New Superhero, 3,200 Years Old, Turns CO2 Into Wood Superfast

The giant sequoia's ability to grow faster as it ages makes it a champ at carbon sequestration.

"This is for you, Martina Navratilova, for you, Nolan Ryan, for you, Methuselah, for you, Jimmy Carter, and for all of you reading this if you're on the "wrong" side of 50 but still pumping. This week, we've got ourselves a role model, a poster boy for robust old age.

Actually, it's a poster tree: Sequoiadendron giganteum, the giant sequoia. And thanks to Professor Steve Sillett and his team at Humboldt State University, here's what we now know: these trees do more growing when they're older than when they're younger. The older they get, it seems, the faster they grow.

Let me say that again: Giant sequoias grow faster later in life than earlier in life."

Robert Krulwich reports for NPR December 4, 2012.

Source: NPR, 12/05/2012