Do you like horror or sci-fi movies? Do you remember “Mad Max” or “28 days after”?
According to the latest scientific discoveries, in the years to come our future climate could be perfectly described by those two movies. We will have lawns turned into arid steppes, farmed fields into dusty deserts, lakes into sandy valleys. So, each of us will try to save himself, but…what will happen to our gardens? Will still be possible to draw and realise one? Will still be possible to take care and love them?
The global warming will change everything (as we described in Natura Sensitiva e il 2050). Wine will be toxic, basil will disappear and the list goes on. For sure, our gardens will be different… but don’t worry! Our favourites, our plants, will save us!.
Magic oddities of plant kingdom will be found not only in the number of their amazing sense organs that are more than ours, neither in their creatively reactions to dangers. One of their most charming abilities is their talent for altering the atmosphere of the planet where they live. As a matter of fact, it was a plant which in the past gave us a chance to get out from water and conquer lands (and with them a more complex intelligence).
How will they save us?
Global warming models are developed thanks to a new paradigm, that is the vegetable responsiveness to their own habitat changings.
Global warming negative effects on plants are clear and surely they will be. There are a lot of circumstances that will not be easy for plants to stand: elevated levels of carbon dioxide, the rise in the global temperature, pollinators’ extinction or their staggering decrease, gradual disappearance of temperate climates, periods of drought and torrential rains, leading to an impoverished ground. A lot of species are dying out. Scientifically speaking, we are moving close to Earth’s sixth mass extinction.
Nevertheless we are eternally optimistic and we are sure plants are going to help us.
A Nasa research (by Lahouari Bounoua, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, in the 2011) included a new parameter in its global warming models, “downregulation”, that is the cellular reaction making plants efficient in the use of nutrients and water resources, particularly under pressure. In the model, the stressful condition is the rise in levels of carbon dioxide. The downregulation causes a foliage growth, causing an evapotranspiration, that is more or less a refreshing plant “sweat”, creating a cooling effect ( in summer a tree evapotranspirates up to about 11 liters!)
Compared to a model without the “downregulation”, the model of Lahouari Bounoua shows a reduction of temperature of 0,6°.
This means that as soon as the levels of carbon dioxide is stabilized, plants will learn to manage efficiently resources to reduce the CO2 toxicity and to lower the temperature.
We need more gardens. They will save our life!
How could we make garden with less water? Well, Royal Horticultural Society helps us proposing an useful and practical handbook about what we will have to plant on changed grounds.
Apart from useful post-apocalyptic reactions (as storing rainwaters, choosing autochthonous -not only- pollinator-friendly plants), it will be important to implement your gardens by technologically advanced services: timer for light and sprinklers, heaters non–sustainable fuels, use sustainable sources of energy, as solar-power, beautiful green rooftops and green walls, refreshing in the summer, isolating in winter. Would be important to plant high trees as wind barriers, not to mow lawns, transforming grass into surrounds for flower beds, to find space for a nice aquatic garden that will help our garden to absorb heavy rains, to minimise our environmental impact by a recycling “ethic” and to compost scraps from our kitchen.
Moreover, it could be intelligent to use in our garden plants growing in dry soils.
We can start taking care of everything nice around us: we have to stop walking toward desertification
A question arises: will we be victim of ourselves?
It seems that we will survive to six Earth’s mass extinction. We are really flexible. In the same time, we think there’s actually no need to discover it. First: Can we keep on managing the planet this way only because we have been survived many species’ loss? Are we going to destroy the conditions that allow us to live here?
Second: if we survive, could we keep living this way? Is this the Earth where we imagine human progeny will live?
We want to buy a ticket to Mars, but not a one-way ticket!
Keep in touch!