We're told, endlessly, that climate change will mean the end of the Amazon, of the tropical forests, and the Earth will lose its lungs. It appears that this is not wholly and completely true. Actually, an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is likely to lead to the growth of huge, new, tropical forests.
The report is in Nature and this is the important point:
Experimental studies have generally shown that plants do not show a large response to CO2 fertilization. “However, most of these studies were conducted in northern ecosystems or on commercially important species” explains Steven Higgins, lead author of the study from the Biodiodversity and Climate Reseach Centre and Goethe-University. “In fact, only one experimental study has investigated how savanna plants will respond to changing CO2 concentrations and this study showed that savanna trees were essentially CO2 starved under pre-industrial CO2 concentrations, and that their growth really starts taking off at the CO2 concentrations we are currently experiencing.“
Trees may not be the planetary saviors people have been counting on in a warming climate.
A new study shows that while trees certainly help counteract rising temperatures, they are absorbing 3.4 percent less carbon than had been assumed in models used in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. More CO2 in the atmosphere means more warming.
Will trees grow better when finding more CO2 in the atmosphere or not?