Plant Food

An interesting little aside:

The fact that leaves are turning brown later each autumn is caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and not global warming, British scientists have discovered.

Over the past 30 years autumnal senescence, the process of plant ageing by which leaves discolour then fall, has been delayed in Europe by between 1.3 and 1.8 days a decade. Trees have also been growing leaves earlier. During this time atmospheric CO2 has risen by 13.5 per cent.

See? CO2 really is plant food.



5 thoughts on “Plant Food”

  1. Hummm……….one can measure this within less than 2 days per decade and +/- 0.5 days? What does that imply-a leaf fell before or after noon? Would be interesting to know the methods and stats that were the basis for this conclusion.

  2. If the trees stay in leaf longer, does that give the leaves the chance to build up more sugar? And therefore be more colourful in autumn? In other words, is CO2 beautifying our world? How wonderful for the children as they kick their way through the fallen leaves. Aw!

  3. According to this week’s New Scientist (10th November 2007), pg 21, in the Southern US spring is coming later, not earlier:

    Also, according to the 27th October 2007 issue (page 42, can’t find it on line), growth of trees in the rainforests are actually slowing. I think their theory was that high temperatures impede photosynthesis, and eventually stop it dead.

    Just two things I thought might be interesting, and tangentily related.

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