Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • No clear message on photosynthesis products

A central focus of current debates about the environmental challenges facing the modern world is the rate at which humans are consuming the products of photosynthesis, for example through logging and food production.

A new study has confirmed previous estimates that the average appropriation of what is known as 'net primary productivity' is about 32 per cent. At the same time, however, the authors say that there is considerable uncertainty in this figure, which could be as low as 10 per cent or as high as 52 per cent.

Writing in the journal Science, they say that this broad range "reflects uncertainty in key parameters and makes it difficult to ascertain whether we are approaching crisis levels in our use of the planet's resources." They also state that improved estimates will require high-resolution global measures within agricultural land and forests.

Reference: Science 294, 2490-91 (2001)

We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.