Subscribe to get full access to all our content
interactive news
Carbon Dioxide Pollution Is Making Rice Less Nutritious
Reductions in the nutritional quality of rice could affect mother and child health for millions of people (CCSS Level: Grade 11, Words: 354)
May 23, 2018 Science & Technology
A
A
A

As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere go up, the nutritional value of rice will go down, according to an international team of scientists. 



The finding has serious implications for the health and early development of the two billion people who rely on rice as their primary food source, especially as CO2 emissions are likely to increase in the coming decades.

In April the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached its highest level in at least 800,000 years - averaging 410 parts per million (ppm) across the entire month.



For the experiments, scientists built 17-meter-wide octagons in Japanese and Chinese rice paddies, then pumped in carbon dioxide to simulate the kind of CO2 concentrations expected in the next 50 years (568-590 parts per million).

The research, published in the journal Science Advances, found on average that protein levels fell by 10 percent, zinc 8 percent and iron 5 percent. Levels of vitamins B1, B2, B5 and B9 also fell - though results were far more varied.

"People say more carbon dioxide is plant food - and it is," said Dr Lewis Ziska, a plant physiologist at the US Department of Agriculture, who helped to write the new study. "But how plants respond to that sudden increase in food will impact human health as well, from nutritional deficits to seasonal pollen allergies - in ways that we don't yet understand."

Researchers are warning the nutritional changes could have significant health implications - especially in poorer countries. Around 600 million people in countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia and Indonesia get more than half of their daily calories and protein directly from rice. 


"Rice is not just a major source of calories, but also proteins and vitamins for many people in developing countries and for poorer communities within developed countries," said Professor Kazuhiko Kobayashi of the University of Tokyo. "For those people, this is not very good news."

However, not every strain of rice responded in the same way to increased carbon dioxide levels, and the researchers suggested that either breeding or genetically engineering new strains could be a way to combat the expected drop in nutrient levels.

