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Vol. XXVI, 4th Quarter
October – December 2008


Global warming affects crops

GLOBAL WARMING does affect plants processes and yields. The study of Dr. Felino Lansigan of the Institute of Statistics in the University of the Philippines Los Baños proved that rising temperature significantly affected yield, particularly of rice, corn, sugarcane, tomato, and peanut. With increased temperature, rice yield decreased by 38.5%, corn by 47.5%, and sugarcane by 24.17%.

"This happens because rising temperature during global warming results in the so-called greenhouse effect," explains Lansingan.

The greenhouse effect causes the warming of the earth, and carbon dioxide emissions essential to plant growth and yield are trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. This deprives the crops of sufficient supply of carbon dioxide, according to Lansingan.


In a related research, the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau’ s study on carbon sequestration of yemane (Gmelina arborea Roxb.) determined the amount of carbon that can be stored by said tree.

The study revealed that a tree with 200 kg of carbon could absorb 736 kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This means that 1,000 yemane trees can reduce the level of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 736 t.

In a related development, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology of Japan and PCARRD initiated the establishment a carbon flux tower at the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve in Los Baños, Laguna. This tower, once established, will help in monitoring and evaluating long-term changes in carbon and in responding to climate changes.