The Syrian drought of 2006-2010 fits in climate trend of lower precipitation and higher temperatures, this graph shows

Over 2006 to 2010 a prolonged drought, unprecedented in modern documented history, caused a farming collapse in Northeastern Syria. Winter rainfall in the otherwise green & productive ‘Fertile Crescent’ decreased by at least a third in Syria (and up to … Continue reading

Disturbence of long ecological chains: how planting palm trees can affect manta rays

Palm tree on beachDouglas McCauley and Paul DeSalles did not set out to discover one of the longest ecological interaction chains ever documented. But that’s exactly what they and a team of researchers — all current or former Stanford students and faculty — did in a new study published in Scientific Reports.

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Biodiversity increases biomass

In theory less biodiversity would not necessarily imply less biomass. But in reality – in case you were to try and replace all animals with pandas – somewhere along the line you may risk to overlook some important symbiotic connections. And what … Continue reading

The biofuel supply chain is too competitive for its own good

As biofuel production has increased – particularly ethanol derived from corn – a hotly contested competition for feedstock supplies has emerged between the agricultural grain markets and biofuel refineries. This competition has sparked concern for the more fundamental issue of allocating limited farmland resources, which has far-reaching implications for food security, energy security and environmental sustainability.

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SRM geoengineering more likely to increase global food production

If we would pump aerosols in the stratosphere to artificially cool the Earth and thereby compensate (part of) the current climate warming, we would be permanently living under a slight sunshade. That would mean in a futuristic world it may … Continue reading

World food demand could double by 2050 – if so agricultural intensification could save 2 billion tonnes of CO2 per year

A new projection by the University of Minnesota and the University of California Santa Barbara shows global food demand could rise by 100-110 percent between 2005 and 2050, which would pose a grave threat to remaining tropical rainforests and would … Continue reading

Natural nitrogen production: 1.5 per cent less global energy consumption

The introduction of nitrogen containing fertiliser in the 1860s has drastically improved crop yields. This not only increased the quantity of food that can be produced, but carbon uptake as well. But due to the high pressure and temperature requirements, … Continue reading