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Climate change has boosted the productivity of some forests


In a new study from Harvard University , experts have used hundreds of thousands of carbon observations to determine that climate change has increased the productivity of forests over the last quarter of a century.

From 1992 to 2015, the rate of carbon capture nearly doubled across the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research site.

The scientists attribute much of the increase in storage capacity to the growth of 100-year-old oak trees, revitalized by the warmer temperatures and longer growing season associated with climate change.

Regional increases in precipitation and atmospheric carbon dioxide have also boosted tree growth. At the same time, reduced levels of air pollution, such as ozone, sulfur, and nitrogen, have reduced environmental stress.

Study co-author Adrien Finzi is a professor of Biology at Boston University.

“It is remarkable that changes in climate and atmospheric chemistry within our own lifetimes have accelerated the rate at which forest are capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” said Professor Finzi.The measurements collected in Harvard Forest over 25 years enabled the team to trace carbon through air, trees, soil, and water. The amount of data analyzed for the study is unprecedented, and so is the consistency of the results, said the researchers.Study co-lead author Audrey Barker […]

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