Related Articles
World-First Study Shows NZ's Native Mussels Have Personalities
Dec 3, 2018
From Waste Comes Innovative Invention
Nov 29, 2018
NASA's Insight Lander Touches Down On Mars
Nov 27, 2018
Apple Is No Longer The Biggest Company In The World By Market Cap
Nov 26, 2018
All Aboard the Hogwarts… Changi Express?
Nov 21, 2018
Xiaomi Fans Overwhelm Mi Store's Grand Opening
Nov 12, 2018
World At Risk If Warming Exceeds 1.5C, UN Warns
Oct 9, 2018
World's First Hyperloop Passenger Capsule Revealed
Oct 4, 2018
Netflix Consumes 15% of the World's Internet
Oct 3, 2018
Facebook Security Meltdown
Sep 28, 2018
Eating Junk Food Raises Risk Of Depression, Says Multi-country Study
Sep 26, 2018
Japan's Rovers Send Pictures From Asteroid
Sep 24, 2018
Cancers 'Rising Around The World'
Sep 14, 2018
This Optical Illusion May Help Diagnose Autism In Seconds
Aug 29, 2018
Mysterious Purple Ribbon In The Sky That's Confusing Scientists
Aug 23, 2018
'Amazing Dragon' Fossils Unearthed In China
Aug 20, 2018
Elephants Found To Have Remarkable Cancer Resistance
Aug 17, 2018
NASA's Parker Solar Probe Is Headed To The Sun
Aug 14, 2018
Egyptian Zoo' Paints Donkey To Pass It Off As A Zebra
Aug 13, 2018
Too Much Sleep Linked To Early Death, New Study Suggests
Aug 8, 2018
Siberia Scientists Have Revived Frozen Worms 
Aug 1, 2018
Xiaomi's Transparent Phone Too Good To Be True
Jul 31, 2018
Engineering Feat - The SLJ900/32 Bridge Building Machine
Jul 23, 2018
ADHD May Have Link With Teen Tech Use
Jul 19, 2018
Touching This Plant Can Burn, Blister, Even Blind You
Jul 17, 2018
ANZ Has Birthed Its First "Digital Person"
Jul 10, 2018
Google Has Confirmed That Private Emails Can Be Read By Third-party
Jul 4, 2018
Coldest Place On Earth Is Colder Than Scientists Thought
Jul 2, 2018
Gaming addiction declared a mental disorder
Jun 21, 2018
Success! Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity Space Place Aces 2nd Powered Test Flight
May 31, 2018
Young Kiwis Don't Know Much About Asia According To Survey
May 28, 2018
Carbon Dioxide Pollution Is Making Rice Less Nutritious
May 23, 2018
How Does Fasting Affect Children?
May 15, 2018
A Rare Phenomenon Making The Ocean Glow Blue
May 14, 2018
Tourists, Carrots and Kangaroos a Dangerous Mix
May 3, 2018
The longest straight line you could sail without hitting land
May 2, 2018
Giant Mosquito Found in Southwest China
Apr 24, 2018
Increasing C-section births costing Canada Dearly
Apr 23, 2018
Single-use Plastics Are A Scourge, So It Is Vital We Act Now
Apr 20, 2018
Welcome To The First Branch Of A Bank In China Without Staff
Apr 18, 2018
Harnessing The Body's Immune System To Attack Cancer Improves Survival
Apr 17, 2018
Punk-Rock Hair Turtle Is On A New List Of Endangered Reptiles
Apr 13, 2018
SE Asian Countries To Limit Tourism
Apr 6, 2018
Police In Ohio Had Very Unusual Crime To Deal With The Last Month
Apr 5, 2018
Fast Food Restaurants Are Being Organised Like Little Factories, Robots And All
Mar 27, 2018
Orange Snow Hit Parts Of Europe This Weekend
Mar 26, 2018
World Renowned Physicist Stephen Hawking Has Died
Mar 15, 2018
Rocket Science? You Can Do That With Pi
Mar 14, 2018
NASA's Satellites Discover 1.5 Million Penguins In Antarctica
Mar 12, 2018
Babies May Benefit From Looking Like Dad
Mar 8, 2018
Out-Of-Control Space Station About To Come Crashing Back To Earth
Mar 7, 2018
Standing Desks May Be Doing More Harm Than Good
Feb 27, 2018
Tokyo To Build World's Tallest Wooden Skyscraper
Feb 21, 2018
World's First Synthetic Antibiotic
Feb 16, 2018
China's War On Pollution - Shivering For Cleaner Air
Feb 12, 2018
SpaceX's Starman Looking Down At Earth From His Gleaming Red Sports Car
Feb 7, 2018
Lift Off, NZ-based Rocket Lab Has Completed First Successful Launch
Jan 23, 2018
Starfish Destroying Great Barrier Reef
Jan 22, 2018
Ozone Layer is Healing Due to Chemical Ban
Jan 18, 2018
Drinking Too Much Water As Harmful As Too Little
Jan 9, 2018
Bitter Taste Preferences Related To Harsher Moral Judgements And Interpersonal Hostility
Jan 3, 2018
The World's First Commercial Flying Cars Could Soon Take Off
Dec 19, 2017
New Zealand Giant Ancient Penguin Unearthed
Dec 15, 2017
Astronomers To Check Mysterious Interstellar Object For Signs Of Technology
Dec 13, 2017
When Everything Is Silent, The Earth Produces A Mysterious Hum
Dec 11, 2017
Scientists discover a 245,000 million-year-old 'Darth Vader' horseshoe crab fossil
Dec 7, 2017
First Ever Kid-Focused Coding Google Doodle
Dec 5, 2017
Google faces mass legal action in UK over data snooping
Dec 1, 2017
Teenage Brains Can't Tell What's Important and What's Not
Nov 28, 2017
