March 27, 2004
Tina Tennessen 443-482-2325   tennessent@si.edu

Plants Keep Pace with Rising Carbon Dioxide


Plant physiologist Dr. Bert Drake presented an overview of the results of the world's longest-running study on elevated CO2 at the December American Geophysical Union meetings in San Francisco.

In his 17-year continuous field study, Drake has been exposing various species of wetland grasses to elevated CO2 in enclosed chambers.
"The response of the wetland to elevated CO2 has been increasing over this long period, rather than decreasing as many would have predicted," Drake says.
"Our main findings support the conclusion that rising atmospheric CO2 will increase the carbon content of many terrestrial ecosystems but that the amount of anthropogenic carbon they sequester will not be enough to offset the ever increasing CO2 from burning fossil fuels and deforestation."

 


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