Showing results for: GHG impacts and mitigation
In this open letter a large number of civil society organisations present a critique of the use of ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’, a concept that is gaining increasing attention among governments, NGOs, academics, corporations and in international policy. They state that they have concerns around the aims of the 'Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture' to establish policies to enable farming to deal with the impacts of climate change.
A major new report released by a commission of global leaders finds that governments and businesses can improve economic growth and reduce their carbon emissions together. Rapid technological innovation and new investment in infrastructure are making it possible today to tackle climate change at the same time as improving economic performance.
Concentrations of carbon dioxide last year grew at the fastest rate since 1984, says a BBC news article. Reporting on data released by the World Meteorological Organisation, the article describes how this increase in concentration is due not only to increased greenhouse gas emissions, but also to a reduced carbon uptake by the biosphere. This reduction could be temporary, or it could be an indication that the biosphere has reached its absorption limit. The article points out that seas, trees, and living things, which play an important role by absorbing over half of the total greenhouse gas emissions, are also breaking records; the oceans soak up about 4kg of CO2 per person every day, a rate unparalleled over the last 300 million years and resulting in unprecedented salination of the oceans.
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has launched a new website dedicated to climate change and food policy research and impacts. The website covers news, event updates, project profiles, and shares related materials from across its climate change research portfolio. Since the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is a prominent partner in the field of climate change, much of CCAFS and IFPRI’s mutual work together will be featured on the site.
Visit the web site here.
This paper looks at the environmental costs of food production and consumption. It offers an updated account of the GHG emissions associated with production of U.S. food losses at the retail/institution and consumer level and also considers the effects of a shift in diets away from current US consumption patterns towards those recommended by USDA dietary guidelines.
The The Human Dynamics of Climate Change map has been created in a joint effort by scientists and policymakers and it shows how climate change could affect people all over the world by the end of the century if carbon emissions continue unabated.
In a debate between George Monbiot and L hunter Lovins in The Guardian, the issue of impacts and evidence of livestock grazing is discussed. Monbiots article “Eat more meat and save the world: the latest implausible farming miracle” can be found here while L. Hunter Lovins’ article “Why George Monbiot is wrong: grazing livestock can save the world” can be read here.
Despite being known for its large population of devout vegetarians, India is home to the world’s largest herd of cattle and is the world’s fourth largest exporter of beef, behind only the obvious behemoths, the US, Brazil and China.
The International Dairy Federation (IDF), the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the IFCN Dairy Research Network (IFCN) have collaborated on an extensive study on international dairy feeding systems to explore how differences within these systems for dairy cows, water buffaloes, sheep, and goats and between large and smallholders can affect a range of issues - from the nutritional content of the milk to the level of GHG emissions involved in the production process. Each of the three organizations had differing stakes in the research.
This review, published in Nature Climate Change, concludes that the role of no-till agriculture in mitigating climate change may be over-stated . No-till and reduced tillage are methods of establishing crops with low soil disturbance as opposed to conventional tillage involving ploughing or other practices.
This paper published in PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - looks at the environmental costs of food production and in particular livestock based food production. The paper is based on annual 2000–2010 data for land, irrigation water, and fertilizer from the USDA, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Energy.
The authors behind this study say that climate change has substantially increased the prospect that crop production will fail to keep up with rising demand in the next 20 years.