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Lisa Ainsworth

Stronger drought resistance of urban vegetation due to higher temperature, CO2 and reduced O3

December 15, 2021

Globally, plants are reaping the benefits of elevated CO2 levels in the atmosphere by increasing photosynthesis rates, a phenomenon known as the CO2 fertilization effect. However, those benefits might be offset by drier and warmer climates caused by global warming and extreme climate events. Using data collected from urban environments, researchers at Illinois have been able to study dueling effects of climate change factors on vegetation response to drought.


December 15, 2021


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BBC’s Follow the Food to feature RIPE research

October 27, 2021

On October 29th, the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project will be featured on an episode of Follow the Food on BBC World News. Hosted by world-renowned ethnobotanist James Wong, the multimedia series focuses on the biggest pressures on the world food system including RIPE’s central mission of how to feed the growing population, and climate change, which is the focus of the current season.


October 27, 2021


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Fluorescent light clarifies relationship between heat stress, crop yield

May 24, 2021

Scientists report that it is possible to detect and predict heat damage in crops by measuring the fluorescent light signature of plant leaves experiencing heat stress. If collected via satellite, this fluorescent signal could support widespread monitoring of growth and crop yield under the heat stress of climate change, the researchers say.


May 24, 2021


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Ozone pollution harms maize crops, study finds

April 5, 2021

Although stratospheric ozone protects us by filtering out the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, tropospheric ozone is a harmful pollutant. A new study has shown that ozone in the lower layers of the atmosphere decreases crop yields in maize and changes the types of chemicals that are found inside the leaves.


April 5, 2021


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30 years of experiments simulate future crop climate response

October 31, 2020

Five years ago, the United Nations committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030. Since then, however, world hunger has continued to rise. Nearly 9 percent of our global population is now undernourished, according to a 2020 report from the FAO, and climate variability is a leading factor driving us off course.


October 31, 2020


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