(ORDO NEWS) — The results of the study, published in Nature Communications, are truly amazing, as they show that carbon dioxide makes trees grow bigger. In other words, the atmosphere has increased the amount of wood in the forests. The study was conducted in the United States.
The scientists found that an increase in carbon levels in the atmosphere led to an increase in the volume of wood in 10 different groups of temperate forests. This shows that the rapid growth of trees helps protect the Earth’s ecology from the effects of global warming, experts from Ohio said.
“Even though we’re emitting billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we’re really just letting our forests grow,” said study co-author and professor of environmental and resource economics at Ohio State University Brent Songen.
The reason that trees grow so much is a kind of carbon fertilizer, which causes the rate of photosynthesis in plants to increase as carbon dioxide levels rise in the atmosphere.
“It’s well known that when you put a ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it doesn’t stay there forever,” Songen said.
“A huge amount of it ends up in the oceans, and the rest is absorbed by trees, wetlands and other similar areas.”
Trees have no problem absorbing Earth’s excess carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that can have negative effects on natural systems and infrastructure. Such growth may not be noticeable to the average person, but today’s vegetation is about 20 to 30 percent larger than it was 30 years ago.
Songen’s team used archival data from the US Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program to compare how wood volume in different forest groups has changed over the past few decades.
According to the study, the amount of wood produced by trees increased significantly between 1970 and 2015, consistent with a dramatic increase in carbon emissions.
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