Trees are growing faster and could buy time to halt global warming | b l o g o d r i l

06 April 2009

Trees are growing faster and could buy time to halt global warming

By Urmee Khan, Telegraph.co uk, 06 Apr 2009

Plants and trees are growing faster because of rising carbon dioxide levels, potentially buying Earth more time to address global warming, according to scientists.

Plants survive by extracting CO2 from the air and using sunlight to convert it into proteins and sugars.

Since 1750 the concentration in the air has risen from of CO2 278 parts per million (ppm) to more than 380 ppm, making it easier for plants to acquire the CO2 needed for rapid growth.

A study by the University of Leeds, published in the science journal Nature, measured the girth of 70,000 trees across 10 African countries and compared them with similar records made four decades ago.

On average, the trees were getting bigger faster and researchers found that each hectare of African forest was trapping an extra 0.6 tons of CO2 a year compared with the 1960s.

If this is replicated across the world's tropical rainforests they would be removing nearly 5 billion tons of CO2 a year from the atmosphere. Read Telegraph.co.uk

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