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Is the NYT Data Center Story in a Time Warp? Top 5 Stories This Week

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Sep 30, 2012 01:01 AM
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by Paula Melton last modified Sep 28, 2012

Author name:  Paula Melton Blog Category:  On Our Radar Watch the plants! There are limits to their growth, and ours. Also: data center showdown, cargo bikes, and satellite photos of economic injustice. A coal industry "documentary" from the early '90s painted a lush picture of plant life in a carbon-rich atmosphere. Empirical evidence of stunted growth is showing us just how wrong their science was. Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution Stop taking plants for granted If plants love carbon dioxide, then it stands to reason that more CO 2 should turn into more happy, healthy plants, right? Well, apparently not. Botanists are compiling increasing evidence that elevated CO 2 can actually stunt plant growth, as reported by John Collins Rudolf in the New York Times. And it’s not just CO 2 . The planet can only support so much plant life (and thus human life) before it hits a “planetary boundary”—and some scientists point out that this boundary is fuzzier than we might expect. “It’s not as if we can keep doing business as usual until we hit a planetary boundary, and all hell will break loose,” says ecologist Start Pimm, quoted in the New York Times . “It’s already breaking loose now.” Let them eat leaves We’ve seen a lot of reports lately about the role of trees in urban health and safety, like the strong correlation between trees and lower crime rates . Here’s another interesting look at tree cover and neighborhoods—from space. read more






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