Taking a Look at Global Warming

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Natural and anthropogenic substances like green house gases that alter earth’s energy budget are drivers of climate change. Radiative forcing (RF) quantifies the change in energy fluxes caused by changes in these drivers and positive RF leads to surface warming. The largest contribution to total RF is caused by the increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (1.68 W m-2) followed by CH4, Halo-carbons and N2O since 1750 (IPCC 2013). According to IPCC 2013 the CO2 concentrations will raise unprecedentedly from 391 Parts per million (p.p.m) in 2011 to 550–700 p.p.m. by 2050 and to 670–936 by 2100. Ironically, most of the CO2 is mitigated by plants with photosynthetic reaction that converts solar energy into energy stored in carbohydrates. A lot of research has been done through last few decades, to investigate elevated CO2 induced changes in plants and to identify potential candidate tree species that sequester more CO2 under elevated CO2. Elevated CO2 enhances photosynthetic rate, reduces stomatal conductance resulting in a higher amount of plant mass and yield.

Photosynthesis and growth of most plants are stimulated by elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (Schortemeyer 2002). The continuous stimulation of photosynthesis in C3 plants by elevated CO2 increases the availability of carbohydrates and in doing so, alters the balance of C and N resources. The main C-N interactions proposed to influence responses to elevated CO2 include down-regulation of leaf N
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