Turning desert to fertile farmland on the Loess Plateau

Posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2018 by

Around 3,000 years ago, farmers settled on the fertile Loess Plateau in western China, a region about the size of France. By the 7th century, the rich soils were feeding about one quarter of the Chinese population. But intense pressure on the land eroded the soil. By the 20th century, desertification had condemned the remaining […]

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Millions of Chinese farmers reap benefits of huge crop experiment

Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2018 by

Rice farmers in China increased their crop yields when they adopted new evidence-based farming practices.Credit: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/REX/Shutterstock A landmark project to make agriculture more sustainable in China has significantly cut fertilizer use while boosting crop yields on millions of small farms across the country, researchers report in Nature1. As part of a decade-long study, scientists […]

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Farmer-scientists driving social change

Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2018 by

On a brilliant day in July, twenty-some years ago, I stood ankle-deep in the cool mud of a fragrant rice field in central Thailand, listening to the farmers around me discuss the bugs on the plants (were these “satru puut” or “satru thammachat”? pests or natural enemies?), and whether or not the Nitrogen-fixing aquatic Azolla they had […]

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A Secret Superpower, Right in Your Backyard

Posted on Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 by

As the verdant hills of Wakanda are secretly enriched with the fictional metal vibranium in “Black Panther,” your average backyard also has hidden superpowers: Its soil can absorb and store a significant amount of carbon from the air, unexpectedly making such green spaces an important asset in the battle against climate change. Backyard soils […]

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How Crushed Volcanic Rock in Farm Soil Could Help Slow Global Warming

Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 by

Volcanic plains tend to be fertile farmland. A new study explores how spreading crushed volcanic rock on farms can increase carbon storage and crop yields. Credit: SounderBruce/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Pulverizing volcanic rock and spreading the dust like fertilizer on farm soils could suck billions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere and boost crop yields […]

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Farming crops with rocks could reduce carbon dioxide

Posted on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 by

A new study has found that farming crops with crushed rocks could help to improve global food security and capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The pioneering research by scientists at the University of Illinois, together with U.S. and international colleagues, suggests that adding fast-reacting silicate rocks to croplands could capture CO2 and give increased […]

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The latest cutting-edge technology changing our landscapes? Trees

Posted on Sunday, January 7th, 2018 by

Most people round here think it’s pretty normal for the earth to just blow away,” says Lynn Briggs. “They seem to think it’s what happens and you just have to live with it. It’s even got a name – they call it fen blow.” But when Lynn and her husband Stephen moved on to their […]

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Land use can achieve 30% of carbon cuts by 2030

Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 by

Rethinking land use – the way we exploit, manage and neglect the land – could achieve  about a third of the carbon cuts needed in the next decade. LONDON, 1 November, 2017 – Land use is often a forgotten priority, yet those of us who wish to contain global warming and avert catastrophic climate […]

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Greening the Earth could fight climate change as efficiently as cutting fossil fuels

Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017 by

Planting trees, revitalizing soil, and other natural environmental actions could prove as effective in fighting climate change as ceasing all oil use across the planet, according to new study published by an international team of scientists in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Better stewardship of the land could have a bigger role in fighting […]

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Restoring U.S. Forests Can Help Solve Our Water Infrastructure Crisis

Posted on Thursday, October 5th, 2017 by

While Washington waits for the details of the Trump administration’s promised trillion-dollar plan to fix American infrastructure, there’s a critical need to focus on the infrastructure that carries our water. One step we can take now to shore up our human-made water infrastructure is to restore the great forests that offer natural infrastructure support. U.S. water infrastructure […]

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