alexa Boosts in productivity of corn and other crops modify Northern Hemisphere carbon dioxide cycle

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Boosts in productivity of corn and other crops modify Northern Hemisphere carbon dioxide cycle

During the last 50 years, the size of this seasonal swing has increased by as much as half, for reasons that aren't fully understood. Now a team of researchers has shown that agricultural production may generate up to a quarter of the increase in this seasonal carbon cycle, with corn playing a leading role. "This study shows the power of modeling and data mining in addressing potential sources contributing to seasonal changes in carbon dioxide," says Liz Blood, program director for the National Science Foundation's MacroSystems Biology Program, which funded the research. "It points to the role of basic research in finding answers to complex problems." In the Northern Hemisphere, there's a strong seasonal cycle of vegetation, says scientist Mark Friedl of Boston University (BU), senior author of a paper reporting the results in this week's issue of the journal Nature. "Something is changing about this cycle," says Friedl. "Ecosystems are becoming more productive, pulling in more atmospheric carbon during the summer and releasing more during the dormant period

 
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