This article discusses how Researchers around the world are working to improve plants’ ability to combat climate change.
Many strategies aimed at mitigating global warming involve huge shifts in human behavior: stop burning coal for electricity, stop driving gas-powered cars, stop destroying rainforests. These are all necessary — and all involve complex political, cultural and socio-economic hurdles for humans. But what if we could also change the behavior of a far more pliant group of organisms, those that consume the carbon dioxide we emit? It’s a demand-side approach to reducing the threat of climate change, and lately it’s been gaining some extra research steam: capturing and storing that excess carbon by boosting the capacity of nature’s own carbon-storing technology, plants.
The planet’s plants pull CO2 out of the atmosphere and store it in their leaves, stems and roots. Some of that carbon makes its way into the soil, and some of that soil carbon is ultimately mothballed for millennia.