2, carbon dioxide. SO WHAT you say plants live off carbon dioxide, minerals, water, and sunlight… we are doing plant life a giant favour be feeding them more CO2. Indeed from the perspective of a terrestrial life form this is true, more CO2 is helping our land plants grow better, bushier, and more abundant and do you know what we call this?
We call it GOOD GROUND COVER! You know plants that cover the ground, protect the soil from being eroded as in perhaps blowing away in the wind.
Well if you are an ocean life form you are now screaming.
OH NO DON”T DO THAT! WE NEED THAT DUST IN THE WIND!
So what is happening by making plants on land grow better is we are killing off plant life in the oceans by making them die of DIRST, you know just like dying of THIRST.
And this is indeed what we’ve been seeing in the last 30 years and more. Thirty years, because that is the time since we put satellites into earth orbit that are able to look down on the vastness of the planets oceans and measure the amount of plant life growing there, or rather dying there.
We now know some terrible news. The high and rising CO2 in our atmosphere is growing lots of ground cover the world around. That ground cover is working a miracle on land and preventing vital mineral dust from blowing in the wind. In each and every five years since we started watching closely in the 1980’s we have seen and measured a terrible loss of ocean plant life, the ocean pastures and their phytoplankton in an amount that is the same as if we had clear-cut an entire Amazon Rainforest worth of plants on land every five years. That’s more rainforest gone than has ever existed in human history.
This catastrophic loss of ocean pasture plant life, the plankton blooms is the most desperate news on this blue planet.
But here’s the good news. The ocean pastures are so resilient they will come back to health in a single season with a very little help from us. All they need is a little dust, in the wind or from our human hands. Our village project and a volcano has proven this beyond any shadow of doubt. Without us, human mitigation of the problem we have caused, the ocean pastures will continue to die. With a little of our help, the sort of help that a 60 something grandfather and a bunch of wild Indians from a tiny village can give back to Nature what we, and our brothers and sisters, have taken away.
If we give back to Nature and help her heal she will give back to us.
And yet it works.