Reading the Leaves

Reebs, Stephan
April 2007
Natural History;Apr2007, Vol. 116 Issue 3, p13
This article discusses a study which showed that corn can help map emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that causes global warming. Conducted by Diana Y. Hsueh et al., the study argued that plants provide a cost-effective means of sampling carbon dioxide derived from fossil fuels. The team analyzed the carbon-14 in corn leaves gathered from sixty-seven locations across the U.S. and Canada, then made a map of North American carbon dioxide emissions derived from fossil fuels. They found that there are plenty of emissions in California and the eastern U.S. and less in the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains.


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