Study suggests increased atmospheric CO2 created a 30% growth in plant photosynthesis during last two centuries

Watts Up With That?

From the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – MERCED and the “CO2 is plant food, but, it’s still terrible department” (see text)

Composite image showing the global distribution of photosynthesis, including both oceanic phytoplankton and terrestrial vegetation. Dark red and blue-green indicate regions of high photosynthetic activity in the ocean and on land, respectively. Image: NASA SEAWIFS

Research shows global photosynthesis on the rise

Plant photosynthesis was stable for hundreds of years before the industrial revolution, but grew rapidly in the 20th century, according to new research published today in Nature.

“Virtually all life on our planet depends on photosynthesis,” said UC Merced Professor Elliott Campbell, who led the research. “Keeping tabs on global plant growth should be a central goal for the human race.”

Photosynthesis is the process through which plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbohydrates to fuel their growth and other activities.

Yet, researchers lack…

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