Genetically altered trees could help reduce global warming, according to a study released Friday in the journal BioScience.
The study, led by a team from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, analyzed ways plants process carbon dioxide and convert it into forms of carbon.
The findings could one day lead to a forest of trees and other plants genetically engineered to pull in billions of tons of carbon from the air, counteracting the effects of global warming.
Scientists say the use of genetically engineered plants is just one of many initiatives that could help with carbon sequestration, the retrieval and longtime storage of carbon from the atmosphere.
Genetic alterations can improve the efficiency of plant processes, including increasing the carbon that vegetation naturally extracts from the air, according to the study's authors.
In addition, plants could be altered to absorb more sunlight, according to the study.
The research also offers innovative ideas for genetically engineered plants, such as creating better crop yields and vegetation that could withstand harsher growing conditions.
BioScience is published by the American Institute of Biological Sciences.