Climate change stinks -- literally, according to new research conducted at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Following up on existing evidence that a warmer planet means less plant growth, doctoral candidate Alon Can'ani studied two petunia varieties and found that higher temperatures caused them to produce less fragrance. Increasing the ambient temperature appeared to enervate the flowers, which need to utilize a lot of energy to produce and emit scents. Not only does that mean a less-fragrant Earth, but it also means fewer flowers, since the purpose of emitting scents is to attract pollinators and thus ensure reproduction. Can'ani is now investigating novel methods to solve this problem, such as making genetic changes to flowers that would prompt them to continue producing scents, regardless of the temperature.
- Every part of the sunflower emits compounds that impede and even kill other plants in order to ensure the flower's reproductive survival.
- The titan arum is also known as the "corpse flower" because it stinks like a rotting human body; the smell attracts flies, which then pollinate the flower.
- The Rafflesia arnoldii, which also produces a decaying-flesh smell, boasts the world's largest blossom, with an upper limit of three feet (one meter) in diameter and a weight of about 22 pounds (10 kg).