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May 03 2012

11:50

April 24 2012

11:23

Study Links Plant Damage to Nanoparticles

A new study suggests that the introduction of some nanoparticles into plants' DNA could cause them to shrivel and die.
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April 12 2012

21:01

Breaking Down Traditional Chinese Medicine

A new method of genetic analysis allows researchers to identify the component parts of traditional Chinese medicine, revealing endangered species, toxic plants and widespread mislabeling.

February 06 2012

12:55

December 16 2011

14:52

A Green Soda Bottle Race

Coca-Cola and Pepsi both say they plan to produce soda bottles made wholly from plants, but don't expect large-scale production soon.

September 29 2011

19:30

New Study Shows Plants Absorb Carbon From Atmosphere Faster Than Perviously Thought


Plants are hard at work absorbing carbonNew research just published in the journal Nature say that plants, trees, and soil are absorbing carbon about 25 percent faster than scientists previously thought.

A team of scientists headed-up by Lisa Welp-Smith of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have developed a new, more accurate, method of determining how much plants absorb and release carbon. The study estimates that global plant life take up between 150 billion and 175 billion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year, 25 to 45 percent more than the previous estimate of 120 billion metric tons annually.

The research is an important step for future climate models, emphasizing the vital role plant life plays in regulating the carbon cycle. But Welp-Smith cautions that the study is only a beginning and making conclusions about the exact nature of a carbon sink plants represent is “several steps beyond the paper.”

“Just because there is more photosynthesis doesn’t mean there is necessarily a greater carbon sink from the land biosphere,” Welp-Smith said. “It means more CO2 is passing through plants, not that it actually stays there very long.”

Welp-Smith explained that plants burn some of the sugar produced in photosynthesis, producing energy the plants need to live and grow, but in the process release some of the absorbed CO2 back into the atmosphere. A process that may also be more rapid than previously thought, offsetting the increased rate of initial CO2 absorption.

But whatever determinations come from future studies, the research is important in helping scientists further understand and quantify the role of plants in the global carbon cycle.

“If we are right, and GPP needs to be revised upward by about 25 percent, it means that our fundamental understanding of how land plants function on the global scale is still a bit fluid,” Welp-Smith said.

Colin Anderson, an atmospheric chemist and co-author of the study, said the research increases our knowledge of “what’s really going on in the atmosphere.”

“It’s still too early to tell what the final impact of this will be on estimates of future climate change,” Allison said. “But by tying this down, it means that from now we will have a better constraint that might modify our understanding of what those future impacts could be.”

Additional sources:
ClimateWire (subscription required)
Mother Nature Network

 

Reposted by02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

June 24 2011

21:05

Grasping Climate Change at a Garden-Plot Level

A pilot project will educate visitors to public gardens on how global warming and other climate trends could affect local plant species.

September 21 2010

21:02

Victorian plant collectors could hold clue to climate change

Plants picked up to 150 years ago by Victorian collectors could hold the key to understanding climate change, according to a new study.

May 21 2010

14:22

It's Love-Hate: Plants and Carbon Dioxide

A study shows that higher levels of carbon dioxide interfere with plants' ability to process nitrate, a vital soil nutrient, stunting the growth of key proteins.
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