CO2 may help some trees weather ice storms

Aug 17, 2006

U.S. scientists say higher levels of carbon dioxide predicted for later this century might help reduce damage to some trees caused by ice storms.

Researchers working at a Duke University outdoor test facility found commercially important loblolly pines, growing under carbon-dioxide levels mimicking those predicted for the year 2050 -- roughly one and a half times today's levels -- fared somewhat better during and after a major ice storm than did loblollies growing under current concentrations of the gas.

The results came as a surprise, the researchers said.

"Before the storm, I was absolutely certain the pines would be more susceptible to ice damage under elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide," said Ram Oren, a Duke ecology professor. "My impressions were absolutely wrong. Instead of increasing the sensitivity to ice-storm damage, carbon dioxide decreased the sensitivity."

The scientists cautioned, however, they were not able to identify the actual mechanisms that helped to protect the trees grown under elevated carbon-dioxide conditions. "We just couldn't tease out anything obvious," McCarthy said.

The findings are reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: How productive are the ore factories in the deep sea?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists see urgent need for reducing emissions

Apr 15, 2014

(Phys.org) —The bad news: a major transformation of our current energy supply system is needed in order to avoid a dangerous increase in global temperatures. The good news: the technologies needed to get ...

Recommended for you

How productive are the ore factories in the deep sea?

14 hours ago

About ten years after the first moon landing, scientists on earth made a discovery that proved that our home planet still holds a lot of surprises in store for us. Looking through the portholes of the submersible ...

NASA image: Volcanoes in Guatemala

19 hours ago

This photo of volcanoes in Guatemala was taken from NASA's C-20A aircraft during a four-week Earth science radar imaging mission deployment over Central and South America. The conical volcano in the center ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Untangling Brazil's controversial new forest code

Approved in 2012, Brazil's new Forest Code has few admirers. Agricultural interests argue that it threatens the livelihoods of farmers. Environmentalists counter that it imperils millions of hectares of forest, ...

Study links California drought to global warming

While researchers have sometimes connected weather extremes to man-made global warming, usually it is not done in real time. Now a study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought ...

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.