A group of scientists researched the ancient cedar trees in Quebec to estimate the impact of the rising carbon dioxide levels on the vegetation in the area. As we already know, plants require CO2 to survive and grow, so some theories popped up saying that a rise in the CO2 emissions, due to reckless fuel fossil use and global warming, would help trees grow more than before.
However, the new study revealed that rising carbon dioxide levels wouldn’t make plants grow, but, on the contrary, higher CO2 emissions would affect them as much as they affect every other living being on the planet Earth.
“What we bring as a hypothesis is if you don’t have the water and nutrients to consume this supplementary CO2, well, you cannot grow faster,” explained Claudie Giguere-Croteau, the leading author of the new study, and a former master’s student at the University of Quebec in Montreal.
Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Are Not Going To Make Trees Grow More
The new research focused on the ancient cedar trees in Quebec because they are the oldest boreal trees in North America, so they hold precious information on how changes in the carbon dioxide levels influenced their growth over the centuries. The scientists drilled into the trees and prevailed samples from their cores to estimate the modifications imposed by CO2 emissions into those trees’ evolution.
As every plant on the Earth, ancient cedar trees also consume water during the photosynthesis process while opening their leaf pores to absorb the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But, although CO2 is a vital asset for plants, the scientists behind the new study revealed that rising carbon dioxide levels after the industrial era didn’t contribute to making the ancient cedar trees grow more.
However, the researchers said, due to increased CO2 emissions, those trees became more efficient than before at using water during photosynthesis. “Actually, in nature, it’s more complicated than that. Maybe trees will not grow as much as expected,” due to rising carbon dioxide levels, concluded Etienne Boucher, the co-author of the study.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.