Trees are growing at an accelerated rate due to global warming, scientists conclude in a new peer-reviewed study. The study documents faster tree growth in recent decades and concludes longer growing seasons and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are stimulating the benefits.
A team of European forestry scientists analyzed growth rates of Norway spruce and European beech trees – the dominant tree species in Central Europe – since 1870. The scientists discovered both species are growing substantially faster since 1960 than in the decades before 1960. Norway spruce trees are growing a healthy 32 percent faster since 1960, while European beech trees are growing an astounding 77 percent faster since 1970. Boosted by this accelerated growth, the volume of Norway spruce stands is increasing 10 percent faster than prior to 1960, while the volume of European beech stands is increasing 30 percent faster than prior to 1960.
"Statistical analyses of the experimental plots, and application of an ecophysiological model, suggest that mainly the rise in temperature and extended growing seasons contribute to increased growth acceleration," the study reports.
The scientists report rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are also directly contributing to the improved tree growth.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Trees benefiting from global warming