Saturday, 4 May 2013

Plants can combat climate warming

According to the research conducted in IIASA and the University of Helsinki, in some areas with higher temperatures, the atmosphere shows an increase in concentrations of natural aerosols that have a cooling effect on the climate.

The new study unraveled that as temperatures warm plants consequently release more of these gases which is led to more concentrations of aerosols in atmosphere, according to the study published in Nature Geoscience.

"Plants, by reacting to changes in temperature, also moderate these changes," says the study leader Pauli Paasonen from IIASA and University of Helsinki research center.

Come from many sources such as human emissions, aerosols are particles that float in the atmosphere and can cool the climate as they reflect sunlight and form cloud droplets, which reflect sunlight efficiently, experts clarified.

“Plants release gases that, after atmospheric oxidation, stick to aerosol particles, growing them into the larger-sized particles that reflect sunlight and also serve as the basis for cloud droplets,” researchers explained the process.

Paasonen and his colleagues also emphasize that though the effect is large on a regional scale, the result is not adequate to save us from climate warming as the phenomenon’s role is small on a global scale.

"Aerosol effects on climate are one of the main uncertainties in climate models and understanding this mechanism could help us reduce those uncertainties and make the models better," Paasonen concluded.