Published by the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, Environment Reports is a collaboration between an international group of scientists, writers, and designers to combine incisive narratives about environmental challenges, backed up by cutting-edge data. Food Matters, the first report, focuses on the sustainability of our global food system. The article below—Is climate change a risk to global grazing lands?—is reproduced here by permission.
We found that areas where livestock grazing is an important part of local food availability (Fig. 3, dark red) and economies (dark blue) experience the highest levels of CVP (coefficient of variation of precipitation).
Researchers at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment have used household census data to map smallholder farms in developing countries. Despite the fact that smallholder and family farms are crucial to feeding the planet, little is known regarding the location and size of smallholder farms. This study attempts to fill this knowledge gap.
A recent perspective piece published in Nature Climate Change by researchers Philip Thornton and Mario Herrero suggests that we still know very little about how climate change will impact these mixed farms and especially the interactions between crops and livestock. This is alarming as mixed farming systems form the backbone of smallholder production in developing countries,producing over 90% of the world’s milk supply and 80% of the meat from ruminants.
The Butcher, by Marc Chagall, 1910 (via Wikipaintings). Should you become vegetarian to help mitigate against global warming? Well, you could, or you might try just eating less meat, if you’re one of some 1 billion people chronically eating too much food. On the other hand, you might try helping some 1 billion small-scale livestock …
The farmyard, by Marc Chagall, 1954 (via Wikipaintings). Without big interventions, the future of food security looks bleak. So says an article in One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World Website. The clear message from . . . the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report is the urgent need for farmers to adapt to a changing …
Tara Garnet, of the Food Climate Research Network (FCRN), at Oxford University, recently highlighted a paper published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The paper, Biomass use, production, feed efﬁciencies, and greenhouse gas emissions from global livestock systems, is written by livestock scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI, Kenya) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO, Australia).