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News Release 14-153

"Green Revolution" changes breathing of the biosphere

Computer model links stronger seasonal oscillations in carbon dioxide to intensive agriculture

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illustration showing argicultural fields, sky and sunshine

The agricultural "Green Revolution" has contributed to deeper breathing of Earth's atmosphere.

Credit: Fang Zhao/Ning Zeng/


world map

Agriculture corresponds to biological productivity in the Northern Hemisphere growing season.

Credit: Philipp Koehler and Luis Guanter, Free University of Berlin

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illustration showing a combine in a green field

The seasonal amplitude in carbon dioxide has risen some 15 percent over the past five decades.

Credit: Fang Zhao/Ning Zeng/


corn field

Changes in the way land is managed can alter the breathing of the atmosphere, scientists say.

Credit: Fang Zhao/Ning Zeng/


irrigation system

VEGAS, a carbon cycle model, factors in changes in 20th and 21st century farming practices.

Credit: Fang Zhao/Ning Zeng/


green field and silo

In autumn, plants decompose and release stored carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Credit: Fang Zhao/Ning Zeng/