What effect does the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) have on the earth’s biosphere? This question is posed to a number of leading scientists in this 1992 film entitled The Greening of Planet Earth. It is an enlightening documentary that examines one of the most misunderstood environmental phenomena of the modern age.
The Greening of Planet Earth examines the role that carbon dioxide plays as one of nature’s basic building blocks of life in the process of photosynthesis and the evolution of the earth’s biosphere. Evidence is presented to show how current CO2 levels, which are 30 percent higher than in the pre-industrial era, have greatly enhanced the growth of trees and other plants. Results from controlled studies show how a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere, which is expected to occur over the next century, will increase crop yields by 30 to 40 percent, double the water-use efficiency of most of the earth’s vegetation and possibly triple the productivity of forests. The impact and implications of such change are far-reaching.