tree

More CO2 in the atmosphere leads to accelerated growth of certain tree species

Monday, December 21, 2009
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: carbon dioxide, forests, health news

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(NaturalNews) Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota at Morris have found that increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have led to the rapid growth of certain tree species. The quaking aspen, a popular North America deciduous tree, has seen a 50 percent acceleration in growth over the past 50 years due to increased CO2 levels.

Trees are necessary climate regulators since they process carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. Humans process oxygen and give off carbon dioxide, working harmoniously with natural plant life to maintain proper atmospheric composition. Since natural forests represent about 30 percent of the earth's surface, they are highly effective at segregating greenhouse gases.

The quaking aspen is a vibrant, dominant tree found in both Canada and the United States. It is considered to be a "foundation species", meaning that it helps dictate the dynamics of the plant and animal communities that surround it. Roughly 42 million acres in Canada and 6.5 million acres in Wisconsin and Minnesota are composed of aspen trees.

Elevated levels of CO2 will naturally lead to increased plant growth since CO2 is a precursor to plant food. Tree-ring analyses verified that aspen trees have been growing at an increasingly accelerated pace over the years because of this phenomenon.

Because accelerated growth was not seen in other tree species like oak and pine, scientists admit they will have to further investigate the issue. Similarly, drier regions where the trees were found did not experience the same rapid growth rates as those found in the wetter regions.

Comments by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

An interesting side effect of increased carbon emissions by human activity is that plants will grow more quickly. CO2 is to plants as oxygen is to humans, so the more CO2 is in the atmosphere, the more quickly many plants can grow.

Of course, plants produce oxygen as the "waste" product of their respiration, and that's a poison to other plants, so there's a natural balancing effect that keeps oxygen and CO2 levels in balance over the long haul.

This is why greenhouse gases are called "greenhouse gases", by the way -- because they turn the planet into a really effective greenhouse where plants grow like crazy. Of course, the clear-cutting of rainforest in the Amazon (and elsewhere) kills any chance of those regions taking part in that accelerated plant growth. Even in a high-CO2 environment, human beings can destroy plant life with bulldozers.

It's interesting that plants and humans breathe the same air but extract very different chemical elements from it: Humans need oxygen while plants need carbon dioxide. For both species to survive, the air needs to contain both chemicals in balance. Currently, the oxygen content of the air is roughly around 20% (and falling).

Sources for this story include:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-...

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About the author: Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

In addition to being the co-star of the popular GAIAM TV series called Secrets to Health, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

In 2013, Adams created the Natural News Forensic Food Laboratory, a research lab that analyzes common foods and supplements, reporting the results to the public. He is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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