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Green Grass, Cool Climate?

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Science  06 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5293, pp. 1610
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5293.1610b


A new, long-term study of grasslands (see p. 1720) suggests that nitrogen deposition from the burning of fossil fuels and the use of agricultural chemicals may not be helping to mitigate possible global warming after all. Nitrogen “fertilizes” ecosystems, making plants grow bigger, sequestering more carbon aboveground. But nitrogen also favors the growth of fast-growing, invasive species, which aren't very good at fixing carbon in soils.