Plants play a bigger role in your daily life than you might think. A recent study published by Nature Geosceience found that plants can help “mitigate the warming caused by greenhouse gases.” The study suggests that plants respond to fluctuations in the climate and release temperature-cooling aerosols. It was found that when temperatures rise, more of these biogenic aerosols are released into the atmosphere.
In rural areas rich with forestland, the researchers estimated that plants could be reducing global warming by 30%. Collecting data at 11 separate locations worldwide, the research team from IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) and the University of Helsinki surveyed the amount of plant-produced aerosols in the atmosphere in relation to the temperature.
The study confirms “a negative feedback” that plant life creates that gives rise to enhanced condensation in clouds and fights the negative impact made by man-made pollution. The researchers said that the scent you smell when you walk through a forest is actually the organic aerosols at work.
This new study takes the benefits of plants to a much grander scale. Studies have long confirmed that businesses can reduce stress levels, lower noise levels and even clean the air of toxins by adorning their space with office plants. These scientific findings give further credence to the indescribable sensation we as humans feel towards plant life and nature in general.
While we often point to the beauty nature offers as the reasoning behind why the outdoors are such a constant source of solace, these findings suggest there is more at work within our green friends than we realize.
Explore humankind’s connection to nature by visiting our interactive Biophilia website.
How do you feel about this new study? Share your thoughts below in the comments.
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