In unexpected climate change news, a study reveals that trees are actually growing faster as a result of man-made global warming
Trees are growing at the fastest rate for 200 years as a result of man-made global warming, new research has revealed.
In one forest in the US state of Maryland studied by researchers an extra 1.8 tonnes of timber per acre is appearing each year. They put the accelerated growth down to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, higher temperatures and longer growing seasons.
Ecologist Geoffrey Parker, from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Centre in Edgewater, Maryland, said: ‘We made a list of reasons why these forests could be growing faster and then ruled half of them out.’ The best explanation was a response to climate change, he said.
The trees had more carbon dioxide to help them obtain energy from the Sun, and an extra week in which to grow, said the researchers.
The study suggests that the extra growth in trees could help to act as an efficient carbon ‘sink’, which could offset the carbon dioxide being added to the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels.