Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Parts of tropical rainforests could get too hot for photosynthesis, study suggests

by Laura Paddison

Wed August 23, 2023

Some leaves in tropical forests from South America to South East Asia are getting so hot they may no longer be able to photosynthesize, with big potential consequences for the world’s forests, according to a new study.

Leaves’ ability to photosynthesize – the process by which they make energy from carbon dioxide, sunlight and water – begins to fail when their temperature reaches around 46.7 degrees Celsius (116 Fahrenheit).

While this may seem high, leaves can get much hotter than the air temperature, according to the report published Wednesday in Nature by a group of scientists from countries including the US, Australia and Brazil.


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