Earth's Vegetation Is Decreasing Growth Rate Of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Posted: Nov 9 2016, 7:30am CST | by , Updated: Nov 9 2016, 8:01am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Earth's Vegetation is Decreasing Growth Rate of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
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  • Carbon Dioxide Surplus Blunted by Greenery
 

It is being surmised by climate change scientists that the carbon dioxide surplus in the atmosphere is being blunted by greenery.

The high levels of CO2 in the global climate may be slowing down as far as its accumulation is concerned. This is in part due to the lush green vegetation that is still a part of this planet.

Plants soak up this gas and thus we humans are indirectly benefited as a result. The novel study proved that greenery puts up a blockage in the way of carbon dioxide emissions.

This was seen from the years 2002 to 2014. Plants, including in their ranks, bushes, shrubs and trees, have become more absorbent due to the extra CO2 in the atmosphere. 

However, there is a caveat. This slowdown in CO2 levels does not offset the overall pattern of carbon dioxide accumulation. The latter is continuing in its path apace.

To stop it would take a monumental effort which is difficult if not entirely impossible at this stage in our history. Over the past century or so, the bulk of CO2 has been absorbed by the earth’s waterways and greenery.

In fact, twice the carbon dioxide has been absorbed by these entities mentioned a sentence back. Such carbon sinks account for 45% of the gas emitted each year. 

Since the beginning of the 21st century there have been changes in the rate of absorption of carbon dioxide. Between 2002 and 2014, the CO2 emissions decreased by 20% which is a significant statistic.

The overall number of plants and trees have grown throughout the world (which is paradoxical seeing the modern times we are passing through). The greening of the planet is something which is keeping pace with the opposite trend of industrialization and mechanization.

These huge swathes of vegetation are being literally fertilized by the surplus CO2. As for the reverse effect of the lower temperatures on the behavior of plants, this is a topic which deserves to be discussed on its own.

Between 1998 and 2012, the global temperatures were not as high as they had been. The actions of vegetation were affected by this CO2 surplus. Yet the carbon dioxide levels have now passed the 400 parts per million (ppm) in the climate.

The carbon sink may be doing its job of lessening the burden that gas imposes on the atmosphere, yet the pace of CO2 gas emissions are still continuing in an uninhibited manner. 

This research is published online on November 8th in the journal Nature Communications.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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