Plant productivity and Environment:
According to NASA satellite report, global plant productivity is going down due to regional drought. Few years back the scenario was totally different, there was a huge rise in plant production due to the availability of favorable temperature and lengthy growing season.
Plant productivity is nothing but a rate at which photosynthesis process occur in green plants. Plant performs photosynthesis to convert solar energy, Carbon dioxide, and water to sugar, oxygen, and essential plant tissue. During 80’s and 90’s, the plant productivity was increased to 6% but it seems to decline by 1% over the last decade. This drop in plant productivity could put a question mark in food security, biofuels, and the global carbon cycle.
Two well known researchers, Maosheng Zhao and Steven Running, University of Montana in Missoula, have observed global shift by analyzing the data received from NASA satellite. The observance was done from an analysis of plant productivity data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite, combined with other growing season climate data, including temperature, solar radiation and water.
Researcher were bit surprised when they receive the final report after the analysis of raw data from NASA’s Terra satellite. When compared with previous interpretation in respect to global warming, the latest report was pointing towards reduced instead of high plant growth around the world.
As discussed earlier, the plant productivity was on the rise and information regarding the same was released in the journal Science led by the scientist Ramakrishna Nemani, now a researcher at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., depicted 6% rise in global terrestrial plant productivity between 1982 and 1999. This increase was traced to nearly two decades of temperature, solar radiation and water availability conditions, influenced by climate change which were favorable for plant growth.
Looking at the analysis report, Zhao and Running were expecting to observe similar kind of results as global average temperature continued to climb, but instead they observe negative impact of regional drought overwhelmed the positive influence of a longer growing season, driving down global plant productivity between 2000 and 2009.
Running, “this is a pretty serious warning that warmer temperature are not going to endlessly improve plant growth.”
Zhao and Running’s analysis depicted that, since 2000, high-latitude Northern hemisphere ecosystem have continued to benefit from warmer temperatures and a longer growing season. But that effect was offset by warming-associated drought that limited growth in the Southern Hemisphere, resulting in a net global loss of land productivity.
Researchers those who were already associated with this field have shown interest to continue monitoring these trends further in future because plant productivity is associated with shifting levels of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide available in the environment and stresses on plant growth could challenge food production. The consistent analysis of data received from satellite and further research and development by the researchers in in the area of plant productivity could help in increasing the plant growth all over the world.