There has been concern that trees will switch from being a carbon sink to a carbon emitter as the planet warms.
The theory is based on the fact that trees' respiration (a CO2 producing process) dramatically increases as the surrounding temperatures do. Therefore, the theory goes, when it gets hot enough, the amount of carbon they are sequestering in their wood will at some point be exceeded by the amount they are producing through increased respiration….ie they will become a net carbon emitter.
But new research by the University of Minnesota suggests this fear is probably unfounded. Because the trees acclimatise to the warming and adjust their rate of respiration down accordingly! Clever little chappies, huh?
Trees win again folks.