This year, the world and, in particular, developing countries and the poor have been hit by both food and energy crises. As a consequence, prices for many staple foods have risen by up to 100%. When we examine the causes of the food crisis, a growing population, changes in trade patterns, urbanization, dietary changes, biofuel production, and climate change and regional droughts are all responsible. Thus we have a classic increase in prices due to high demand and low supply.
As water demand increases in the United States, the nation's water managers are looking for ways to ensure reliable supplies of water. A new report from the National Research Council, HYDROLOGIC EFFECTS OF A CHANGING FOREST LANDSCAPE, explores how better management of forest resources could increase water supplies and quality and identifies future research needs.
MADISON, WI, JULY 7, 2008 -- The use of on-the-go crop and soil sensors has greatly increased the precision with which farmers can manage their crops. Recently released research in Agronomy Journal questions whether more precise management is necessarily more efficient. They discovered that the law of diminishing returns applies to precision agriculture, calculating how large of an application area is optimal for precision management techniques. According to the authors, this change could present significant cost savings for farmers.
MADISON, WI, JULY 6, 2008 -- Swine production generates large amounts of waste. While this waste contains nutrients that may serve as fertilizer when applied to agricultural fields, the ratio of nutrients in the waste is different than what a crop requires. Application of waste to meet the nitrogen needs of a crop results in application of excess phosphorus which increases the potential for environmental contamination.
WASHINGTON, DC, JULY 7, 2008 -- The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) applauds the visionary action taken by Senator Sherrod Brown and his colleagues in the Senate who helped usher in legislation to recognize soils as an "essential" natural resource, placing soil on par with water and air.
(Washington, DC July 8, 2008) A new partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD) and the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont will help decision makers more accurately determine the costs and benefits of actions that alter ecosystem services -- the goods and services of nature such as clean air and water, erosion and flood control, soil enrichment, and food and fiber. Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems.
Geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites provide information for both weather prediction and long-term climate records. In 2006, budgetary constraints resulted in the loss of several U.S. satellite measurement capabilities, mainly those involved with the study of long-term climate records.
AMES, Iowa -- Ground cover may be one workable method to reduce the effects of erosion that future biomass harvests are predicted to bring.
Iowa State University researchers are looking at ways to use ground cover, a living grass planted between the rows of corn, in production farming.
ANN ARBOR, Mich.---A new mathematical model indicates that dust devils, water spouts, tornadoes, hurricanes and cyclones are all born of the same mechanism and will intensify as climate change warms the Earth's surface.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A Brown University-led research team has for the first time discovered evidence of water that came from deep within the Moon, a revelation that strongly suggests water has been a part of the Moon since its early existence and perhaps ever since it was created by a cataclysmic collision between the early Earth and a Mars-sized object about 4.5 billion years ago.
Washington, D.C. Using new techniques, scientists have discovered for the first time that tiny beads of volcanic glasses collected from two Apollo missions to the Moon contain water. The researchers found that, contrary to previous thought, water was not entirely vaporized in the violent events that formed the Moon. The new study suggests that the water came from the Moon's interior and was delivered to the surface via volcanic eruptions over 3 billion years ago.
Tugboats puff out more soot for the amount of fuel used than other commercial vessels, and large cargo ships emit more than twice as much soot as previously estimated, according to the first extensive study of commercial vessel soot emissions. Scientists from NOAA and the University of Colorado conducted the study and present their findings in the July 11 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
NOAA will lead a research expedition July 7-26 to study the wrecks ofthree German submarines sunk by U.S. forces in 1942 off the coast ofNorth Carolina during the Battle of the Atlantic.
After completing their simulation component in the German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System (GITEWS), the team for tsunami modelling of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association has presented the currently leading software system for tsunami events with the potential for catastrophe. It is now being integrated into the Decision Support System (DSS) of the German Aerospace Center in Oberpfaffenhofen. It is to resume its test mode in Indonesia in November.
The ice cover in the Arctic Ocean at the end of summer 2008 will lie, with almost 100 per cent probability, below that of the year 2005 the year with the second lowest sea ice extent ever measured. Chances of an equally low value as in the extreme conditions of the year 2007 lie around eight per cent. Climate scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association come to this conclusion in a recent model calculation.