Fears For World's Rarest Penguin As Population Plummets 
Nov 28, 2017
Singapore To Start Using Driverless Buses by 2022
Nov 26, 2017
Cinnamon Helps Burn Fat Cells, Study Finds
Nov 24, 2017
Fake WhatsApp Fools Thousands Of Android Users
Nov 6, 2017
More Than 75 Percent Decline Over 27 Years In Total Flying Insect Biomass
Oct 20, 2017
Major Wi-Fi Security Flaws Affect Billions Worldwide
Oct 18, 2017
NASA Is Running Our Of The Most Precious Ingredient Needed For Future Space Missions
Oct 11, 2017
Women Can Be Just As Risk-taking As Men
Oct 9, 2017
Google's New Earbuds Can Translate 40 Languages Instantly
Oct 5, 2017
This Ancient Giant Frog Had Powerful Jaws And May Have Eaten Small Dinosaurs
Sep 21, 2017
End Of Mission Timeline, As Cassini Makes Its Final Approach To Saturn
Sep 15, 2017
Mystery Blob Creature That Looks Like A Brain
Sep 4, 2017
Cheese Impacts Skull Shape
Aug 29, 2017
China To Launch New, 400km/h Trains on Beijing to Shanghai Route
Aug 25, 2017
Google Docs Just Made A Big Update
Aug 17, 2017
GM Pigs Move A Step Closer To Being Organ Donors
Aug 11, 2017
Apple's China App Store Has Removed VPN's
Jul 31, 2017
Scientific Breakthrough That May Change The Colours Of Our Gardens
Jul 28, 2017
Preparing For Life On The Moon, China Tests Self-Sustaining Space
Jul 11, 2017
Why Ancient Roman Concrete Lasts For Millenia
Jul 10, 2017
Grandma Throws Coins Into Plane Engine - For Good Luck
Jul 6, 2017
Annual New Zealand Garden Bird Survey Kicking Off This Saturday
Jun 23, 2017
Australian Scientists Pull Up Nightmare Deep Sea Creatures
Jun 21, 2017
Auckland Bridge Will Be Flooded In Light Powered By Solar And Battery Energy
May 29, 2017
The World's First Robot Police Officer Goes On Duty In Dubai
May 26, 2017
World's Hottest Chilli Grown in Wales
May 19, 2017
AI Movie Writing Skill Turns Out To Be Hilarious and Intense
May 4, 2017
China Builds World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft
May 3, 2017
Cassini Passes By Titan One Last Time
Apr 26, 2017
Scientists Discover Massive Sulfur-Eating Hell-Clams
Apr 19, 2017
NASA Will Destroy A US$3.26 Billion Saturn Probe this Summer To Protect An Alien Water World
Apr 7, 2017
New Application For The The World's Strongest Material
Apr 6, 2017
Australia's Own 'Jurassic Park'
Mar 28, 2017
Incredible Ice House in New York State Encased In Ice During Five Days Storm
Mar 14, 2017
Why Did Australian Lake Turn Bright Pink?
Mar 13, 2017
'Parched' Chinese City Plans To Obtain Water From Russian Lake
Mar 10, 2017
Wild African Elephants Sleep 2 Hours Only
Mar 6, 2017
How Clean Are Our Swimming Pools?
Mar 2, 2017
Scientists Excited By Gigantic New Global Continent Zealandia
Feb 20, 2017
Roads? Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads
Feb 15, 2017
123456 Is Still The World's Most Popular Password
Jan 18, 2017
US Woman Killed By Superbug Resistant To Every Available Antibiotic
Jan 17, 2017
Dutch Electric Trains Become 100% Powered By Wind Energy From January
Jan 12, 2017
Incredible New Image Shows The Earth And Our Moon From Mars
Jan 9, 2017
2016 Will Be Longer Because Of A Leap Second
Dec 30, 2016
Explosion Means Shortage Of Canned Whipped Cream
Dec 28, 2016
Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This
Dec 8, 2016
Nestle says it can make chocolate taste just as good with far less sugar
Dec 5, 2016
Paper Helmets May Solve A Problem For Bike Renters
Nov 17, 2016
Samsung Involved In Another Major Product Recall
Nov 7, 2016
Scientist Fights For Endangered Tortoise With Secret Weapon: Lasers
Nov 2, 2016
Featherless Penguin At SeaWorld Gets Wetsuit To Keep Warm
Oct 28, 2016
Will Global Warming Make Fish Stupid?
Oct 25, 2016
This Is The Voice Of Siri
Oct 21, 2016
Makers Of The World's Smallest Machines Win Nobel Prize
Oct 12, 2016
It Seems That Dogs Can Tell Time With Their Noses
Oct 10, 2016
Stephen Hawking Warns Against Seeking Out Aliens
Sep 27, 2016
Huge 30 tonne meteorite dug up in Argentina
Sep 23, 2016
FDA Bans 19 Chemicals Used In Antibacterial Soaps
Sep 5, 2016
Pizza Delivery From The Sky
Aug 30, 2016
Oldest Living Vertebrate May Be Greenland Shark
Aug 18, 2016
One Drug May Be Able To Treat Three Dangerous Diseases
Aug 12, 2016
Solar Impulse Completes Round-the-World Flight
Jul 25, 2016
Transparent Wood Could Transform Buildings
Jul 22, 2016
Space Craft Reaches Jupiter
Jul 5, 2016
Army Of Great Spider Crabs
Jun 20, 2016
Jellyfish or Pixar Character
May 15, 2016
Transit of Mercury
May 6, 2016
Solar Plane Makes Record Journey
Apr 25, 2016
Which Dogs Smell Best?
Apr 11, 2016
Dinosaur with Wings Found in China
Mar 30, 2016
Ghost Octopus
Mar 15, 2016
About Pluto
Nov 5, 2015

