"The increased concentration of carbon dioxide that comes with climate change could mean some basic food plants will carry lower concentrations of iron and zinc – and deficiencies of those nutrients are already a “substantial global public health problem,” scientists reported Wednesday.
The scientists studied grains and legumes grown at the elevated atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide predicted for the middle of this century. They conducted a meta-analysis of data from their own study and previous ones, looking at 143 comparisons of the edible portions of crops at both ambient levels of carbon dioxide and elevated levels of 546 to 586 parts per million.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is expected to reach 550 ppm in the next four to six decades. The lead scientist on the study, Samuel Myers of the Harvard School of Public Health, said by telephone that the issue should be of concern to people no matter their views on climate change."