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31 March 2020
Flooding Stunted 2019 Cropland Growing Season, Resulting in More Atmospheric CO2
A new study determines the impact of the severe 2019 floods, and offers scientists a new tool for measuring regional-scale carbon dioxide absorption by plants.
9 January 2019
Scientists breathalyze cows to measure methane emissions
Cattle burps are the number two source of methane in the U.S., but it’s tricky to measure exactly how much methane one cow produces in a day. That’s why researchers at the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory in Bushland, Texas set out to use a number of different methane assessment methods — including a “breathalyzer for cows” — to determine the methane emissions of free-range cattle on Oklahoma grasslands.
29 August 2017
Unprecedented levels of nitrogen could pose danger to Earth’s environment
Humankind’s contribution to the amount of nitrogen available to plants on land is now five times higher than it was 60 years ago, mainly due to increases in the synthetic production of fertilizer and nitrogen-producing crops, according to a new study. This increase in nitrogen parallels the exponential growth of atmospheric carbon, the main culprit behind climate change, and could pose as much of a danger to Earth’s environment, according to the study’s authors.
12 April 2017
One-fifth of world’s population depends on food imports
Countries unable to feed their growing populations are increasingly importing food to meet demand, a new study finds. Nearly half of the world’s population lives in areas where imports compensate for food scarcity and one-fifth of the world now depends upon these imports to survive, according to the new study.
9 September 2014
Global food trade may not meet all future demand, new study indicates
As the world population continues to grow, by about 1 billion people every 12 to 14 years since the 1960s, the global food supply may not meet escalating demand – particularly for agriculturally poor countries in arid to semi-arid regions, such as Africa’s Sahel, that already depend on imports for much of their food supply.
A new study, published online in the American Geophysical Union journal, Earth’s Future, examines global food security and the patterns of food trade that – until this analysis – have been minimally studied.
26 August 2013
Why sunspots won’t help you make a fortune on wheat futures
A claim by 1800s astronomer William Herschel says the Sun’s moods influence things here on Earth in a more immediate way. Herschel asserted that the number of dark splotches on the Sun, called sunspots, significantly affects the wholesale price of wheat grain. Jeffery Love, a geophysicist for the US Geological Survey, decided to put this claim to the test. Such correlations, if they existed, would provide a useful analog for scientists researching historical solar activity.
28 March 2013
Warming could degrade U.S. Midwest farmlands while boosting African, Chinese harvests
Rising global temperatures will concentrate arable land in southern Africa, northern China and the west coast of South America – but leave the United States’ Midwest desiccated, according to new research.