Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study gives green light to plants’ role in global warming

Date:
April 29, 2010
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Plants remain an effective way of tackling global warming despite emitting small amounts of an important greenhouse gas, a study has shown.

Plants remain an effective way of tackling global warming despite emitting small amounts of an important greenhouse gas, a study has shown.

Related Articles


Research led by the University of Edinburgh suggests that plant leaves account for less than one per cent of the Earth's emissions of methane -which is considered to be about 25 times more effective than carbon dioxide at global warming.

The results contrast with a previous scientific study which had suggested that plants were responsible for producing large amounts of the greenhouse gas.

The findings confirm that trees are a useful way of offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, as their output of small amounts of methane is far outweighed by their capacity to store carbon from the atmosphere in their leaves, wood and bark.

To reach their conclusions, scientists created artificial leaves made from plant pectin and measured the methane produced when the leaves were exposed to sunlight.

They combined their results with satellite data on the leaf coverage of the Earth's surface, ozone in the atmosphere, cloud cover, temperature, and information on sunshine levels to help work out the amount of methane produced by all plants on Earth.

Their results refine previous studies that had indicated that the quantity of methane produced by plants might have been much higher. Future research will examine methane production from parts of plants other than leaves, and the amount of methane given off by different species of plants in different regions of the Earth.

Dr Andy McLeod, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said: "Our results show that plant leaves do give rise to some methane, but only a very small amount -- this is a welcome result as it allays fears that forestry and agriculture were contributing unduly to global warming."

The research, carried out in collaboration with the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research and was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and Forest Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Anthony Bloom, Julia Lee-Taylor, Sasha Madronich, David J. Messenger, Paul I. Palmer, David S. Reay, Andy R. McLeod. Global methane emission estimates from ultraviolet irradiation of terrestrial plant foliage. New Phytologist, Apr 28 2010 DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03259.x

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Study gives green light to plants’ role in global warming." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100429111021.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2010, April 29). Study gives green light to plants’ role in global warming. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100429111021.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Study gives green light to plants’ role in global warming." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100429111021.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

AP (Dec. 21, 2014) Officials have opened a new road on Hawaii's Big Island for drivers to take care of their daily needs if encroaching lava from Kilauea Volcano crosses a highway and cuts them off from the rest of the island. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

AP (Dec. 20, 2014) A scuba diving Santa Claus explored the waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Dive shop owner Spencer Slate makes the dive each year to help raise money for charity. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins