Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Plants Boost Extreme Temperatures by 5°C

Improved plant types in climate model show significant impact on temperatures resulting from earlier spring greening

Heatwaves are likely to become more intense. (Credit: © tcsaba / Fotolia) Click to Enlarge.
Heatwaves from Europe to China are likely to be more intense and result in maximum temperatures that are 3°C to 5°C warmer than previously estimated by the middle of the century -- all because of the way plants on the ground respond to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

This projected temperature increase found by Australian researchers and published in Nature Scientific Reports is more than half the change forecast by the IPCC under the business-as-usual model. The biggest temperature changes were projected to occur over needle-leaf forests, tundra, and agricultural land used to grow crops.

"We often underestimate the role of vegetation in extreme temperature events as it has not been included in enough detail in climate models up until this point," said lead author Dr Jatin Kala from Murdoch University.

"These more detailed results are confronting, but they help explain why many climate models have consistently underestimated the increase in the intensity of heatwaves and the rise in maximum temperatures when compared to observations."

Read more at Plants Boost Extreme Temperatures by 5°C

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