During the week, plants store less carbon dioxide

While most people recover from the work week on the weekend, trees actually increase their ability to work.

Plants (and therefore also trees) have a special property: they can convert carbon dioxide and sunlight into oxygen and organic substances such as sugars, amino acids and fats. Thanks to this photosynthesis process, some of the carbon dioxide produced by humans is removed2Air decontamination and storage. But American scientists have discovered that this “capture operation” is more profitable during the weekend than on weekdays.

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The team used the TROPOMI atmospheric monitoring instrument on board the spacecraft Sentinel 5P satellite From the European Space Agency. This measured not only the amount of aerosols (polluted air particles) in the atmosphere, but also photosynthetic activity in Europe. To protect themselves from the abundance of sunlight, plants emit part of the energy they receive as infrared light: they fluoresce. This fluorescence is directly related to the process of photosynthesis and is therefore a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide2 Which is absorbed by the plant.

Satellite measurements have shown something striking: the photosynthetic activity of plants decreases during the week in Europe, but increases during weekends. The opposite is observed with air pollution: it is worse on working days and decreases on weekends.

Researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science have a logical explanation for this pattern. Plants store more carbon dioxide2 When the air quality is better. With less industrial activity on weekends and less travel, air pollution also decreases. This allows plants to step up their game. So the message is clear: European governments should place greater emphasis on improving air quality, the researchers wrote in their paper Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

sources: With people, Carnegie Institution for Science

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Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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