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How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
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Walking to Exercise the Brain
Surviving Olympic Heat
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What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
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Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
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Stalking Plants by Scent
Fastest Plant on Earth
Sweet, Sticky Science
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Cool as a Jupiter
Slip-sliding away
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Young Scientists Take Flight
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
Dancing with Robots
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What is a Noun
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Robots on the Road, Again
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In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
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Slower Growth, Greater Warmth

There seems little doubt that Earth is heating up. As temperatures rise, many people worry about how global warming may affect life on the planet. A long-term study in Central America gives one more reason for concern. Adult trees in a rain forest in Costa Rica grew more slowly in warm years than they did in cold ones. Such a shift toward slower-growing trees might make the climate warm up even faster. From 1984 to 2000, biologist Deborah A. Clark of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and colleagues measured the width of old trees in a 2-square-kilometer plot of rain forest at La Selva, Costa Rica. During the coolest years, a time period running from 1984 to 1986, the trees grew 81 percent faster than they did during a heat wave that struck in 1997. The trees also grew slowly in 1987, another warm year. In addition, scientists found that, during warm years, Earth's atmosphere contained less carbon dioxide produced by tropical land plants. Carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas, which plants normally use up to make food. The new results reinforce how important trees are to the health of the planet and how devastating a continued rise in temperatures might be to their future—and ours.—E. Sohn

Slower Growth, Greater Warmth
Slower Growth, Greater Warmth








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