CO2 makes growing seasons longer

 

By Nicola Jones in Nature

Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may be lengthening the growing season of grasses and other plants, according to a study published today in Nature.

Previous studies have documented a lengthening of the growing season in many parts of the world. In the United States, the time between the last spring frost and the first autumn freeze has gone up by nearly two weeks since 1900; in Europe, a study of more than 540 plant species found that, on average, spring events such as flowering had shifted about a week earlier from 1971 to 2000, and the onset of autumn had been pushed back by about four days.

Such shifts have long been attributed to warming temperatures. But CO2 also plays a part, says study co-author Heidi Steltzer, an ecosystem ecologist at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

Read the full story in Nature here; CO2 makes growing seasons longer : Nature News & Comment.

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