News of the WeekGLOBAL WARMING

Rain Might Be Leading Carbon Sink Factor

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Science  07 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5574, pp. 1787
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5574.1787

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Mainland U.S. ecosystems are absorbing an unexpectedly large amount of carbon dioxide, and scientists have been at a loss to explain it. Now, a study published online by Geophysical Research Letters on 28 May suggests that the increased rainfall and humidity documented in the continental United States might be the single most important factor spurring increased plant growth; this, in turn, is slowing the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.