The speed of elevating carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere has been temporarily lowered by plants and oceans, a new research reveals. Though a spike was observed in CO2 emissions because of human activities, the average rate of the rise was found to be steady because of plants.
The main aim of the research was to reveal that CO2 levels present in the atmosphere can be impacted by plants for long term and emissions made by humans are the main reason for triggering the CO2 levels, Science World reported.
"If we keep emitting as much as we are, and what we emit keeps going up, then it won't matter very much what the plants do," says the co-author of the study, Trevor Keenan, an earth systems scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.
It was revealed that 45 percent of CO2 discharged by humans was removed by plants and oceans. This study also figured out that the amount of CO2 absorbed by plants and oceans have doubled over the last five decades.
Plants absorb CO2 while carrying out the crucial process of photosynthesis for preparing its food. Presence of this gas in abundance helps in making this process more productive. This gas is released by plants during respiration and the rate of respiration gets triggered by warmer temperature.
An imbalance was caused in the environment due to the increasing levels of CO2 which led to global warming and even increased the absorption of the gas by plants during the process of photosynthesis; this slowed the process of CO2 build-up in the atmosphere, the researchers said.
The rate of CO2 levels in the atmosphere elevated from an annual rise of 0.75 parts per million in 1959 to 1.86 parts per million three decades later, between 2002 and 2014 the rate was held at around 1.9 parts per million.