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Posted Thu Aug 19 2010: from Guardian:
Rising temperatures reducing ability of plants to absorb carbon, study warns
Rising temperatures in the past decade have reduced the ability of the world's plants to soak up carbon from the atmosphere, scientists said today. Large-scale droughts have wiped out plants that would have otherwise absorbed an amount of carbon equivalent to Britain's annual man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists measure the amount of atmospheric CO2 absorbed by plants and turned into biomass as a quantity known as the net primary production. NPP increased from 1982 to 1999 as temperatures rose and there was more solar radiation. But the period from 2000 to 2009 reverses that trend - surprising some scientists.... Reduced plant matter not only reduces the world's natural ability to manage CO2 in the atmosphere but could also lead to problems with growing more crops to feed rising populations or make sustainable biofuels. "Under a changing climate, severe regional droughts have become more frequent, a trend expected to continue for the foreseeable future," said the researchers.
[Read more stories about: global warming, feedback loop, weather extremes]

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