Carbon di oxide Current Affairs - 2020

Increasing levels of Carbon dioxide and Wheat productivity

Scientists are worried over sustaining food production and productivity of major crops like wheat, paddy, and maize due to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Studies have shown that even though increased carbon dioxide levels stimulate wheat productivity, the consequent rise in temperatures would have a negative impact.

There has been optimism in tropical countries like Greenland, Canada, Northern China and Europe where annual temperatures are currently well below the optimum range for the growth of wheat and an increase in temperature would be beneficial to them with a possibility of a hike in wheat productivity. Whereas in tropical countries like India there is heightened concern as it is already hot enough and further rises in temperature could prove disastrous.

Study by Indian Institute of Technology- Kharagpur

The Indian Institute of Technology- Kharagpur explored the possibility of nutrient management as a way to sustain wheat productivity even at higher concentrations of carbon dioxide by creating an artificial carbon dioxide-rich environment and applied different levels of nitrogen to wheat crop along with the recommended dosage of fertilizers. The findings of the study are:

  • Wheat yield and growth parameters improved with increasing levels of nitrogen application despite elevated carbon dioxide conditions and higher temperatures.
  • Under ambient carbon dioxide concentration, increasing the dosage of nitrogen did not bring any improvement in growth and yield of the crop.
  • Elevated carbon dioxide levels increased crop growth rate and the fraction of leaf biomass and leaf nitrogen, especially with the nitrogen management using chemical fertilizer.

The study concludes that Wheat production under the elevated carbon dioxide environment in Eastern India might be maintained or improved through the normal and increased dose of nitrogen fertilizer application. However, there is a need for larger studies on the field with multi-location trials using different varieties, before any firm conclusion can be reached.

Methanol Blending to cut Carbon-di-oxide Emissions

Biofuels are being considered an alternative to reduce the country’s crude oil imports worth Rs7 lakh crore. They can also be a potential weapon to fight increasing pollution. The findings of the research by the Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) have substantiated the potential reduction in the emissions of the carbon-di-oxide by the adoption of methanol blending.

Research by the Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI)

Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) conducted a study using 15% M-15 methanol blend in vehicles and tested them for 3,000km to evaluate emissions in real-world conditions as well as check the performance of the vehicles.

The outcomes of the study showed that methanol blending with petrol in the existing BS-IV standard cars resulted in the reduction of the carbon-di-oxide emissions substantially.

The study also found that hydrocarbon emission reduced marginally, with a slight increase in the levels of nitrogen oxides.

The findings of the research were submitted to Union Minister of  Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari. The Minister assured full support for ARAI in furthering the methanol blending programme, reiterating the government’s commitment to increase the methanol blending to 20% by the year 2030.