According to recent research on photosynthesis conducted by scientists from seven different universities, however, climate models until now may have been overestimating how much CO2 plants take in during the process of producing energy.. This suggests that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may increase even faster than expected and accelerate global warming.
“The takeaway is that plants’ ability to help us control atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is weaker than we thought,” Tom Sharkey, a biochemist at Michigan State University’s Plant Research Laboratory and one of the study’s authors, said in a statement.
There are many different climate models, each with its own strengths and weaknesses depending on the granularity of the data. Since the mid-90s, the World Climate Research Program has hosted the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), a framework that allows different climate models to be compared. Despite the differences between the climate models used for CMIP, all of them have a large range of uncertainty about the exchange of carbon dioxide between plants and the atmosphere. This makes it difficult to create accurate climate models and understand how things like deforestation affect climate change.