Trees genetically modified to absorb more carbon dioxide

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Trees genetically modified to absorb more carbon dioxide

Since we know that the global warming threatens our planetmany studies have been conducted to find an efficient way to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This gas is indeed one of the main causes of the greenhouse effect which causes the increase in global temperature.

Recently, a start-up called LivingCarbon proposed its own method for combat high carbon levels in the air. The method developed by the company, which is based in San Francisco, uses natural tools that are well known for their ability to absorb carbon, trees. However, Living Carbon does not intend to plant ordinary trees, but rather plants that have been genetically modified to grow faster.


poplars
Credits 123RF.com

According to reports, the start-up plans to plant 4 million of its super-trees by 2023.

The benefits of genetic modification

Trees naturally absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, but as Living Carbon officials explain, they don’t grow fast enough. For them, accelerating growth means accelerating the natural capture of carbon from the atmosphere. It could also improve the effectiveness of reforestation efforts.

According to a study published by the company earlier this year, which is still awaiting peer review, results of the experiment are significantly positive. Within 5 months, a genetically modified poplar won 53% more mass than an ordinary poplar. According to the explanations, this corresponds to 27% more carbon removed from the atmosphere per tree.

More human effort

According to a company spokesperson, they expect double the area reforested each year. Thereby, by 2030the genetically modified trees will have captured 604 million tons more carbon dioxide of the atmosphere.

Even if this is a solution that seems ideal, it is not not enough yet to completely solve the problem of global warming. To obtain satisfactory results, it will first be necessary that humans stop using fossil fuels which represent the main source of CO2 in the world. Additionally, genetically modified trees could also become an invasive species if not properly controlled, and trees that die release carbon back into the soil.

Anyway, it’s a way like any other to slow down global warming which is currently starting to do a lot of damage in the world.

SOURCE: Futuristic

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