- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 22, 2014

Scientists assert that crop yields in the Northern Hemisphere are producing higher concentrations of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each summer.

Boston University researchers found that corn, rice, wheat and soybean are the four leading crops that account for maximum CO2 release in the atmosphere, Maine News Online reported Friday.

Carbon dioxide levels increase each summer as crops absorb CO2 to convert sunlight in to food and then release it after the growing season.

Researchers estimate that agricultural production accounts for a 25 percent surge in the seasonal carbon cycle.

That number could increase as the number of crops continues to grow.

Since 1961, the production of corn, wheat, rice and soybeans has more than doubled in the northern hemisphere and new crops are absorbing and releasing nearly one billion metric tons of CO2 each year, Maine News Online reported.

“This study shows the power of modeling and data mining in addressing potential sources contributing to seasonal changes in carbon dioxide. It points to the role of basic research in finding answers to complex problems,” said Liz Blood, program director for the National Science Foundation’s Macro Systems Biology Program, which funded the study.

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