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Warming agriculture

if some time ago I wrote about "Agriculture-Forest", a direct continuation is the need for agriculture in which the natural environment will not be harmed and greenhouse gas emissions will be moderated.

Illustration: pixabay.
Illustration: pixabay.

Attempts to discuss the "contribution" of agriculture to global warming have been rejected over the years. There has always been opposition to this and for understandable reasons. Even when the connection became clear, discussion of the issue was prevented mainly by poor countries who feared that attempts to reduce emissions from agricultural farms would harm productivity, while rich countries feared that they would have to pay poor farmers so that they could adapt to climate change.

The need to discuss the issue is clear since agriculture and other land uses "contribute" about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The mitigation of emissions from agricultural land is essential to moderate the warming. Indeed there are also environmental crops since plantations absorb carbon so that relatively simple actions by growers in many countries will allow an immediate return to the environment.

In previous years, climate discussions revolved mainly around reducing emissions from industries and energy producers who are the biggest emitters, while the relationship between agriculture and warming was not clear.

Only onClimate conference in Bonn (November 2017) "The freeze was thawed", when the representatives of the countries agreed to discuss and act on the issue of the impact of agriculture on climate change and today there is a willingness to look for ways and solutions, with many hoping that the willingness will lead to the development of disposal methods that will be more resistant to climate change, along with a reduction in emissions. All this together with and in combination of producing more food in a given area. It is also necessary to take into account the fact that more and more populations that were almost vegetarian are switching to consuming more meat and milk, which means that it becomes clear that we need to find ways to provide more food in general and more meat and milk without increasing emissions.

There are those who describe the relationship between agriculture and the climate as a "sad marriage", since it is clear that the climate and agriculture are connected and connected to each other, but the connections are not always positive. For example, it is clear that occasional rain is a positive phenomenon for agriculture, but cultivation and cultivation methods cause emissions that cause warming, and warming causes extreme climate phenomena that harm crops.

According to the warnings of various sources, "by the end of this century the temperatures will rise by two to five degrees". Climate change is already manifesting itself in extreme storms, cold or heat waves, hailstorms and, above all, long drought periods, extreme weather phenomena that will worsen and cause pressure on farmers and agriculture. From this it turns out that farmers are also obligated to prevent emissions and curb warming, a curb that requires, among other things, changes in the methods of food production and its distribution to consumers.

As the demand to create food increases, so does the damage to the natural environment and biodiversity. In order to stop the trend, a change is needed that will require, among other things, consumer education, and in the West there is already a trend towards changes in consumption. It will be necessary to implement a similar trend in developing countries where the consumption of red meat is increasing. And again, the production and consumption of meat causes more emissions than other types of food.

According to FAO, the UN Food Organization, when 70% of the world's water consumption is directed to agriculture, it is possible and necessary to improve the efficiency of water use. For example: saving water by methods such as drip irrigation (instead of flooding canals). In this way, it will be possible to use about 20 million square meters of land that has been neglected due to lack of water and decreased productivity, which will lead to increased food production.

An Australian fund named EAT appointed a group of scientists who are supposed to build a healthy nutritional menu that will also be sustainable, meaning that the growth and production of food will not harm the environment (our Ministry of Health published guidelines for a healthy menu but without environmental reference).

"Forest-pasture" in the state of Georgia, USA. Photo: Mack Evans, Private landowner / National Agroforestry Center.
"Forest-pasture" in the state of Georgia, USA. Photo: Mack Evans, Private landowner / National Agroforestry Center.

About a third of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are caused by farm animals, emissions that can be mitigated by planting trees in the pasture areas ("forest-pasture", Silvopastoral) and also to improve the quality of the pasture. Since Brazil is one of the largest producers of meat and where forests have also been cut down to provide pastures for cattle, it is only natural that a Brazilian research agency (Embrapa) initiates the implementation and expansion of the forest-pasture method.

