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Australia — Climate change turning desert green

ABC News (Australia) — July 4, 2013

New research shows that global warming is turning the far west desert green.

Findings by the CSIRO reveal that rising levels of carbon dioxide make plants in arid regions like Broken Hill grow bigger leaves.

Research scientist Dr Randall Donohue says outback foliage initially expands to trap more water during dry periods.

He says the process is extended when increased levels of carbon dioxide actually begin to fertilise the plants.

“CO2 is needed by plants, it’s a main source of food for plants,” Dr Donohue said.

“So generally the more CO2 in the atmosphere – and therefore the more COplants can grab – the better they grow.

“They also end up being more efficient at using many of the other resources they need, including water.”

Water is expected to be abundant this winter, with the Bureau of Meteorology’s rainfall outlook predicting a 70 per cent chance of higher than average rainfall from July to September.  Continue reading, here….

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