Too bad any green gains in currently marginal areas are wiped out by drought decimating plant life elsewhere:
Research over the past two decades had shown terrestrial plant growth on the rise, with higher temperatures and longer growing seasons linked to a 6 percent increase in global plant productivity from 1982 to 1999. Between 2000 and 2009, terrestrial plant growth declined by 1 percent.
“This is a pretty serious warning that warmer temperatures are not going to endlessly improve plant growth,” Steven Running, a biologist at the University of Montana in Missoula and co-author of the report, said in the NASA statement [John Collins Rudolf, "Earth’s Plant Growth Fell Because of Climate Change, Study Finds," New York Times: Green, 2010.08.23].
My plan to haul seed corn north and buy a quarter section in the Yukon might still work... but I'll be competing with a few hundred million refugees from the new South American desert. Dang.
Learn more (yes, I'm talking to you, Don and Kristi):
- NASA's statement on the research (with map, chart, and video!)
- Read the abstract: Zhao, Maosheng, and Steven W. Running. “Drought-Induced Reduction in Global Terrestrial Net Primary Production from 2000 Through 2009.” Science 329.5994 (2010): 940-943. (Silly academic journals, charging people to read science When will they learn?)