Stanford University Home

Stanford News Archive

Stanford Report, December 11, 2002

Scientists describe the latest results from the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment at Stanford

Climate experts have long assumed that plants could help reduce global warming by soaking up excess carbon dioxide gas emitted from cars and smokestacks. But an unprecedented three-year experiment at Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve has raised questions about that assumption. The results of the experiment, published in Science magazine, show that atmospheric carbon dioxide actually suppresses plant growth when combined with higher temperatures and other likely consequences of global climate change. Two authors of the study -- Chris Field (professor, by courtesy, of biological sciences) and Becky Shaw (Nature Conservancy research scientist) -- discuss the Jasper Ridge experiment and its significance to the climate change debate.

VIDEO: Delana Lindsey