CO2 levels in the atmosphere are decreasing, as plants soak up more gas

A new study from the journal Nature Communications has found that the  level of  CO2 gas in the atmosphere is reducing, due to an increased absorption rate in the Earth’s vegetation.

Reports from earlier this year indicated a rise in the growth of trees and plants on the planet, contributing to a slowdown in the rise of CO2 emissions. The rise in the Earth’s temperature has impacted the respiration of vegetation, leading to an increasingly greener planet.

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The study shows that between 2002 and 2014 the amount of  CO2remaining in the atmosphere declined by 20%. It has been suggested this could be because plants are absorbing more and releasing less.

The authors of the journal say that this does not mean the planet is in a state of healing, as the Earth cannot keep up with the pace of greenhouse gas emissions. The amount of  CO2 has now exceeded the dangerously high levels of 400 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere.

Whilst this may be a positive development, our CO2 emissions are still too high for it to have a long lasting effect.

Prof Corinne Le Quéré, director of the Tyndall Centre at the University of East Anglia says, “Natural vegetation is a fantastic help in slowing down climate change by absorbing about a quarter of our carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. Fundamentally though, this help is not enough to stop the planet warming – far from it – carbon emissions have to drop to almost zero to stop global warming.”

Read the full journal here:

http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13428

 

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