Drought weakens trees ability to soak up carbon

Drought weakens trees ability to soak up carbon
Credit: Wikipedia

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Every year Earth's trees consume nearly a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted by people. This in return helps slows climate change and helps keeps the world's temperature from rising a little more each year (Science/AAAS).

Trees store most of the carbon they soak up into their stems and can keep it there for hundreds of years. This service they provide to humanity each year is worth nearly 1 trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000) (EPA).

We are now learning that there is no guarantee that trees will continue to do this. Climate change is causing more severe droughts that last longer, this is starting to take a toll on trees and plant life. Larger forest fires are being seen and more insect outbreaks are occurring killing off the trees.

One study done by William R L Anderegg (Princeton Environmental Institute) shows that Earth's forests are not recovering from extreme weather events as fast as wildfires and other disasters are destroying them. This is will have long term impacts on the planet as our carbon dioxide levels continue to increase.