Modeling historical biomass could be key to buffering climate change

Modeling historical biomass could be key to buffering climate change

Modeling historical biomass could be key to buffering climate change When plants breathe in carbon from the atmosphere and store it in their leaves, branches, trunks and roots, they help the Earth maintain a carbon balance—a crucial component to a steady climate. While this woody biomass contains one of the largest pools of terrestrial carbon, changes in the magnitude of woody biomass over millennia are poorly known, with most direct observations of vegetation biomass spanning no more than a few decades. Because trees grow very slowly, this lack of data leads to a substantial knowledge gap. In the absence of empirical data, scientists make assumptions that lead to uncertainties about long-term carbon sink and projections of the future carbon-climate system. A new study published in the journal Science on June …
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