GM plants with bigger roots could suck more carbon out of the atmosphere, mitigating climate change

Credit: Claire Benjamin/Ripe Project
Credit: Claire Benjamin/Ripe Project

[S]cientists like Wolfgang Busch, Salk Institute for Biological Studies professor, are trying to harness the carbon-sucking power of plants to clean up the atmosphere. They’re behind the Harnessing Plants Initiative.

When carbon isn’t polluting the atmosphere, it’s often in the ground, enriching the soil that plants need to grow. The goal is to genetically modify the plant’s cellular structure. Then the plants will sprout bigger roots, and more of them. And they’ll absorb more carbon.

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“We need all hands on deck to get that carbon down and safe in the soil or wherever we put it, that doesn’t heat up our planet further,” says Busch.

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