With CO2 levels 35% higher than 1750, many plants are putting on a growth spurt by absorbing more of gas as part of photosynthesis and the growth spurt has been found in flora as diverse as sugar beet, wheat, lavender and tropical rainforests. Whilst this seems like good news in the fight against climate change (and increased food production) most scientists believe that any reprieve will only be temporary as the plants cannot remove more than a fraction of the ever increasing amount of CO2 released by human activities and the rising temperatures and drought resulting from global warming will damage and destroy plants. Research by Leeds University published in science journal Nature showed that worldwide the world’s tropical rainforests could be absorbing an extra 5 billion tons of CO2 each year, but as humans produce 50 billion tons per annum, it is not enough. What the studies do show is the continued and pressing need to conserve the world’s remaining rainforests which are being lost at an alarming rate. We need what is left both to act as the world’s ‘lungs’ and to prevent the release of even more CO2 when they are destroyed.- one a forest is cut down the carbon it contains is released into the atmosphere says researcher Simon Lewis and “it would take hundreds of years to recover the carbon once stored”. Time we just don’t have.