Warmer temperatures help plant growth short term but hurt long term

Climate Change Boosts Then Quickly Stunts Plants, Decade-long Study Shows
[Via NSF News]

Photos of the studied ecosystems with increasing elevation from left to right.

Global warming may initially make the grass greener, but not for long, according to new research results.

The findings, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, show that plants may thrive in the early stages of a warming environment but then begin to deteriorate quickly.

“We were really surprised by the pattern, where the initial boost in growth just went away,” said scientist Zhuoting Wu of Northern Arizona University (NAU), a lead author of


They found that in the first years, grasses grew better. But over the decade long experiment, they found that warmer temperatures had detrimental effects on the plants.

What this really shows is that plants, along with other organisms, will be very disrupted by increasing temperatures.


11 thoughts on “Warmer temperatures help plant growth short term but hurt long term

  1. Reblogged this on pindanpost and commented:
    The complete opposite of my research here in a hot climate…it’s all about the moisture requirement. Extra CO2 is also a major benefit to growth, plants need less nutrients such as N, K, P and minerals such as Cu and Mg as well as less H2O, this is why commercial greenhouses add extra CO2. Nature has become little better than a comic-book recently.

    1. But this was data, real data gained over ten years. You might poke holes in it but that is one way science moves forward – poke holes in published data by showing what they miss then doing the experiment yourself to demonstrate that you were correct.

    2. I actually meant that most climate ‘science’ published in Nature relies on models only. If the data in this paper was certain, the words like ‘may’ should never be a part of it.

    3. The thing that struck me was, that in Arizona, charts that I have been watching, do not show a temperature increase at all, but the researchers have no link to what increase they believe is there, yet we know CO2 has risen substantially in that time. Latest data shows temperatures stable or in decline for the past 15 years.

    4. Looking at one place is simply cherry picking the data. Examining thousands of locations has demonstrated that there is a long-term increase in global temperatures.

    5. Cherrypicking data from one city does not provide any proof of anything. Examining thousands of data points from around the world would be more convincing.

  2. One of the problems we have in Australia is the scientists who are funded by government, like our CSIRO, always look to findings that give the government what they want to hear. Whether this happens in this case of course, I don’t know, but suspect is the case.

    1. Do you have evidence of such malfeasance – twisting the data they are producing and making their research fit a purely predefined result – by the necessary thousands of researchers involved in climate science? Otherwise this is simply a rhetorical point with no real impact.

      Who do you acknowledge as without ‘sin’ when doing this research or discussing the data?

      Do you acknowledge that the world is getting warmer?

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