Smoke from the massive Australia bushfires of recent months will contribute to an anticipated record annual rise in atmospheric carbon emissions this year, according to Britain’s Met Office.
The CO2 concentration is predicted to peak above 417 parts per million (ppm) in May, while the 2020 average should be around 414 ppm. That would be nearly 3 ppm above the 2019 average, according to the agency.
Smoke from the protracted bushfire crisis will contribute up to one-fifth of the CO2 increase caused by global warming’s altered weather patterns and the resulting effects on the landscape, the British experts say.
As our planet gets greener, plants are slowing global warming
In a new study, published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, the researchers report that climate-altering carbon emissions and intensive land use have inadvertently greened half of the Earth’s vegetated lands.
Green leaves convert sunlight to sugars while replacing carbon dioxide in the air with water vapor, which cools the Earth’s surface. The reasons for greening vary around the world, but often involve intensive use of land for farming, large-scale planting of trees, a warmer and wetter climate in northern regions, natural reforestation of abandoned lands, and recovery from past disturbances.
And the chief cause of global greening we’re experiencing? It seems to be that rising carbon dioxide emissions are providing more and more fertilizer for plants, the researchers say. As a result, the boom of global greening since the early 1980s may have slowed the rate of global warming, the researchers say, possibly by as much as 0.2 to 0.25 degrees Celsius.