Climate change comes in unexpected shapes and forms. Consider weeds. Those nasty little (or not so) things that trigger our allergies and resist our cleverest efforts to do them in. We love to hate 'em. But now I find out we're in for a big surprise, as weeds have begun acting "like ecology on amphetamines".
These words, from a New York Times Magazine piece by Tom Christopher, should snap any but the most clueless of us to attention. In Can Weeds Help Solve the Climate Crisis? Christopher takes us through a frightful look at what weeds are, what they've become, and what's in store for us as the planet warms and CO2 concentrations continue to rise. Obviously I like learning stuff, and this article is as accessible as it is entertaining in chronicling the extensive study of these nasty critters and sometimes friends.
Did you know...
That CO2 is one of the four essential resources for plant (and of course, weed) growth?
That weeds grown in CO2 enriched environments produce more pollen?
That plants like poison ivy grow much more vigorously at high levels of CO2--and they exhibit far more potency than they otherwise would?
Boy, can I relate to that, having recently tried to pull up the ever increasing amount of p.i. sprouting just yards from my home.