In a landmark public health finding, a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health finds that carbon dioxide (CO2) has a direct and negative impact on human cognition and decision-making.For most of human evolution history, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has varied between 180 and 240 parts per million. A few months ago the concentration in our atmosphere has passed 400 and if nothing is done, it's heading for more than 900 parts per million.
They found that, on average, a typical participant’s cognitive scores dropped 21 percent with a 400 ppm increase in CO2. Here are their astonishing findings for four of the nine cognitive functions scored in a double-blind test of the impact of elevated CO2 levels:
Vivian Loftness — University Professor and former Head of the School of Architecture — one of the world’s leading experts on “Health, Productivity, and the Quality of the Built Environment,” says
We have to do everything we can to keep outdoor CO2 levels below 600 ppm because something serious starts happening then.So if droughts, floods, huge swaths of land rendered uninhabitable by global warming isn't enough, it is clear that we need also to worry about the loss of mental capacity as the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere increases.