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April 29 2013

Plant gases help curb global warming, finds study


It's well known that plants can help mitigate global warming, by absorbing carbon dioxide and trapping it, via photosynthesis, in things like leaves, stalks, and branches.

But it turns out that plants help cool the planet in another way, by releasing tiny particles into the atmosphere that help reflect sunlight back into space.

Yes, it's true: Plants pass gas. A new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience found that vapors emitted by plants scatter and absorb radiation from the sun, and that they help form cloud droplets that also reflect the sun's rays.

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