When you take a sip of tea, you’re drinking a beverage that is grounded in a particular time and place. In Yunnan province, southwestern China, which is the source of a highly prized tea known as pu-erh, summer brings monsoon rains, whereas spring is comparatively dry. Tea leaves that are harvested in spring therefore have different qualities to those collected in summer: each tea contains around 50 chemicals that are unique to its season of harvest, says Albert Robbat. The sensitivity of tea plants to the environment makes the crop vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Variations in temperature and precipitation are known to affect tea yield, as well as alter the complex balance of chemicals that gives tea its flavour and potential health benefits.
Rice plants try this one weird trick to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and increase yield.
A new genetically modified rice plant reduces emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. But the rice is at least 10 or 20 years from being available to farmers.
Read the full article at the Cornell Chronicle.