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Wed Sep 11, 2019, 03:37 PM

Danforth Center, Wash U Scientists Study Increasing Carbon Dioxide Levels On Plants

Scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Washington University are studying the long-term consequences of exposing plants to high levels of carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide levels in the earth’s atmosphere are the highest they’ve been in 800,000 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scientists expect levels of the greenhouse gas to continue to rise and worsen the effects of climate change over the next several decades if people do not reduce their use of fossil fuels and other natural resources.

Some studies have shown that higher levels of carbon dioxide could change the times when plants flower or the size of leaves. But not a lot is known about how that could affect plants and their offspring, said Keith Slotkin, an associate member of the Danforth Center.

“We’re now breaking 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide, and we don’t know how our crops are going to respond, and that’s critically important for energy, fuel, fiber,” Slotkin said. “We don’t know what we’re going to expect, and that’s what’s so exciting about this project.”

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/danforth-center-wash-u-scientists-study-increasing-carbon-dioxide-levels-plants

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