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.
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
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
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
The paleoclimatic record shows it has happened before – and now two well-read researchers illustrate it is already happening again: species across life’s kingdoms are decreasing in size, due to warming, droughts and acidification. It’s a sign ecology is feeling … Continue reading
Since the 1860′s nitrogen additions to the terrestrial biosphere have more than doubled, due to human activities. Since nitrogen is a key nutrient needed for plant growth and therefore used as a fertiliser, the additions have made a drastic increase … Continue reading
Just like human beings plants too have a biological clock, which prepares them to make optimal use of both day and night – and which helps them to nicely tune their annual growth cycle within the appropriate seasons. It is … Continue reading
As the world warms, access to fresh water will become less and less obvious which is bad in itself, but as it turns out now, water shortages could contribute to even more warming through a positive feedback loop.
It started in the 1980s: a sudden levelling of methane release into the atmosphere. It was a mystery as to why it happened. Now scientists have found the answer to the mystery, or in fact they have found two different … Continue reading
Breeding crops with deeper (and larger) root systems could help to lower atmospheric CO2 levels, while also making the crops better drought-resistant, Douglas Kell, a Professor of Bioanalytical Science at the University of Manchester says.