Preparing Plants for Our Future Climate


Professor works together with crop breeders to plan ahead for drought and warmer temperatures brought on by climate change.

Planning is something we all do. As individuals, we may be planning for next weekend or our future retirement.

Farmers and plant breeders are also planning for a future. The crops we currently depend on will need grow under different conditions – due to climate change.

Some weather conditions are easy to control. Scientists can set the temperature in a greenhouse and control how much water each plant receives. It is not as easy to change earth’s atmosphere.

However, changes in our atmosphere are a part of climate change. Carbon dioxide is one greenhouse gas of concern.

We know carbon dioxide levels have been increasing since the industrial revolution. Although there are efforts to reduce emissions, scientists predict that carbon dioxide levels will continue to increase.

The presence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not all bad. In fact, plants need it to grow. In photosynthesis, plants use sunlight and carbon dioxide to make sugars. So, more carbon dioxide means plants can grow faster.

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