Posts Tagged ‘research’

Great challenges ahead demand more agricultural research.

January 29, 2009

In Science (9 Jan) is a report on how climate changes affect the future agricultural production. It looks grim. If IPCC are right the increases in summer heat in 50-60 years leads to 20-30% decrease of production in important European agricultural areas. And in northern Africa – disaster.

But what we needed was a doubling of production!


Is there anything positive to put forward? Some possibilities:


IPCC is wrong. Maybe Svensmark is right and the solar influence on cosmic radiation means more than carbon dioxide (see posts labeled Climate). Then maybe we are better off? Or maybe worse?? In any case we ought to work with climate gases because that is one of our few hopes to affect the situation. Also – the seas are negatively affected by carbon dioxide, regardless of climate effect.


We develop crops and agricultural systems less sensitive to heat and drought. In this work we need the top knowledge and technology available, even if it is spelled GM. We cannot wait and see, this work takes time.


Maybe we should not grow crops in the middle of the summer and instead have one crop in Spring and one in late Summer – Autumn. Something like the systems in India-Pakistan.


We need more research on agricultural ecosystems, integrating aspects on both production and environment as well as sustainability. This is necessary for an acceptable future. But that responsibility lies on the society, not on the agricultural sector of today.