Trees

Rising CO2 levels mean trees increasingly live fast and die young

Black spruce trees and alder in Denali National Park, Alaska

Keenai Photography/Getty Images

Trees that grow faster die younger, a study of tree rings has confirmed. Many trees worldwide are already dying more quickly as a result of rising carbon dioxide levels and temperatures. This means that existing forests will store less carbon than we thought, worsening climate change.

“All the extra carbon trees are taking up will come out of the system faster,” says Roel Brienen at the University of Leeds, UK. “This effect is already happening in some places, such as the Amazon.”

It has long been suspected …

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