We may be overestimating the carbon cleanup power of trees | #Anthropocene
Both papers also suggest that plants’ capacity to sop up excess carbon dioxide from the #atmosphere is finite. After all, trees evolved for thousands of generations in an atmosphere containing less than 290 parts per million of carbon dioxide; current atmospheric carbon dioxide is at 405 parts per million. “There is a point at which the photosynthesis apparatus saturates,” says Boucher, comparing the situation to a person fed 6 meals a day rather than the usual 3. “The photosynthetic system just can’t take it anymore.”
Green J.K. et al. “Large influence of soil moisture on long-term terrestrial carbon uptake.” Nature 2019.
Giguere-Croteau C. et al. “North America’s oldest boreal trees are more efficient water users due to increased [CO2], but do not grow faster.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2019.