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Posted Tue Nov 2 2010: from ScienceDaily:
Expanding Croplands Decreasing World's Carbon Sinks
Nature's capacity to store carbon, the element at the heart of global climate woes, is steadily eroding as the world's farmers expand croplands at the expense of native ecosystem such as forests. The tradeoff between agricultural production and maintaining nature's carbon reservoirs -- native trees, plants and their carbon-rich detritus in the soil -- is becoming more pronounced as more and more of the world's natural ecosystems succumb to the plow. The problem, experts say, is most acute in the tropics, where expanding agriculture often comes at the expense of the tropical forests that act as massive carbon sinks because of their rich diversity and abundance of plant life. The seriousness of the problem is documented in the most comprehensive and fine-grained analysis of the world's existing carbon stocks and global crop yields. The study is published online this in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, Arizona State University and The Nature Conservancy.... "The main news is that agricultural production by clearing land in the tropics releases a lot of greenhouse gases per unit of food produced."
[Read more stories about: carbon sinks, deforestation, food crisis, rain forest depletion]

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'Doc Michael says:
"Eating ourselves out of house and home" takes on a whole new meaning, doesn't it?

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