Drought Drives Decade-Long Decline in Plant Growth
NASA image release August 19, 2010
A snapshot of Earth's plant productivity in 2003 shows regions of increased productivity (green) and decreased productivity (red). Tracking productivity between 2000 and 2009, researchers found a global net decrease due to regional drought.
To view a video on this subject go here: www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/4911069388
Earth has done an ecological about-face: Global plant productivity that once flourished under warming temperatures and a lengthened growing season is now on the decline, struck by the stress of drought.
NASA-funded researchers Maosheng Zhao and Steven Running, of the University of Montana in Missoula, discovered the global shift during an analysis of NASA satellite data. Compared with a six-percent increase spanning two earlier decades, the recent ten-year decline is slight -- just one percent. The shift, however, could impact food security, biofuels, and the global carbon cycle. To read more go to: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/plant-decline.html
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.
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