Tag Archives: agricultural

Domestic livestock plays no significant role in climate changes

Albrecht Glatzle. Domestic Livestock and Its Alleged Role in Climate Change. http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.80389

It is very old wisdom that climate dictates farm management strategies. In recent years, however, we are increasingly confronted with claims that agriculture, livestock husbandry, and even food consumption habits are forcing the climate to change. We subjected this worrisome concern expressed by public institutions, the media, policy makers, and even scientists to a rigorous review, cross-checking critical coherence and(in)compatibilities within and between published scientific papers. Our key conclusionis there is no need for anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and even less so for livestock-born emissions, to explain climate change. Climate has always been changing, and even the present warming is most likely driven by natural factors. The warming potential of anthropogenic GHG emissions has been exaggerated, and the beneficial impacts of manmade CO2 emissions for nature, agriculture, and global food secu- rity have been systematically suppressed, ignored, or at least downplayed by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and other UN (United Nations) agencies.Furthermore, we expose important methodological deficiencies in IPCC and FAO (Food Agriculture Organization) instructions and applications for the quantification of the manmade part of non-CO2-GHG emissions from agro-ecosystems. However, so far, thesefatal errors inexorably propagated through scientific literature. Finally, we could not find a clear domestic livestock fingerprint, neither in the geographical methane distributionnor in the historical evolution of mean atmospheric methane concentration. In conclu-sion, everybody is free to choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, but there is no scientificbasis, whatsoever, for claiming this decision could contribute to save the planet’s climate.

Climate change will help U.S. corn production

“Contrary to previous analyses, research published by Michigan State University shows that projected changes in temperature and humidity will not lead to greater water use in corn. This means that while changes in temperatures and humidity trend as they have in the past 50 years, crop yields can not only survive – but thrive.” click here

Central US Climate Changes Attributed to Agriculture

Ross E. Alter, Hunter C. Douglas, Jonathan M. Winter, Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 20th-century regional climate change in the central United States attributed to agricultural intensification. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075604

Both land-use changes and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have significantly modified regional climate over the last century. In the central United States, for example, observational data indicate that rainfall increased, surface air temperature decreased, and surface humidity increased during the summer over the course of the 20th century concurrently with increases in both agricultural production and global GHG emissions. However, the relative contributions of each of these forcings to the observed regional changes remain unclear. Results of both regional climate model simulations and observational analyses suggest that much of the observed rainfall increase – as well as the decrease in temperature and increase in humidity – is attributable to agricultural intensification in the central United States, with natural variability and GHG emissions playing secondary roles. Thus, we conclude that 20th-century land-use changes contributed more to forcing observed regional climate change during the summer in the central United States than increasing GHG emissions.

Agriculture Associated with Central US Cooling Trend, Crop Growth

“Human activity has caused a significant long-term cooling trend (-0.35°C between the 1940s and 2009) and higher rainfall totals via the mechanism of “agricultural intensification” – a photosynthesis-associated increase in the air’s water vapor or humidity levels due to an explosive (400%) increase in crop production and yield since the 1940s.” click here

Agricultural Compounds and Birth Defects Revisited

Reviews of this type are published every so often to draw attention to a problem that has been studied for many years from several different perspectives. Such studies can paint an alarming picture. But closer scrutiny usually reveals methodological limitations that call into question the validity of the findings. So the outcome is usually a recommendation for more research.

Brender JD, Weyer PJ. Agricultural Compounds in Water and Birth Defects. Current Environmental Health Reports. 2016 Mar 23.

Agricultural compounds have been detected in drinking water, some of which are teratogens in animal models. The most commonly detected agricultural compounds in drinking water include nitrate, atrazine, and desethylatrazine. Arsenic can also be an agricultural contaminant, although arsenic often originates from geologic sources. Nitrate has been the most studied agricultural compound in relation to prenatal exposure and birth defects. In several case-control studies published since 2000, women giving birth to babies with neural tube defects, oral clefts, and limb deficiencies were more likely than control mothers to be exposed to higher concentrations of drinking water nitrate during pregnancy. Higher concentrations of atrazine in drinking water have been associated with abdominal defects, gastroschisis, and other defects. Elevated arsenic in drinking water has also been associated with birth defects. Since these compounds often occur as mixtures, it is suggested that future research focus on the impact of mixtures, such as nitrate and atrazine, on birth defects.

Review of Solarvoltaic Water Pumping System Technology

Chandel SS, Nagaraju Naik M, Chandel R. Review of solar photovoltaic water pumping system technology for irrigation and community drinking water supplies. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews. Sep2015, Vol. 49, p1084-1099.

The deficit in electricity and high diesel costs affects the pumping requirements of community water supplies and irrigation; so using solar energy for water pumping is a promising alternative to conventional electricity and diesel based pumping systems. Solar water pumping is based on photovoltaic (PV) technology that converts solar energy into electrical energy to run a DC or AC motor based water pump. The main objective of the study is to present a comprehensive literature review of solar pumping technology, evaluate the economic viability, identify research gaps and impediments in the widespread propagation of solar water pumping systems and technology. The study focuses on update on solar water pumping technology, performance analysis, optimum sizing, degradation of PV generator supplying power to pump, economic and environmental aspects and advances in PV materials and efficiency improvements. An update on the current state of research and utilization of solar water pumping technology is presented. Factors affecting performance of PV water pumping system, degradation of PV modules and efficiency improving techniques of PV water pumping systems are identified. Solar water pumping is found to be economically viable in comparison to electricity or diesel based systems for irrigation and water supplies in rural, urban and remote regions. The investment payback for some PV water pumping systems is found to be 4–6 years. The recent Indian incentives for PV pumping and policy initiatives for the promotion of solar water pumping in developing countries are also discussed. Potential follow-up research areas are also identified.

Alum Sludge Reuse in Agricultural Applications

Dassanayake KB, Jayasinghe GY, Surapaneni A, Hetherington C. A review on alum sludge reuse with special reference to agricultural applications and future challenges. Waste Management (New York, N.Y.) 2015 Feb 2

Alum salts are commonly used in the water industry to promote coagulation in the production of clean drinking water, which results in the generation and accumulation of ‘waste’ by-product ‘alum sludge’ in large volumes. Effective and efficient management of alum sludge in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner remains a significant social and environmental concern with ever increasing demand for potable water as a result of rapidly escalating world population and urban expansion. Various intensive practices have been employed to reuse the alum sludge in an attempt to figure out how to fill the gap between successful drinking water treatment process and environmentally friendly alum sludge management for over the years. This paper primarily aimed at comprehensive review of the existing literature on alum sludge characteristics, its environmental concerns and their potential utilization, especially in agricultural and horticultural sectors leading to update our recent state of knowledge and formulate a compendium of present and past developments. Different types of alum sludge utilizations in various fields were recognized and examined. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and potential risks of alum sludge reuse options with particular reference to agriculture were highlighted and knowledge gaps were identified. Research priorities and future challenges that will support in the development of effective alum sludge management practices in agriculture with multi-prong strategies were discussed.