October 3, 2008

Heat waves decrease plants’ ability to absorb CO2.

Heat waves decrease plants’ ability to absorb CO2. 

A four-year study led by the Desert Research Institute in Nevada, USA simulated heat wave conditions by growing grassland plants in large climate-controlled chambers. The researchers found that grasslands subjected to heat waves for the equivalent of a one-year growing period had a 63 percent decrease in their ability to absorb carbon dioxide for that year, and even a year later had significantly reduced ability to absorb CO2. Naturally growing grasslands normally serve as major carbon sinks, absorbing significant amounts of CO2 to help alleviate the effects of global warming.

Desert Research Institute, we are grateful for these insights into the challenges we face as planetary temperatures continue to warm due to climate change. We pray for quick global action to preserve all lives on our wonderful Earth. 


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