Tags: global | warming | plant | growth

Global Warming Credited for Boosting Plant Growth

Image: Global Warming Credited for Boosting Plant Growth
Cattle are driven across the Australian Outback.

By    |   Sunday, 02 Jun 2013 08:41 AM

Climate change has been blamed for a myriad of planetary ills from floods to droughts, wildfires and tornadoes, but a new Australian study says the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide is boosting plant growth in arid deserts.

The study by scientist Randall Donohue at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization looked at the rise in foliage in the Southwest United States, the Middle East, some parts of Africa, as well as the Australian Outback, and discovered an 11 percent increase in plant growth, USA Today reports.

“If elevated CO2 causes the water use of individual leaves to drop, plants will respond by increasing their total numbers of leaves,” Donohue said. The Geophysical Research Letters journal published the results May 15.

Livescience.com says the study confirms other research showing more rain and changing temperatures, along with the increase in the carbon dioxide that plants need to create food, will lead to an increase in vegetation across the globe.

“Trees are reinvading grasslands, and this could quite possibly be related to the carbon-dioxide effect,” Donohue said. “Long-lived woody plants are deep rooted and are likely to benefit more than grasses from an increase in carbon dioxide.”

Greenland is already reaping some benefits from global warming, where longer summers have produced crops that locals dwelling in the Arctic Circle haven’t seen in years such as strawberries, and increased production of potatoes, tomatoes and green peppers.

The increase in production has prompted the government of Greenland to commission a study to determine how climate change will benefit the country in the hopes eliminating the need for costly food imports.

“It may become an important supplement to our economy,” says outgoing Prime Minister Kuupik Kleist, The Independent reported.





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Climate change has blamed for a myriad of planetary ills from floods to droughts, wildfires and tornadoes, but a new Australian study says the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide is boosting plant growth in arid deserts. The study by scientist Randall Donohue at the...
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Sunday, 02 Jun 2013 08:41 AM
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