Science

Change land use to avoid a hungry future

Change land use to avoid a hungry future”

"Recent coverage of this latest United Nations report depicts animal agriculture as a key problem in the climate change discussion", he said. "However, when compared to other sectors in countries such as the UK, its emissions are significantly less".

In a report on land use released Thursday, the panel said that in certain regions, climate change will force farmers to change from what they're now growing due to factors such as increased heat, flooding, snow and moisture in the air, CNN reported. This is affecting food security, as heat, drought, and changes in rainfall damage crops.

The scientists' report portrayed food that is lost or wasted as a significant contributor of carbon dioxide; that's the primary climate-warming greenhouse gas created by humans.

In a special report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that keeping global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F), as governments agreed in 2015, could be achieved only by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors, including land and food. The good news is that land also acts as a sink for GHGs, and during the 10-year period yielded a net sink of 11.2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Globally, more than 70% of the land surface is used to satisfy people's needs. It notes that the world's food system must change and the population must shift to more sustainable vegetarian and vegan diets. But as countries with historically low meat consumption get wealthier, they will eat more meat and put even more strain on the environment - unless something changes.

In addition, the push to use more of the world's land to produce crops and lumber is contributing to climate change by eliminating natural wetlands and reducing forests that capture greenhouse gases, the author wrote.

The introduction of meatless plant-based protein foods from companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger hasn't arrived a moment too soon to effect (perhaps) a change in people's eating habits. "We have to urgently roll out sustainable farming practices, many of which can be profitable in three to five years". Climate change will worsen the impact of soil loss, the report said. Scientific studies have shown that alternative grains like millets and sorghum could help the country cope better with the impact of global heating on agriculture and variations in supply, than continuing to rely on water-intensive rice and wheat. They are critical for helping the global community mitigate and adapt to climate change in the short term, using soil and vegetations through methods that do not harm the Earth.

There are plenty of obstacles to adopting the report's suggestions around food.

Meat may be a delicious staple for most Swiss but it is not so good for the climate.

In a sign of the growing risk that climate change is seen to pose for countries' economies, Moody's in July bought a controlling interest in a company that measures the physical risks of climate change. "Climate change is a global problem with local solutions of which agriculture plays a key part." .



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