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World may get greener, then wilt, due warming

Breaking Earth News: Norway
March 15, 2007

Global Warming Analysis
OSLO (Reuters) - Global warming is expected to turn the planet a bit greener by spurring plant growth but crops and forests may wilt beyond mid-century if temperatures keep rising, according to a draft U.N. report.
Scientists have long disputed about how far higher temperatures might help or hamper plants -- and farmers -- overall. Plants absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, as they grow and release it when they rot.
"Global agricultural production potential is likely to increase with increases in global average temperature up to about 3 Celsius (5.4 Fahrenheit), but above this it is very likely to decrease," the draft said.
Plants in tropical and dry regions from Africa to Asia are set to suffer from even a small rise in temperatures, threatening more hunger linked to other threats such as desertification, drought and floods.
But some plants in temperate regions, such as parts of Europe or North and South America, could grow more in a slightly warmer world, according to the draft.

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