Climate change and agriculture

Climate change and agriculture are deeply intertwined. Agriculture is responsible for a significant portion of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, while climate change is changing farming by introducing new challenges. The best solutions to mitigating climate change lie in the dynamically changing agriculture sector, and the answer to improving agriculture and global food production lies in technology.

To Deal With Climate Change, We Need Agricultural Innovation — Now by Robert T. Fraley on The Huffington Post
Two of the most important issues of the 21st century are climate change and food security. By adopting innovative agriculture technologies and strategies, we may be able to mitigate the risks presented by both of these problems. Agriculture is responsible for 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States; boosting yield while minimizing resource use through precision ag techniques have the potential to significantly lower this number. In the cases of increased pest pressure, heat stress, and droughts, leveraging data to make smart decisions, both proactively and reactively to these threats, can help farmers minimize losses despite harsh conditions.

Family Farmers Hold Keys to Agriculture in a Warming World by Andrea Stone on National Geographic
With the population expected to grow by 33% to more than 9 billion by 2050 and climate change putting increasing pressure on agricultural production, we need significant changes to meet the global demand for food. While many are focusing on large agribusinesses to produce more, it is the small-scale farmers that will have to make a difference. 500 million family farmers produce more than half of the world’s food, most barely churning out enough to feed their own families. Unlike the agribusinesses, however, it is these farmers who are practicing sustainable agriculture, growing indigenous pants that help improve the density of nutrients in crops and protect valuable resources such as water. These “agroecological approaches” such as solar-powered drip irrigation and intercropping will be key to facilitating maximum yields while simultaneously fighting the effects of global climate change.

Changes to Agriculture Practices Could Slash Emissions Up to 90% on Environmental Leader
Early in April, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced that greenhouse gas emissions grew quicker in 2000-2010 than in each of the previous three decades. More efficient and innovative agricultural practices offer the best solution to this problem, potentially cutting annual carbon emissions from agriculture by 50-90 percent by 2030. 70% of direct greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture come from livestock; changes to production techniques could cut almost 2 million gigatons of emissions annually. According to IBM, additional technology solutions such as precision weather forecasting and fertilizer reduction techniques will be used to increase future crop yields and improve agricultural efficiency by up to 20%. All of these solutions, and more, will need to have success in order to meet the world’s ever-increasing demand for food.

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