What do termites have to do with climate change? Potentially a lot, according to research recently published in Science (subscription required to read the full text of the study). Through their excavations, termites actually change the composition of soil in the African savanna. The tunnels the termites create hold water better and the insects will add clay or sand to soil depending on whether its too loose or stiff, turning their mounds into “nutrient islands” where both vegetation and other animals thrive better than in the surrounding land. Even in times of low rainfall the researchers show that termite mounds keep vegetation while vegetation around the mounds decreases. And when rains return, the termite homes help bring vegetation back to the entire area. This means “that the termite mounds are an insurance policy against climate change, protecting the vegetation on them from water scarcity,” writes Science senior correspondent Elizabeth Pennisi about the research. The research suggests that if land with termite mounds is turned into farmland the resiliency the mounds offer could be lost as well, making it much easier for the landscape to become degraded for good.
Agroforestry Mitigates Climate Change
Climate changes, as one of the biggest threats to a global food security, highly influence natural resources that are essential for crop production. Farming is not only affected by the impact of climate changes, but it’s also a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. Intensive farm practices that include both farm production and change of land use, directly affect the global carbon, water, and nutrient cycles. Farming, as a direct driver for 80% of global deforestation, also releases...
Carbon Sequestration: Addressing Climate Change and Food Security through Sustainable Agriculture
Introduction To meet the demands of a growing, increasingly urban global population (approximately 9 billion by 2050), the World Bank calculates that global food production must increase by 70% in the next 35 years.This is a great challenge not only because of the volume of food that must be produced, but because agricultural conditions will not remain constant or predicable in the years to come. It is still unclear how and to what extent climate change will affect agricultural conditions. Some regions might...
Paleoclimatology: Examples of Ecological Impacts from Prehistoric Climate Change
Introduction Climate change is a pressing issue that has received a lot of attention from the media, our political leaders, and research institutions. Much research is produced on the environmental, ecological, and societal impacts of global warming. Discussions about climate change often focus on mitigation and adaptation to future climate scenarios. The purpose of this article is to shed light on past climates, which are useful for predicting the future environmental impacts of climate change. Paleoclimatology...
The Climate is Changing. Food and Agriculture Must Change Too.
On October 16th, we celebrate World Food Day. It is a day of action against hunger, which is one of the biggest global challenges. Since we expect that global population will reach 9.6 billion by 2050, we need to act now. Our global goal is to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. This is because, food is the basic human need and without addressing climate change, we cannot produce sufficient quantities to reach that goal. Since climate change is a fundamental threat to global food security, this year’s theme of...
Paris Climate Change Agreement: What next?
The Paris Climate Change Agreement took a huge leap forward on 3 September when the world`s two biggest economies and emitters of greenhouse gases – the USA and China – announced that they would formally ratify the accord. This brings hope that the deal will be concluded this year. It also piles pressure on the UK to swiftly formalise its commitment to a contract it shaped and take its place among the 55 countries (representing 55% of global emissions) required to bring the Paris agreement into...