Global Warming Is Benefiting Trees, Forests

Published September 21, 2014

Trees are growing at an accelerated rate due to global warming, scientists conclude in a new peer-reviewed study. The study documents faster tree growth in recent decades and concludes longer growing seasons and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are stimulating the benefits.

A team of European forestry scientists analyzed growth rates of Norway spruce and European beech trees – the dominant tree species in Central Europe – since 1870. The scientists discovered both species are growing substantially faster since 1960 than in the decades before 1960. Norway spruce trees are growing a healthy 32 percent faster since 1960, while European beech trees are growing an astounding 77 percent faster since 1970. Boosted by this accelerated growth, the volume of Norway spruce stands is increasing 10 percent faster than prior to 1960, while the volume of European beech stands is increasing 30 percent faster than prior to 1960.

“Statistical analyses of the experimental plots, and application of an ecophysiological model, suggest that mainly the rise in temperature and extended growing seasons contribute to increased growth acceleration,” the study reports.

The scientists report rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are also directly contributing to the improved tree growth. The study confirms many prior studies showing global warming is benefiting plant life and causing an overall greening of the Earth.

In a 2010 study published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists reported trees in the eastern United States are enjoying higher growth rates due to warmer temperatures and rising carbon dioxide levels.

A 2013 study co-authored by scientists at the University of California Berkeley and the Save the Redwoods environmentalist group found global warming is creating “ideal growing conditions” for California redwood and sequoia trees, creating a surge in growth rates for the iconic trees as the planet warms.

In a 2013 study published in the peer-reviewed Geophysical Research Letters, scientists analyzed satellite data from 1982 through 2010 and discovered a carbon dioxide “fertilization effect” boosting global plant life. The greening of the Earth was especially pronounced in arid climates bordering deserts, causing global deserts to shrink. The scientists found the greening was due to higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and more conducive climate conditions.

These are just a few of the many studies finding carbon dioxide and global warming are making the planet a better place for trees, forests, and plant life in general.

Global warming alarmists and their media allies invariably report agenda-driven predictions of global warming doom and gloom as “science” while ignoring real-world scientific observations showing substantial global warming benefits. This pattern of distortion is holding true regarding the greening of the Earth, as the media are largely ignoring this latest study and its important good news.

[First published at Forbes.]