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Rising Temperatures Mean Falling Plant Productivity Overall

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Published on Aug 20, 2010

The past decade is officially the warmest on record since instrumental measurements began in the 1880s. Previous research suggested that in the '80s and '90s, warmer global temperatures and higher levels of precipitation -- factors associated with climate change - were generally good for plant productivity. An updated analysis based on NASA satellite data and published this week in the journal Science indicates that, as temperatures have continued to rise, the benefits to plants are now overwhelmed by longer and more frequent droughts.

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