Climate & Agriculture 2: African net agricultural productivity to decline for 5 major food staples

The impact of 21st century climate change on African agriculture deserves special attention, considering rapid population growth and the fact that the continent is currently already a net importer of agricultural products, while several sub-Saharan countries still depend for a … Continue reading

Climate & Agriculture 1: African food imports increase, while agricultural dependence stays high

Yes, we have many simultaneous climate series running here at Bits of Science. For instance one about the global temperature trend, another about sea level rise – and of course our series about climate change as a driver to the … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 24: Insects Germany declined 76% in just 27 years(!)

The numbers of flying insects in nature reserves throughout Germany show a staggering decline. Taken on average over the months of April to October between 1989 and 2016 insect numbers declined 76%. In mid-summer measurements show an even more rapid … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 16: Land use & warming exert same stress on tropical biodiversity

Anthropogenic climate change and land use change in the form of agricultural expansion (‘habitat conversion’ – a sweet description for deforestation) act as synergistic drivers of biodiversity loss – in a Costa Rican environmental experiment – literally drying out the … Continue reading

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