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Credit: E. Wiebe

Leaf litter is part of the natural carbon cycle. The decay of the annual fall of leaves contributes a significant burst of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Much or all of that naturally occurring carbon is taken up by the growth of new leaves again in the spring. Lately, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing by an amount approximately equal to the annual cycle every three years. That growth is the anthropogenic contribution to atmospheric CO2.

Here is a link to NOAA's Trends in Atmopheric Carbon Dioxide site. We've also archived the figure available when this page was created. It's linked below.

NOAA chart.

UVic / SEOS / Climate Group / About Front Page Picture / Leaf Litter Last updated: Tuesday, 03-Nov-2009 09:53:08 PST
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