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Trees bulking up on excess carbon dioxide in atmosphere, scientists say

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Nature’s carbon cycle still working as expected.
– – –
Increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have contributed to a rise in wood volume or biomass of forests in the US, according to a new study.

The research, published recently in the Journal Nature Communications, found that elevated carbon levels have led to a consistent increase in wood volume in 10 different temperate forest groups across the US, says The Independent.

By bulking up this way, trees are helping shield Earth’s ecosystem from the impacts of global warming, say scientists, including those from the Ohio State University.

“Forests are taking carbon out of the atmosphere at a rate of about 13 per cent of our gross emissions. While we’re putting billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we’re actually taking much of it out just by letting our forests grow,” Brent Sohngen, co-author of the study, said in a statement.

Previous studies have shown that over the last five decades in the US, the per-hectare volume of wood in trees has increased.

However, it has been unclear whether this increase was primarily driven by forest management and their recovery from past land uses, such as agriculture, or other environmental factors such as elevated carbon dioxide, nitrogen deposition, or climate change.

Research has also shown that through a phenomenon called carbon fertilisation, plants use an influx of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to increase their rate of photosynthesis – a process by which plants combine energy from the sun, water, and other nutrients to spur their growth.

“It’s well known that when you put a ton of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it doesn’t stay up there forever. A massive amount of it falls into the oceans, while the rest of it is taken up by trees and wetlands and those kinds of areas,” Dr Sohngen explained.

Full article here.


Source: https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2022/09/28/trees-bulking-up-on-excess-carbon-dioxide-in-atmosphere-scientists-say/


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