Farmers around the world are using ever-larger amounts of nitrogen fertilizers to improve yields and harvest more food. But the synthetic fertilizers, along with manure produced by livestock and used as a natural fertilizer, are the "dominant driver" in rising levels of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere, said a paper published Wednesday in Nature.
The world’s top five meat and dairy companies — JBS, Tyson, Cargill, Dairy Farmers of America, and Fonterra — emit more greenhouse gases between them than ExxonMobil, Shell, or BP, according to a new report from the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy and GRAIN.
If the world raised organic production and moved toward a vegetarian diet, farmers could feed the global population without converting large amounts of virgin land like forests to crops, says a new study in the journal Nature Communications.
The EPA erred when it set the target for biofuels use in 2016 below the levels specified by Congress, said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a decision that vacated the regulation and ordered EPA to try again. The three-judge panel said EPA improperly interpreted the "inadequate supply provision" that allows it to waive the statutory targets for renewable fuel use.
The Swiss company Climeworks says it’s the first to develop a “commercial carbon dioxide capture plant” that can suck the greenhouse gas directly out of the air. It’s the kind of solution, some experts say, that is imperative given the dire pace of climate change.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has extended the state’s climate plan for another decade by signing into law a bundle of bills meant to lower greenhouse-gas emissions. “The legislation puts California at the forefront of plans by mostly Democratic governors to reduce carbon emissions and adhere to the goals of the Paris climate change accord after Republican President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the pact,” says Reuters.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed an agreement to fight climate change this week during his trip to Alaska for the Arctic Council, a multinational group that includes Russia and Canada. “The Arctic agreement Tillerson signed with foreign ministers from the other seven nations of the council, including Russia, Canada and Norway, made only a passing reference to the Paris pact,” reports Reuters. “It noted ‘entry into force’ of the pact and its implementation and called for global action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.”
President Trump officially rolled back Obama’s Clean Power Plan, signing a document called the “Energy Independence” executive order, says The New York Times. Even though many economists have said that the rise in demand for natural gas — and not climate change regulations — are to blame for a depressed coal market, Trump promised his order would put the miners back to work.
Women make up two-fifths of the agricultural work force in developing countries yet are often at a disadvantage in gaining access to land, credit, training and "inputs" such as seed and fertilizer, says the Farming First coalition. A research paper underlines that point by looking at differences in fertilizer use by women and men farmers.
About 70 percent of Americans want government regulations on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, yet government officials are poised to roll back coal restrictions, says The New York Times, laying out public opinion on climate change in a series of maps.