Global warming helping trees grow faster

Last Updated: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 20:38

Washington: Global warming is helping trees
to grow at a faster rate now than they have done in the past
200 years due to higher temperatures and more carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere, American researchers have claimed.

After studying the growth of 55 forests in the eastern
United States for over 20 years, the scientists from the
Smithsonian Environmental Research Centre in Maryland found
that the recent tree growth "greatly exceeded the expected
growth".

They suggested that global warming is helping trees to
grow faster as it brings higher temperatures, longer growing
seasons and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In one forest, studied by the researchers, an extra 1.8
tonnes of timber per acre is appearing each year. "The trees,
in Maryland, are sprouting up more quickly than at any time in
the past 225 years," the scientists said.

Lead researcher Geoffrey Parker said: "We made a list of
reasons why these forests could be growing faster and then
ruled half of them out".

"The best explanation was a response to climate change,
he was quotes as saying by the journal Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences.

In the past 22 years, carbon dioxide levels where the
study was conducted had risen 12 per cent, the average
temperature had increased by nearly three tenths of a degree,
and the growing season had lengthened by 7.8 days.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 20:38

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