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

Metastudy shows current climate change makes flora and fauna shrink

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

Climatic CO2 benefits of fertiliser offset by increased N2O emissions

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

Genetic manipulation of circadian rhythm may open up all-season crop yields

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

Crop geoengineering #3: doubling root depth would store 230 Gt carbon in agricultural soils – minus 118 ppm CO2

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.