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Emissions Impacts of Covert Tropical Deforestation Revealed

As cacao production in West Africa continues to decline during the current period of record-high demand for chocolate South American nations such as Peru have been rushing to expand the land under cacao cultivation to fill the gap. That, in turn, is accelerating the pace of deforestation and the degradation of other crucial ecosystems and the life-supporting services and products…

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Desert agriculture may amplify the process of burying carbon deep below the surface in aquifers

A Hidden Carbon Sink Underneath the World’s Deserts?

About 40 percent of the carbon dioxide released from deforestation and burning fossil fuel stays in the atmosphere. Another 30 percent is taken up in the oceans. It was thought that the remaining 30 percent of anthropogenic carbon was absorbed by plants on land, but subsequent measurements didn’t bear that out, leading to the question of the “missing carbon sink.” The…

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Drought, Climate Change Exacts Heavy Toll In Central America

From Panama on up, the greenhouse effect and the onset of El Niño is leading to more in the way of drought and extreme variability in weather patterns. Drought across El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua displaced some 2 million rural residents, mostly smallholder farmers and their families this year. In Panama, rainfall this spring has set a new record low and residents have been coping with a heat wave.

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Costa Rica Makes Use of New Climate-Smart Agriculture Tool

Tropical forest conservation has been a hallmark of Costa Rica’s ecosystems-based development model. Now, Costa Rican farmers are making use of a new climate-smart software tool developed by the World Bank and UN FAO to enhance output as well as enhance resiliency and reduce GHG emissions and environmental degradation.

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Lofty Agricultural Ambitions Fall in Face of Political-Economic Realities

Broad-based international ambitions aimed at reorienting the globalized system of agricultural development are falling in the face of dominance of multinational enterprises. Nonetheless, taking a bottom-up, “grass roots” approach that supports small farms and farmers would be the best means of fostering positive, broad-based agricultural development and gains, as well as enhancing overall socioeconomic and ecological sustainability, according to the German League for Nature, Animal Protection and Environment.

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Dead-Zone Nutrient Reduction Target Pushed Out to 2035

Progress has been achieved in certain watersheds, but pushing back the target date to reduce run-off of nitrogen and phosphorous two decades is a testament to the extent and intractability of the problem.

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South Dakota Project Reveals Benefits of Healthy Soils

With 2015 the International Year of Soils, agriculture scientists using no-till methods including planting crop cover that enhanced and conserved soil also retained much more water and raised crop yields substantially.