Urban Farming Key in Fight Against Hunger and Climate Change

The urban farms sprouting up and across cities around the world aren’t just feeding mouths—they are “critical to survival” and a “necessary adaptation” for developing regions and a changing climate, according to a new study. Urban farms—which include plain ol’ allotments, indoor vertical farms and rooftop gardens nestled amongst busy streets and skyscrapers—have become increasingly popular and important as the world’s population grows and more and more …

Urban ag benefits much greater than previously estimated

From a vacant plot in a blighted neighborhood springs neatly combed rows of plants put in by the neighbors. They meticulously care for this small piece of land and among the drab looking buildings sprouts a patch of green. Cultivating the land may have started as a way to unite a neighborhood; to give pride to place, or it might …

Water stress, soil, and oceans at risk

About 40 percent of the world’s food depends on irrigation, which draws largely from stores of underground water, called aquifers, which make up 30 percent of the world’s freshwater. Unfortunately, groundwater is being rapidly depleted worldwide. In the United States, the Ogallala Aquifer—one of the world’s largest underground bodies of water—spans eight states in the High Plains and supplies almost …

Biodiesel: Turning soybeans into diesel is costing us billions

Excerpt from NPR.org 18 Jan 2018 Biodiesel is very expensive, relative to petroleum diesel,” says Scott Irwin, an economist at the University of Illinois, who follows biofuel markets closely. He calculates that the extra cost for biodiesel comes to about $1.80 per gallon right now, meaning that the biofuel law is costing Americans about $5.4 billion a year. Irwin explains …

Ag + solar solutions in fields and smart solar greenhouse

November 26th, 2017 by Steve Hanley on Clean Technica Putting solar panels on a roof is a good idea. Growing food in a greenhouse is also a good idea. But putting those ideas together usually doesn’t work because the solar panels block out the sunlight the plants inside need to flourish. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have created new solar …

This company wants to build a giant indoor farm next to every major city in the world. Vertical farming may finally be growing up.

Updated by David Roberts vox.com  Nov 8, 2017 Plenty … of varieties.  Plenty For as long as I can remember, people have been hyping vertical farming — growing crops indoors, using vertical space to intensify production. Its virtues, relative to conventional agriculture, have long been clear. Indoors, the climate can be controlled year-round. Pests can be minimized, and with them pesticides. Water and nutrients can be …

Review of research and future priorities to inform CA’s GHG emissions reductions plan: Agriculture and working lands

Byrnes R, Eviner V, Kebreab E, Horwath W, Jackson L, Jenkins B, Kaffka S, Kerr A, Lewis J, Mitloehner F, Mitchell J, Scow K, Steenwerth K, Wheeler S. 2017. Review of research to inform California’s climate scoping plan: Agriculture and working lands. California Agriculture 71(3):160-168. https://doi.org/10.3733/ca.2017a0031. This article grew out of conversations with state agencies concerning the need for a review of …

Mitigating methane emissions and off-setting some natural gas demand with bio-methane produced from food waste and dairy manure

Bio-methane produced from all available food waste and dairy manure in the US annually would offset about .74 percent of annual natural gas demand. The bigger savings come in mitigated methane emissions; around 100 Heartland-scale anaerobic digestion facilities can eliminate about 0.41 percent annually of the approximately seven billion tons of overall US greenhouse gas emissions.  Most manure just sits …

Conservation, restoration, & land management actions across global forests, wetlands, grasslands, and ag lands can provide 37% of cost-effective CO2 mitigation needed through 2030 for a >66% chance of holding warming to below 2 °C

PNAS: Natural Climate Solutions  Most nations recently agreed to hold global average temperature rise to well below 2 °C. We examine how much climate mitigation nature can contribute to this goal with a comprehensive analysis of “natural climate solutions” (NCS): 20 conservation, restoration, and/or improved land management actions that increase carbon storage and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions across global forests, …

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are responsible for at least 700,000 deaths each year and cost billions in healthcare spending, lost wages and lost national productivity, est. $100tn and 10m deaths per year by 2050

Excerpt from The Guardian, Oct 2017 Resistant bacteria are a grave threat and getting worse. They are responsible for at least 700,000 deaths around the world each year: 23,000 in the United States, 25,000 in Europe, more than 63,000 babies in India. Beyond those deaths, bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics cause millions of illnesses – 2m annually just in …