News about the health and beauty of the natural world that sustains us.
Lewis Ziska, a weed ecologist with the Agriculture Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, may have found a way to fight global warming with weeds. According to an article in the New York Times, Ziska conducted several experiments that tested the effects of changing CO2 concentrations on different crop and weed species. He found out that weeds respond a lot better than the crops do. In one experiment, he tested a weed called Chenopodium album, which grew six to eight feet on an organic farm in western Maryland and 10 to 12 feet in the inner harbor of Baltimore (where the CO2 in its local atmosphere is above the current global average). While this can be troublesome for crops that can’t grow at the same rate, especially under the same conditions, Ziska suggests that the excessive amounts of weeds could be a possible source for biofuels. Read the full article here.