October 1st, 2010
01:34 PM ET

Study: Genetically altered trees could help climate

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.

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Filed under: Earth • Environment
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. phil

    La Piovra, my vision has nice people cleaning up the earth after the not-nice people are done away with. Your pipedream has the vegetation involved. OK i guess. I like mine where I myself might be afforded the opprtunity to both clean, and help rid the earth of those ruining it.

    October 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mobius007

      "...I myself might be afforded the opprtunity to both clean, and help rid the earth of those ruining it."

      Phil, you definitely take the act of "going green" to a whole new level. 😉

      We can all see what a religious person you truly are.

      October 2, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. phil

    Mobius? 80% of US are religious. I was just pointing out how absurd it is for a religious person to worry about global warming. It reminds me of the 6o's when those of US professing faith in God were building bomb shelters for fear the Russians are gonna get US. Or after 9/11 duct-taping windows in their homes for fear the terrorists are gonna get US.

    October 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. phil

    Mobius, as far a God's plan...I said "purpose" for the earth. Not "plan". The bible is clear about God's purpose for the earth: to be a lovely home for his obedient children to live on. That hasn't changed just because most of the children disobey and ruin the earth. As far as humans being responsible goes, even if we reduce atmospheric pollution temperatures will still rise, even at a faster pace. We would lose the shade. No doubt man has played a part, but that doesn't change God's purpose.

    October 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. aelfheld

    All these people praising 'population reduction'; funny, that's the sort of thing Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, et al were in favour of, in wholesale lots. Or mayhap our would-be Jacobins would prefer something more retail in nature, much like the approach touted in this video (ignore the mealy-mouthed apology; it's not like they mean it): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKgtWWCGQZ8&feature=player_embedded

    October 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. La Piovra

    Phil, if you think "the tropics" are some kind of gentle paradise, you've been living at the bottom of a chest freezer. The sun is hotter, the bugs are bigger, the germs are meaner, we have sinkholes, and on top of that, the sea level has started rising. That's just Florida. You want to try some real tropics? In the Pliocene, salt water lapped the coast of southern Illinois, and in the Cretaceous, the sea level was so high North America was split from top to bottom by a seaway. Paradisical? It was so hot at one point that the Mediterranean dried up, and summer temperatures in its basin reached 170° Farenheit. That's not paradise, boy, you're headed the wrong way. You want to be one of the good people who helps get rid of the bad people? That's called murder, and by all accounts, what murderers get is a long, hot summer with no ice cream. Well, though, if some like it hot, maybe it's paradise for you.

    October 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. glenn

    This is a good idea but only on paper messing with nature canhave unforseen cnsequences but since we as the human race have no future anyways with our population growth rate (unless you believe in the rapture and think the devil will invde the earth and start killing peopl for fun) it doesn't really matter.

    October 2, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dan

    And when the trees start to take in too much CO2 and die because they can't breathe, and everything else in the environment is thrown off balance because of the hippies that think of this crap, we'll know who to blame.

    October 3, 2010 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. phil

    La Piovra, I said "more tropical" carefully choosing this phrase to avoid people thinking I thought the future of the earth would be as you describe. As far as your "murder" rant goes...the definition of murder is "the taking of human life with malice aforethought". There is no malice in true justce calling for the earth to be rid of those ruining it. The murderers are the ones polluting the earth, motivated by greed.

    October 3, 2010 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  9. phil

    Btw nice to meet you La Piovra. Is that your name or....?

    October 3, 2010 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
  10. phil

    Ennio Morricone! Is that your La Piovra?

    October 3, 2010 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. WCO

    Leave nature alone!! These geoengineers should all check into the nearest psychriatric facility. Global warming alarmism is causing more harm than good.

    October 3, 2010 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. La Piovra

    The screen name, "La Piovra", started when an article ran that discussed the State Department rehiring Blackwater, despite its scandals. I commented Blackwater must have made it an offer it couldn't refuse, and signed it, "La Piovra", which in Italy is a name for what Italian- Americans call La Cosa Nostra. "Piovra" is literally an octopus. I don't have eight hands, tho I need them. And, yes, going around deciding which people are "bad" and killing them is murder, though if it is the product of a delusion, it could, in some jurisdictions, get you put in a padded hotel instead of the Big House. Florida isn't one of those jurisdictions. You wouldn't like our tropics, and you wouldn't like our padded hotels. You wouldn't like our Big House, and you definitely wouldn't like Starke, even though Old Gurney is a little easier to take than Old Sparky was. The long hot summer with no ice cream is up to you, but I advise you, whatever you plan to do, don't do it here.

    October 3, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. phil

    La Piovra, hmmmm. Well, that certainly isn't what stood out to me last time I visited Florida, though it was over 20 yrs. ago. I will never forget the time I saw this road sign "Okee-fenokie (or how you spell) swamp". It was early in the morning, and as I drove over this rise, I saw for the first time...the Florida sunrise. The sun was much larger than it is here in Colorado. AND it was orange! I've since learned why: sand from the Sahara Desert is blown accross the Atlantic and causes the color distortion, and also carries nutrients for vegetation. Blackwater has changed it's name ya know. I don't care enough about them to remeber it though I guess. As for murder, wich is certainly not changing the blackwater subject, I know that if you are trying to murder my brother and I kill you instead, I'm not guilty of murder. Ditto if I kill in self-defense. And since DNA analysis has proven we are all related.........and I'm guessiing you are the rebellious daughter of a Mafia Don? (smile)

    October 3, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. La Piovra

    P.S. I am not Ennio Morricone, though the mistake is flattering.

    October 3, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. phil

    So who are you?

    October 3, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
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