ac-cor-ding

as said by


v.根据

ad-vance

ahead of time, before something happens


v.提前

ag-ri-cul-ture

farming; cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and animals


n.农业

aid

help


n,v.援助

ash

the powdery residue left after the burning of a substance or emitted by a volcano


n.灰

at-mos-phere

the gas around the earth or a planet; the mood or feeling of a place


n.大气层/气氛

ban

officially not allow


v.禁止

bil-lion

a very large number, equal to 10^9


No.十亿

cal-o-rie

a unit of heat energy


n.卡路里

ca-lo-ries

a measure of the energy in food


n.卡路里

car-bon

a chemical element that has two main forms (diamond and graphite) and that also occurs in charcoal


n.碳

com-bat

fighting between armed forces


n.斗争

con-cen-tra-tion

close attention, able to focus    


n.专心

cult

something really popular amongst a group of people


n.礼拜    

de-cade

a period of ten years    


n.十年/一旬

de-ve-loped

cause something to grow or go into production    


v.研发

di-rect-ly

with nothing in between


adv.直接

e-mis-sion

giving out something such as gas


n.排放

e-mis-sions

the production and discharge of something, especially gas or radiation


n.排放

ex-pec-ted

something seen as likely to happen


v.预期

ex-pe-ri-ment

something a scientist does to test an idea


n.实验

im-pact

a strong effect


n.影响

im-pli-ca-tions

the conclusion that can be drawn from something


n.启示/弦外之音

in-clu-ding

containing, having as part of the whole


prep.包含

in-crease

growing or becoming greater


n.增加

in-ter-na-tion-al

existing between two or more countries


adj.国际

mis-sion

an important task, usually involving travel


n.任务/使命

nu-tri-ent

a substance that provides food, essential for growth and life


n.养分

nu-tri-tion

getting food for health and growth


n.营养

ox-ide

a binary compound of oxygen with another element or group


n.氧化物

pro-fes-sor

teacher at a university


n.教授

pro-tein

a part of food for the body, especially from meat and eggs


n.蛋白质

pub-lished

to put out a book for sale


v.发表

re-search

looking for knowledge


v.调研

re-search-er

person who searches for knowledge


n.研究员

re-spon-ded

said something in reply


v.回应

sci-en-tists

experts in science, people who study science


n.科学家

se-ri-ous

maybe causing great harm


adj.严重

sig-nif-i-cant

important, standing out from the rest


adj.重大/有意义

spe-cial

better or greater than usual


adj.特别

strains

needing more than normal effort


v.劳损

va-lue

the importance or worth of something


n.价值

war-ning

telling of danger or problems


v.警告