20 Sep '12, 8pm

Has Plant Life Reached Its Limits?

Has Plant Life Reached Its Limits?

European Pressphoto Agency A farmer harvested rice at a paddy near Shenyang in northeastern China. In 1972, a junior at Oregon State University bought a small paperback for $2.75 titled “The Limits of Growth.” Citing the rate at which the population was expanding and the spread of industrialization, it projected a dismal future for the planet. The book made a deep impression on the student, Steven Running, a botany major. Forty years later, the prediction is being borne out, said Dr. Running, who is now a forest ecologist at the University of Montana and directs the university’s Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group . Humans are approaching the limits of the globe’s finite plant life, he argues in an article published online on Thursday in the journal Science. Since 2000, Dr. Running and his colleagues have monitored how much plant growth covers terra firma, using two NA...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/has-plant-life-...

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