Plants and forests

Rising water stress could counteract ‘global greening’, study says

The increased growth rate of plants seen worldwide in response to rising CO2 levels – a phenomenon known as “global greening” – could be stalled by growing water stress, a study finds. Global warming is driving changes to water vapour levels, the research finds, which could, in turn, be affecting the rate of plant photosynthesis – the …

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Africa’s tropical land emitted more CO2 than the US in 2016, satellite data shows

Africa’s tropical land released close to 6bn tonnes of CO2 in 2016, according to data taken by satellites. This means that, if Africa’s tropical regions were a country, it would be the second largest emitter of CO2 in the world – ahead of the US, which currently emits 5.3bn tonnes of CO2 a year. The region’s …

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In-depth Q&A: The IPCC’s special report on climate change and land

This morning in Geneva, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its special report on climate change and land. The land provides the “food, feed, fibre, fuel and freshwater” without which human society and its economy “could not exist”, the report says. This provision is under threat from rising global temperatures and “unprecedented” rates …

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Amazon carbon sink could be ‘much less’ due to lack of soil nutrients

A lack of nutrients in Amazonian soil could restrict the forest’s ability to soak up emissions and lead to climate change progressing faster than expected, according to a new study. As the world’s largest tropical rainforest, the Amazon is an important buffer against rising levels of CO2, much of which is absorbed by vegetation as …

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