CO2 is bad for our health, and nature does its best to protect us in the matter. That’s when tree covers come in handy for absorbing huge amounts of CO2 that gets emitted by burning fossil fuels. Surprisingly enough, a new study reveals that faster growth of trees can also make them die faster.
The researchers from Leeds University examined over 200,000 tree-ring records throughout the planet, and what they found is astonishing: trade-offs between growth and lifespans were present in the vast majority of them.
Steve Voelker, a co-author of the study from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, declared:
“Our findings, very much like the story of the tortoise and the hare, indicate that there are traits within the fastest growing trees that make them vulnerable, whereas slower growing trees have traits that allow them to persist,”
The average surface temperature of Earth has risen over one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This is enough to raise seas higher so that boosting will occur for the severity of droughts, heatwaves, and superstorms.
Keith Kirby, who is a woodland ecologist at the University of Oxford, declared:
“We cannot rely as much on increased growth per unit area to maintain and enhance the forest carbon sink potential, but this might be offset by slowing deforestation and increasing the expansion of the extent of forests where this can be done in a sustainable way,”
Carbon dioxide (CO2) has a density of about 60% higher than the one of dry air. The molecules of carbon dioxide consist of a carbon atom that is covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. CO2 occurs naturally in Earth’s atmosphere as a trace gas.
The new study was led by England’s Leeds University and published within Nature Communications: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17966-z