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NASA study reveals carbon dioxide emissions make trees grow faster - the key to reforestation and food production?


Climate change

(NaturalNews) As advanced as modern science professes to be, it has taken a new study to reiterate what practically every child learns in kindergarten -- that plant life uptakes carbon dioxide as food, releasing oxygen for animals and humans to breathe. And this process, known simply as photosynthesis, helps balance atmospheric ratios of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and other gases in order to maintain a livable planet.

In terms of climate change, this means that trees and other plant life thrive from the carbon released into the atmosphere, and that man-made "global warming" may not be as big of a threat as is often claimed. Rather than portend to undo life on this planet, atmospheric carbon is actually helping to restore areas of dense flora such as tropical rainforests, which absorb some 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to the Daily Mail.

Dr. David Schimel from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory found in a recent study that, contrary to popular ignorance, carbon dioxide isn't necessarily destroying the planet as we've all been told. Any carbon surpluses resulting from natural warming or cooling cycles are actually helping improve biodiversity in many of the world's most remote ecosystems, including in the great rainforests of South America.

"This is good news, because uptake in boreal forests is already slowing, while tropical forests may continue to take up carbon for many years," said Dr. Schimel.

More CO2 means more trees, not destruction of the planet

All around the world, forests and other vegetation uptake roughly 2.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, or about 30 percent of the amount emitted by human activity. Though this still leaves a 70 percent shortfall, the implication from the new study is that the trees and plants will naturally adjust to accommodate any carbon excesses.

It had previously been assumed that forests, and especially mature ones, only absorb a limited amount of carbon. But the latest research suggests that trees and shrubs take in considerably more of this vital nutrient than many experts believed, resulting in the proliferation of even more carbon-consuming plant life.

"Multiple lines of evidence suggest significant tropical uptake for CO2, approximately balancing net deforestation and confirming a substantial negative global feedback to atmospheric CO2 and climate," explains the study. "This analysis supports a significant feedback to future atmospheric CO2 concentrations from carbon uptake in terrestrial ecosystems caused by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations."

Factory farming destroying rainforests that help mitigate excess carbon releases

What is harming the planet, however, is the continued destruction of natural rainforests that help naturally balance the CO2 load. In many areas of South America, for instance, factory farming operations are razing large swaths of rain forest for the purpose of planting genetically modified corn and soybean plantations.

These corporate endeavors, which the biotechnology industry claims are helping to "feed the planet," are actually putting it at great risk of CO2 overload by eliminating the organisms that rely on carbon for food. Thus, it is essential that rainforests be preserved in the interest of climate regulation, which would eliminate the need for more man-made interventions such as atmospheric aerosol spraying and weather manipulation.

"The future tropical balance of deforestation and climate sources and regrowth and carbon dioxide sinks will only remain a robust feature of the global carbon cycle if the vast tropical forests are protected from destruction," said Dr. Schimel.

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://www.skepticalscience.com

http://www.independent.co.uk

http://wattsupwiththat.com

http://www.pnas.org

http://science.naturalnews.com

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