A roadmap to agriculture that’s sustainable and climate-neutral

Image of young corn plants.

Enlarge (credit: Julie
Doll, MSU/NSF KBS LTER Site
)

The climate crises humanity is producing due to our profligate
burning of fossil fuels is happening in the face of mounting
evidence that said burning was very, very bad for the Earth. Some
of the problems are now officially going to come even
sooner than anticipated
. If we want to have a hope of even
mitigating these problems, we must change our habits, preferably
yesterday.

While burning fossil fuels is a huge part of the problem, food
production is also a primary driver of climate change. It is
responsible for about
25 to 30 percent
of greenhouse gas emissions. Beyond that it
also depletes groundwater, converts carbon-sequestering forest and
jungle into cropland, and dumps excess nitrogen and phosphorous
into soil, water, and air. Under business-as-usual scenarios, these
effects will probably at least double by 2050 since the global
population is slated to increase by about a third, and the income
of the global population is also slated to increase—all of those
new and newly rich(er) people are likely going to want to eat and
eat well.

At that point, the environmental effects of food production will
be “beyond the planetary boundaries that define a safe operating
space for humanity.”

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
A roadmap to agriculture that’s sustainable and climate-neutral