Study Shows Plants Absorb More Carbon Dioxide Than Previously Thought! –

When you visit a forest, pick up your trash and remember the oxygen it gives you so you can enjoy it. Reina Campos Caba Reina Campos Caba Meteor-covered Chile 09/12/2023 1:00 p.m. 5 min

Terrestrial vegetation acts as an important mitigator of anthropogenic climate change due to its ability to absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. This is due to gross primary productivity (GPP), a measure of photosynthetic activity at the canopy level, i.e. in the habitat formed by the canopy of a forest.

Terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) are the main tools for projecting the spatial and temporal evolution of the PPB. In this way, responses to increases in atmospheric CO2, temperature fluctuations and other climate change factors are achieved.

In this direction, A new study published in Science Advances considered three photosynthetic mechanisms that have not yet been combined in a tunnel boring machine: photosynthetic temperature acclimation, explicit transgenesis and photosynthetic optimization.

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The research team conducted global simulations for the historical climate (1900-2005) and the projected climate (2006-2099) using the RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios.. The climate scenario RCP2.6 assumes that emissions fall to zero around 2075 and then become negative. The RCP8.5 climate scenario instead assumes a steady increase in emissions, which would double by 2050 and more than triple by the end of the century.

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The study results show that the three photosynthesis mechanisms included are strongly supported by observations at blade level, but are currently ignored or only partially taken into account in tunnel boring machines.

Their simulations show that more advanced photosynthesis models that take these mechanisms into account are more likely to yield predictions higher PPB responses to climate change conditions compared to simpler representations that do not take these into account or only view them partially.

Most important direct effects of the introduced mechanisms on photosynthetic behavior.  Source: Knauer and colleagues (2023).Most important direct effects of the introduced mechanisms on photosynthetic behavior. Source: Knauer and colleagues (2023).

Plants absorb a significant amount of carbon dioxide every year, limiting the harmful effects of climate change“But it is currently unknown to what extent they will continue to absorb CO2 in the future,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Jürgen Knauer from the University of Vienna, Cosmos Magazine.

A larger-than-expected increase in PPBs under future climate change would have important implications for assessing the global carbon cycle, as PPBs are the main pathway for atmospheric CO2 to enter the terrestrial biosphere.

This is what we found outA well-established model used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to produce global climate assessments predicts greater and more sustained carbon uptake by the end of the 21st century than other processes that control photosynthesis in plants, Knauer said.

“Planting trees alone will not solve all of our problems and can at best help in a transition phase as society moves away from fossil fuels. Ultimately, we need to eliminate emissions from all sectors.” Arboriculture alone does not offer a magical result to humanity” said Ben Smith, co-author of the study and director of the Hawkesbury Institute.

Current reference

Jürgen Knauer et al. Higher global gross primary productivity under future climate conditions with more advanced representations of photosynthesis. Science. 9 (2023).