Science

A New (Good) Green House Effect

carbon dioxide molecule feature image

The Carbon Dioxide molecule. (Image Credit: Wikicommons)

By Kristen E. Strubberg Editor-in-Chief

According to new research, trees in tropical forests are absorbing MORE carbon dioxide as levels of the greenhouse gas rise in the atmosphere. This is causing  the tropical trees to grow at a more rapid rate and absorb even more carbon in a cycle called effect called carbon fertilization.  Presented by David Schimel of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the study used a meta-analysis of data from computer and atmospheric models, satellite data, and ground data from the forest themselves.  What Schimel’s team found flipped the current understanding of which ecosystems removed the most carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis.  Scientist original thought boreal forests in cooler region absorbed more atmospheric carbon when in fact it was the reverse.

Tropical forest biome. (Image Credit: blueplanetbiomes.org)

tropical forest in Malaysia

Example of a tropical forest from Malaysia. (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/NASA)

 

Schimel hopes the new understanding of carbon absorption and atmospheric carbon flow produced by his study will better inform both preservation and carbon reduction efforts.

Read more at NASA’s website.

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