World Food Day #WorldFoodDay
Image: 'Change' Composite image combining elements from sky, water and land.
Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.
Continental cooling is the process of filling dry salt lakes and sea beds with sea water to establish new micro-climatic conditions around the restored water bodies and to reduce the impact of continental drying and warming of dryland ecosystems.
Our capacity to produce food is being compromised through land degradation. Today, about 50% of arable land is moderately or severely affected by land degradation. Land degradation affects 1.5 billion people directly, including most of those least able to deal with the emerging crisis. Degraded land ceases to be able to support past yields. Instead, the ground tracks towards infertility or desertification. Persistent land degradation will lead to desertification and the loss of the land for agricultural purposes. These changes lead to wide-scale population displacement and are vectors for social disruption and conflict.
A significant contributor to improving land degradation is local warming and the lack of water. The gradual removal of water from the surface and subsurface results in less agricultural yield and the emergence of arid landscapes, typified by lakes drying into large sterile salt lakes and the retreat of some large salt water seas.
The current debate about the swap of energy sources from coal powered generators to alternative energy generators (wind, solar, nuclear) will not address the problem caused by the loss of arable land to degraded land. Even if the Paris Accord objectives are met and temperature change limited to an increase of fewer than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, this will not slow the dramatic loss of arable land (which is presently estimated at 12 million hectares lost pa). This will have an alarming impact on world agricultural outputs.
It is clear that other proposals need to be considered to reverse the loss of arable land.
The effect of large intermittent water bodies on local climates is well understood. For more than a century, there have been calls for some governments facing desertification to engage in large scale processes to flood dry salt lakes and sea beds. In Australia, calls to divert fresh water rivers from emptying into the sea and instead to empty them into inland lakes, resulted in the establishment of large new artificial lakes to provide water to inland agricultural areas. However, schemes to flood dry interior lakes have not proceeded.
It is time to reconsider these projects on a Global basis. The diversion of freshwater has failed to achieve earlier goals of creating micro-climatic change in dryland ecosystems. Diversion of large volumes of seawater into the salt water basins now needs to be seriously considered to help cool dry land areas (creating areas of freshwater precipitation, cooling through rain cloud reflection) and creating the circumstances necessary to achieve restoration of degraded land. The restoration of degraded land and the possibility that large areas of semi-arid land might be opened up to sustainable higher yield agriculture is one of a number of important initiatives that need to be considered as we face this emerging crisis.
This is one of a series of posts prepared by individuals on Google+ as part of World Food Day. Check out the others using the hashtag: #WorldFoodDay
We'd like to invite you to help us spread awareness on food security and climate change with the hashtag #WorldFoodDay
. Our planet, Earth, needs us to discuss and find solutions on how to grow food in a sustainable way or how to reduce food losses.
This is an expansive topic, so there is a lot to talk about: like the well-being of ecosystems and rural populations, finding solutions to reduce emissions...
There are lots of ways to explore the theme of World Food Day!
Share your post in a Collection or a Community with the hashtag #WorldFoodDay
between Thursday, October 13th and Wednesday, October 19th.