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Drought Drives Decade-Long Decline in Plant Growth

ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2010)

Drought Drives Decade-Long Decline in Plant Growth

ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2010)

Global plant productivity that once was on the rise with warming temperatures and a lengthened growing season is now on the decline because of regional drought, according to a new study of NASA satellite data.

Plant productivity is a measure of the rate of the photosynthesis process that green plants use to convert solar energy, carbon dioxide and water to sugar, oxygen and eventually plant tissue. Compared with a 6 percent increase in plant productivity during the 1980s and 1990s, the decline observed over the last decade is only 1 percent. The shift, however, could impact food security, biofuels and the global carbon cycle.

Researchers Maosheng Zhao and Steven Running of the University of Montana in Missoula discovered the global shift from an analysis of NASA satellite data. The discovery comes from an analysis of plant productivity data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite, combined with other growing season climate data, including temperature, solar radiation and water.

Pour en savoir plus (ScienceDaily)

Page publiée le 18 novembre 2011, mise à jour le 4 août 2014