Drought, fires affect global CO2 levels

August 5, 2005

Some scientists are warning this summer's drought across Europe will release large amounts of carbon dioxide, giving further impetus to global warming.

Estimates from CarboEurope, a European Union research team based in Jena, Germany, suggest that during July and August 2003, about 500 million tons of carbon escaped from Western Europe's forests and fields as crops shriveled, soils desiccated and trees burnt.

But now the organization says Western Europe -- including Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and parts of the United Kingdom -- is suffering drought on a similar scale to 2003.

The group notes drought is also sweeping across much of the Midwestern United States, with corn crops failing and cattle dying from heat stress.

CarboEurope says U.S. researchers report that since the early 1990s, hot dry summers across the Northern Hemisphere have reduced the ability of plants to absorb CO2 during their normal growing season.

Alon Angert and colleagues at the University of California-Berkeley say that finding dashes the widespread expectation of a "greening trend," during which warm summer temperatures would speed plant growth and moderate climate change by absorbing some of the industrial CO2 emissions.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Periled by climate change, Marshall Islands makes carbon pledge

Related Stories

Warming pushes Western US toward driest period in 1,000 years

February 12, 2015

During the second half of the 21st century, the U.S. Southwest and Great Plains will face persistent drought worse than anything seen in times ancient or modern, with the drying conditions "driven primarily" by human-induced ...

Recommended for you

Customizing 3-D printing

September 3, 2015

The technology behind 3-D printing is growing more and more common, but the ability to create designs for it is not. Any but the simplest designs require expertise with computer-aided design (CAD) applications, and even for ...

Surprisingly, low-toxin MRSA strains may be the real killer

September 3, 2015

The most serious MRSA infections could be those caused by superbugs which produce fewer toxins, as opposed to high toxin strains, according to surprise findings revealed today by scientists from the Department of Biology ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.