Hemp’s Impact on Carbon Dioxide

Hemp's Impact on Carbon Dioxide (shutterstock_212181040)Growing more hemp crops has the potential of making a significant impact on global warming. Global warming, or the rise in average temperatures on earth, is caused by higher concentrations of greenhouse gases; more specifically, an increase in carbon dioxide emissions. The carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere and prevents it from being released into space. The warming of temperatures causes a sea of negative effects, including freak weather conditions, droughts and a rise in sea levels due to the melting of glaciers.

Hemp crops have the capability of combating the earth’s increases in carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, hemp removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to form carbohydrates that are used to build the structure of the plant. At the end of this process, oxygen is released back into the atmosphere as a byproduct.

Trees also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and thus can reverse the effects of global warming. However, trees take significantly longer to grow and require much more space. Hemp, however, grows very quickly and can be planted close together. You could therefore grow a lot more hemp in a particular plot of land than you could trees, thus making a bigger impact on carbon dioxide absorption. Plus, hemp crops can be grown within nearly any type of soil and can handle most environments. They requires very little water and don’t need any fertilizers or herbicides to stay healthy and excel.

The fibers located within the stem of hemp plants can be cultivated and used to produce a variety of products, including paper and building materials, both of which are currently dominated by lumber. Hemp can also be used to create a clean-burning gasoline that is energy-efficient and cheaper to produce. Oil’s dominance in gasoline production causes an increase in greenhouse gases due to fossil fuel combustion. Therefore, if hemp were to replacing oil and lumber as the dominant source of fuel, building and paper products, it could make an even bigger impact on our global environment.

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