twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

The greening of the earth is approaching its limit

A new study published in Science reveals that the fertilising effect of excess CO2 on vegetation is decreasing worldwide

AdobeStock 229545618Lack of water and nutrients limits the greening observed in recent years (Image Source: Adobe Stock Image)

An article published in Science shows that this fertilising effect of CO2 is decreasing worldwide, according to the text co-directed by Professor Josep Peñuelas of the CSIC at CREAF and Professor Yongguan Zhang of the University of Nanjin, with the participation of CREAF researchers Jordi Sardans and Marcos Fernández. The study, carried out by an international team, concludes that the reduction has reached 50% progressively since 1982, due to two major factors: the availability of water and nutrients. "There is no mystery about the formula, plants need CO2, water and nutrients in order to grow. However much the CO2 increases, if the nutrients and water do not increase in parallel, the plants will not be able to take advantage of the increase in this gas", explains Professor Josep Peñuelas. In fact, three years ago Prof. Peñuelas already warned in an article in Nature Ecology and Evolution that the fertilising effect of CO2 would not last forever, that plants cannot grow indefinitely, because there are other factors that limit them.  

If the fertilising capacity of CO2 decreases, there will be strong consequences on the carbon cycle thereby on the climate. Forests have received a veritable CO2 bonus for decades, which has allowed them to sequester tons of carbon dioxide that enabled them to do more photosynthesis and grow more. In fact, this increased sequestration has managed to reduce the CO2 accumulated in the air, but now it is over. 

The study published in Science has been carried out using satellite, atmospheric, ecosystem and modelling information. It highlights the use of sensors that use near-infrared and fluorescence and are thus capable of measuring vegetation growth activity.     

According to the results, the lack of water and nutrients are the two factors that reduce the capacity of CO2 to improve plant growth. To reach this conclusion, the team based itself on data obtained from hundreds of forests studied over the last 40 years. "These data show that concentrations of essential nutrients in the leaves, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, have also progressively decreased since 1990," explains researcher Songhan Wang, the first author of the article. The team has also found that water availability and temporal changes in water supply play a significant role in this phenomenon. "We have found that plants slow down their growth, not only in times of drought, but also when there are changes in the seasonality of rainfall, which is increasingly happening with climate change," explains researcher Yongguan Zhang.


LATEST NEWS IN Machinery & Equipment

Africa in need of new farming system to tackle climate change

Africa in need of new farming system to …

Global warming and the resulting climate change, along with other factors have largely impacted food security in Africa

Clean cold experts receive multi-million funding boost

Clean cold experts receive multi-million…

Experts leading research into sustainable cooling have received a US$10.95mn boost that secures work at the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-chain (ACES) until 2025

Radar is a better ultrasonic: VEGA

Radar is a better ultrasonic: VEGA

Jürgen Skowaisa, product manager Radar at VEGA Grieshaber KG in Schiltach, Germany, speaks about their new series of sensors

Modern solutions to blueberry pack house challenges

Modern solutions to blueberry pack house…

Pack houses are facing new challenges with constant changes in the blueberry business

Juwel 6 completes LEMKEN plough range

Juwel 6 completes LEMKEN plough range

LEMKEN is set to introduce a new addition to the family, the little brother of the Juwel 7, 8 and 10 mounted reversible ploughs

Clean hoeing in ridge crops

Clean hoeing in ridge crops

Farms growing ridge crops have faced a seemingly unsolvable problem in the recent years: more and more herbicides are being banned, and the market is now demanding as much chemical-free...

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Machinery & Equipment

Pöttinger launches two TORRO COMBILINE models

Pöttinger launches two TORRO COMBILINE m…

Pöttinger has launched two TORRO COMBILINE models with a view to contribute to sustainable increase in effectiveness, efficiency and quality in agricultural production

MF 8690 tractor strikes gold again

MF 8690 tractor strikes gold again

The MF 8690 tractor has been awarded a Gold Medal at the Innovations Awards at Germany’s Demopark show.

AGCO introduces Y-Logic nutrient delivery system to RoGator application sprayers

AGCO introduces Y-Logic nutrient deliver…

AGCO has introduced Y-Logic, a premium nutrient delivery system for its RoGator LiquidLogic and legacy liquid systems

Case IH adds two higher-horsepower models to its Puma tractor line

Case IH adds two higher-horsepower model…

Case IH has added two new models to its popular Puma tractor line, the Puma 155 ROPS (with a maximum output of 161hp) and the Puma 185 ROPS (producing a...

New Holland and the Climate Corporation partner to deliver two-way data sharing

New Holland and the Climate Corporation …

New Holland Agriculture and The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Company, has announced a new partnership that will extend and develop a portfolio of data sharing capabilities to help...

Ivorian chemical engineer designs biowaste equipment for smallholder farmers

Ivorian chemical engineer designs biowas…

Chemical Engineer Noël N’guessan has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation for a biowaste equipment

Origin Digital and Aspia Space to launch satellite imagery for precision agriculture

Origin Digital and Aspia Space to launch…

Origin Digital, an agriculture technology company and Aspia Space, an advanced satellite imagery provider have announced ‘ClearSky’, a world-first service with an aim to revolutionise the way satellite imagery is...

Faymonville group acquires Industrie Cometto S.p.A

Faymonville group acquires Industrie Com…

Last week, Faymonville, the manufacturer of semi-trailers for the special haulage industry has reached an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the shares of Industrie Cometto S.p.A

Scalding and plucking are critical for good product presentation: Marel Poultry

Scalding and plucking are critical for g…

As scalding and plucking are critical for visual quality and good product presentation, Marel Poultry’s integrated poultry processing solutions are offering systems and equipment for all broiler, turkey and duck...

John Deere unveils fully autonomous tractor at CES 2022

John Deere unveils fully autonomous trac…

John Deere revealed a fully autonomous tractor ready for large-scale production at CES 2022, a global tech event hosted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Wideblue designs camera for easier crop disease detection

Wideblue designs camera for easier crop …

Wideblue, Glasgow-based product consultancy, has designed a low-cost camera, which will be used in agriculture to test early-onset disease in various crops including potatoes and soft fruits

Nardi Sunstorm SFH - pans head for sunflowers

Nardi Sunstorm SFH - pans head for sunfl…

Nardi, the Italian industry that designs and manufactures agricultural trailers and combines headers for worldwide harvesting, boasts the Sunstorm pans in its range

Prev Next