Climate change causes trees to grow faster in China, study finds

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Larch trees in northeastern China were found to have grown faster in the past 40 years as a result of climate change, according to a study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Researchers looked at the trees' growth rings and found that trees older than 400 years have grown faster from 2005 to 2014 than in the previous 300 years. Trees between 250 and 300 years old grew around 35 percent more during the same period.

The authors of the study explained that they believe that warmer soil temperatures may be causing the trees to grow rapidly. This is because roots start to expand and absorb more nutrients as the depth of the permafrost layer is lowered.

A press release from Advancing Earth and Space Science, cites Xianliang Zhang, lead author of the study as saying that growth in old trees is unusual. Adding that it could be as a result of well-developed root systems present in the older trees that are able to absorb nutrients from the soil more efficiently.

The researchers added that this may be good in the short term basis, but would be disastrous for forests in the long run. This is because permafrost underneath trees could degrade or no longer support trees as the climate becomes warmer.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. OR Map and larch trees
2. 400-year-old trees and a measurement bar
3. 250-300 year-old trees and a pie chart
4. What causes the trees to grow rapidly

VOICEOVER (in English):
"According to a study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, larch trees in northeastern China were found to have grown faster in the past 40 years as a result of climate change. "

"Researchers looked at the trees' growth rings and found that trees older than 400 years have grown faster from 2005 to 2014 than in the previous 300 years."

"Trees between 250 and 300 years old grew around 35 percent more during the same period."

"The authors of the study explained that they believe that warmer soil temperatures may be causing the trees to grow rapidly."

"This is because roots start to expand and absorb more nutrients as the depth of the permafrost layer is lowered."

SOURCES: Interesting Engineering, Advancing Earth and Space Science, AGU Study
https://interestingengineering.com/climate-change-is-making-trees-grow-faster
https://news.agu.org/press-release/climate-change-is-giving-old-trees-a-growth-spurt/
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2018JG004882