Plant Study Flags Dangers of Warming World

Plant Study Flags Dangers of Warming World

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Plants are flowering faster than scientists predicted in response to climate change, which could have devastating knock-on effects for food chains and ecosystems. Global warming is having a significant impact on hundreds of plant and animal species around the world, changing some breeding, migration and feeding patterns, scientists say.

Increased carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels can affect how plants produce oxygen, while higher temperatures and variable rainfall patterns can change their behavior, researchers said. Plants had been the focus of study because their response to climate change could affect food chains and ecosystem services such as pollination, nutrient cycles and water supply. Published on the Nature website, the study found that some experiments had underestimated the speed of flowering by 8.5 times and growing leaves by 4 times.

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