Drier air brought on by climate change could put a dent in crop yields, triggering smaller and slower-growing plants, a new study says.
“Globally, the atmosphere is drying as the climate warms up,” said Danielle Way, an associate professor of biology at Western University. “That’s been correlated with reduced crop yield.”
Because air wants to hold as much water as possible, it starts to pull moisture from plants as its dries, with potentially devastating impacts on crops and vegetation.
Way, working with researchers at the University of Minnesota, studied 50 years of data and 112 plant species, including wheat, corn and birch trees, to assess how they’re affected by drier air.
The recently published findings show plants react to atmospheric drying — even if they don’t lack water in the soil — by triggering a drought-like response, growing smaller, shorter and slower.
This post was originally published on PopularResistance.Org.