Reflective Crops

Researchers at the University of Bristol are exploring bio-geoengineering. The idea is to use existing areas dedicated to agriculture to combat climate change, as opposed to building a new, unique infrastructure. (See The Dirt post on plankton growth to combat climate change, a form of geoengineering).  

According to The New York Times, the researchers see a 2 degree Fahrenheit reduction in summer temperatures from crop varieties that reflect more sunlight. This means temperature reductions in North America, Europe, and parts of Asia.  

The amount of light plants reflect depends on how waxy the leaves are, and how they are arranged. Existing crops could be genetically engineered to grow more reflective leaves.

Read the full article
Read the study in Current Biology

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