New research confirms rising CO2 levels are driving the “greening” Earth effect observed by satellites.
Greening is evidence of accelerated plant growth and heightened rates of photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide is a main source of fuel for plants — and thus, all life on Earth — and previous studies show a rise in CO2 results in plant growth.
But other sources of nutrients and external factors can accelerate photosynthesis and greening, including changes in nitrogen levels, land usage, temperature and weather.
An international team of researchers isolated each of these factors and ran them through a series of computer models. The results suggest rising CO2 levels best explain the increase in leaf cover, or greening, measured by NASA and NOAA satellites.