Higher Levels of Carbon Dioxide Make Rice Less Nutritious

Rice Could Lose Its Nutritional Value Due to Rising CO2 Levels

According to new research from an worldwide team of scientists, the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may cause a decrease in the nutritional value of rice. "This is an underappreciated risk of burning of fossil fuels and deforestation", study co-author and director of the University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment Kristie Ebi said in a statement.

The expected concentration of carbon dioxide by the second half of the century may reduce the nutritional value of rice. Not all varieties of rice responded in the same way, so future research projects may examine the possibility of finding varieties of rice that can remain nutritious despite the change in the atmosphere.

"This technique allows us to test the effects of higher carbon dioxide concentrations on plants growing in the same conditions that farmers really will grow them some decades later in this century". Including comes about because of comparable examinations in Japan, the scientists likewise take note of an average 10.3 percent decrease in protein, an 8 percent fall in the press and a 5.1 percent fall in zinc, supporting past investigations of rice and different products.

Six hundred million people primarily in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Madagascar consume at least 50 percent of their daily energy and/or protein directly from rice. Aside from energy-rich carbohydrates, grains feed us protein, zinc, iron and essential B vitamins. Vitamins B1 and B5 dropped up to 30 percent, depending on the variety.




"Some varieties showed a very large decline, some varieties much less a drop of vitamin contents". The level of nutrition in plants can also affect many other living things, even bees, pandas and koalas, who live on plants - the only nutrition they get. Vitamin E was the only nutrient found to increase under higher CO2. "Using a weighting scheme focusing on those with the fewest resources, we estimate this decline in nutrient quality will affect about 600 million people". A paper highlighting this study marks its presence in the Science Advances. There has already been concern about the impact of higher levels of carbon dioxide on protein in potatoes, maize and other cereals.

Scientists from China, Japan, the United States and Australia report in the journal Science Advances that they began their research, using what they call the technique of free air carbon dioxide enrichment, in 1998, to recreate what they expect to be the conditions under which farmers will grow crops a few decades from now.

Last month, researchers noticed how the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached their highest point in about 800,000 years.

The scientists suggest that either breeding or genetically engineering new strains could be a way to lessen the nutritional impact of climate change.

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