Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Land use and land use change

Photo: Jessica Spengler, Puy lentils, Flickr creative commons licence 2.0
24 July 2016

This paper looks at the agricultural land requirements and GHG emissions associated with supplying Western Europe with food in 2050 from its own land base. It modelled a range of food consumption scenarios based on different ‘protein futures’ to evaluate land use and GHG emissions taking into account both production and demand side mitigation options.

Photo: Moyan Brenn, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0)
8 July 2016

According to this UK study there is a potential for improving soil carbon assessments if inventories increasingly assess soils below the current common level of 30 cm. The researchers estimate that over double the amount of carbon is stored in all UK grassland soils when looking at a depth of 1 metre compared to estimates where only the top 30 cm of soil is considered.

(Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT) Flickr creative commons licence 2.0)
7 July 2016

Innovative, climate-smart soil-management can be developed to improve soil fertility; these can increase agricultural production and food security while contributing to climate mitigation through carbon sequestration. The authors propose the solution of recreating conditions that lead to the formation of ADE (African Dark Earths).

(Photo credit: Gilles San Martin, Creative commons licence, Flickr)
28 June 2016

119 countries pledged to reduce their GHG emissions in the 2015 Paris Agreement but exactly how much mitigation is needed by each sector to meet the 2-degree global target still largely unknown. This paper by Wollenberg et al., provides an estimate of how much GHG mitigation should be expected of the agricultural sector; compares this with what current plausible mitigation options could deliver – and finds a major discrepancy between the two.

9 June 2016

The last decade has witnessed major crises in both food and energy security across the world. One response to the challenges of climate change and energy supply has been the development of crops to be used for biofuels. But, as this book shows, this can divert agricultural land from food production to energy crops, thus affecting food security, particularly in less developed countries.

Photo: Natural resources conservation service (Flickr, creative commons 2.0)
9 June 2016

This paper looks at how soil can help contribute to climate mitigation.  It argues that by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, sequestering carbon and using prudent agricultural management practices that improve the soil-nitrogen cycle (tighter cycle with less leakage), it is possible to enhance soil fertility, bolster crop productivity, improve soil biodiversity, and reduce erosion, runoff and water pollution.

Photo credit: (Flickr: crustmania, creative commons 2.0)
9 June 2016

Taking as their starting point a hypothetical zero-deforestation for agricultural production, where people would refrain from clearing any further forests for agricultural purposes, the researchers behind this study look at both supply side and demand side measures to assess how changes in production and diet can assist in halting deforestation

20 April 2016

This report produced by Food Research Collaboration (FRC) outlines the horticulture sector’s potential to create a shift towards healthier diets in the UK by contributing to overall fruit and vegetable consumption.

20 April 2016

This paper looks at China’s National Forest Conservation Program (NFCP) and concludes that overall, it has been successful in reforesting the country. Prior to this study, scientists did not have proof of China’s claims of forest growth and the effectiveness of the program and China has been under international pressure to scientifically report their findings.

20 April 2016

This study is the first to look at the net balance of the three major (biogenic, non-fossil fuel) greenhouse gases; carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide - for every region of earth's land masses. It analyses emissions from land use and land use change and uptakes from land and forests and concludes that the terrestrial biosphere (land and forests) is a net emitter of these greenhouse gases.

1 April 2016

This article in Nature Climate Change titled Cropping frequency and area response to climate variability can exceed yield response, suggests that previous studies may have underestimated the impact of climate change on the world’s food supply.

Photo credit: Sam Beebe (Flickr, creative commons licence, Attribution 2.0 Generic)
31 March 2016

This paper in Science discusses the potential of yield increase incentives as a way of convincing farmers to save land to protect biodiversity rather than increasing farmland.   The increase of agricultural land is one of the leading causes of biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions in tropical countries. This paper argues that increasing yields on existing agricultural land can provide farmers with the incentive to spare land for wildlife and nature.

Sorghum (Photo credit:  U.S. department of Agriculture, Flickr, creative commons)
10 March 2016

In this Nature Comment, Phil Williamson of the Natural England Research Council and the University of East Anglia, argues that in order for the climate goals agreed at the COP21 in Paris last year to be achieved, a full assessment must be made of the methods for removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

Photo credit: USDA NRCS South Dakota (Flickr, Creative commons)
10 March 2016

In this study, researchers from the Netherlands and Italy investigate the long-term (past and future) changes in phosphorus (P) budgets in grasslands used for grazing and in connection with croplands. The authors recognise a lack in the literature of studies characterising the P cycle in relation to grasslands and croplands, and - as grass-dependent livestock demand is increasing – they seek to address this lack of understanding.

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