In order to develop agricultural areas, forests have been cut down (to this day) in the order of three-quarters of all the cuttings in the world, and if the trend continues and forests will continue to be created to develop agriculture, by 2050 another 10 million square kilometers of forests will be cut down. Therefore, the challenge for farmers and food producers is to produce more food without harming the forests.

According to a report by the Food Organization, it is possible to increase food production and at the same time increase the area of ​​forests. Indeed, there are already countries that apply the method. All that is needed to implement this method in other countries is the sharing of knowledge, as well as the sharing of the flow of information about the weather that will allow farmers to know when it is worthwhile to sow, because rain is coming or alternately when to avoid planting because there is a risk of drought. The information that will reach the farmers will allow them to make informed decisions regarding the time of planting, and which types of plants should be planted. For example, people from Microsoft and the International Institute for Agricultural Research "run" a project in equatorial and arid regions to automatically send written messages containing weather forecasts that include information about the appropriate time to sow or the risk of pests, etc.

Various institutions and researches are looking for ways and methods to produce more produce and more food from a given area. for example, Was discovered A genetic mechanism that makes it possible to increase grain yields. Israel also has a significant part in the development of varieties that will yield larger crops in a small area, and this is how Israeli breeders and researchers contribute to the global trend.

Investments and political will are needed to expand and develop such projects, as the world is at the beginning of the struggle for greener and more environmental agriculture. The real test will be if countries pass regulations and laws that will allow and expand businesses and industries to change the way food is produced and distributed and at the same time a fundamental change in the way of consumption, that is, in the behavior of consumers.

On the sidelines, it is worth mentioning the state of agriculture and farmers in Israel. Over the years, magnificent agriculture has developed in the country. The name of the products and the processing methods are famous all over the world, methods and products that are updated every now and then and put Israeli agriculture and farmers at the top of the pyramid. But we are in times of drought and lack of working hands in the industry. It's a shame that the difficulties of the climate and natural disasters are compounded by policies that do not support it. Because, when, in addition to periods of drought, water prices are raised, when taxes are imposed on the employment of foreign workers, when the Minister of Agriculture supports "variety" instead of farmers, or when his support for agriculture is expressed by praying at the Western Wall, all that is needed is for him to stand in a circle and announce that he will not leave until there is a rescue for the farmers , and we have already said hallelujah!

4 תגובות

  1. Interesting article. In this context, in recent years an ecological field has been developing around agriculture in which agricultural waste (pruning, bark, etc.) is heated at a high temperature in special facilities to produce coal. The coal is called biochar and has high adsorption properties for fertilizer and water. One of the uses is agricultural land reclamation. Thanks to holding the fertilizer and water, the coal maintains their availability to the plant's root and thus the farmers can reduce fertilization and irrigation. From an ecological point of view, the carbonization process fixes the atmospheric carbon in the plant for thousands of years and when the carbon is deposited in the soil, 'carbon drainage' is performed - one of the methods announced at the 2017 Paris conference to reduce greenhouse gases. The biochar in the soil improves the activity of the nitrogen cycle and thus also reduces the emission of nitrogen oxides - another greenhouse gas. Experiments in the world and in Israel have shown an improvement in crops with the addition of carbon in the soil.

  2. Compared to Mars, the temperature here is higher,
    Although the mass here binds the gases more, the temperature is higher. As for the field, it is now either resetting or reversing polarity. A weak field aids volatilization.

  3. Besides the heating, it occurred to me that there was another thing that scientists were just beginning to pay attention to.
    evaporation of the atmosphere. I can think of 3 factors for this: temperature, star mass, magnetic field.
    I guess they measure the amount of oxygen and other gases in the atmosphere.

  4. It is true that the Minister of Agriculture is trash, but we have to remember that water prices are rising because the government decided to stop the subsidy. Farmers will have to find a way to profit from the real price of water.
    It's just a shame that the money that went to subsidize water for agriculture goes to the nonsense of primitive believers.

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