With global warming comes increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which benefits at least one species: weeds. Carbon dioxide acts as a fertilizer to invasive exotic grasses, resulting in higher growth rates and larger leaves. These stronger plants are also proving more resistant to the world’s most important herbicide, Roundup, which is widely used on genetically-modified crops.
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Getting rid of CO2 in the atmosphere by capturing it and burying it in the ground sounds like a good idea, but a Canadian farm couple whose land lies over the world’s largest carbon capture and storage project says greenhouse gases seeping up from the soil are killing animals and sending groundwater foaming to the surface like soda pop. Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising 6,000 tons of the gas is injected underground every day by the Canadian energy company Cenovus, which (to its credit) is doing this to try to fight climate change.
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But they CAN heal themselves! – Plants are pooped?they probably won’t soak up any more carbon dioxide as the planet continues to warm. They’ve got to concentrate on healing themselves too: they make their own “aspirin!”

Some grassland that was being tested absorbed less CO2 than usual for two years following temperatures that were unusually hot?they way the world will be in the future. A lot of governments are hoping to curb global warming by planting trees and saving the rain forests, but this may not be effective.
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If we need a plant to suck up excess carbon dioxide, we can plant lots of?.poison ivy?

In the July 17 edition of The New York Times, Anne Raver writes that when researchers pumped high levels of CO2 into an area planted in poison ivy, in a controlled experiment, the weed thrived AND the resin that causes the rash INCREASED. Raver quotes horticulturist Umar Mycka says that when people have strong reactions to poison ivy, it’s because “they got it under optimum conditions.” What are these conditions? Raver writes, “Picture a meadow or woods on a humid, overcast day, when those resins are pumping through the poison ivy vines ?” Sounds like the world of the future!

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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