Dr. Daniel Hillel was recently honored with the World Food Prize for his pioneering work in sustainable agriculture.
The worst drought to hit the U.S. in decades has already brought corn yields to a 17-year low and will almost certainly raise food prices. Wealth will soften the blow in the U.S., but in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, prolonged drought has often had deadly consequences. Is there a better way to anticipate climate’s effect on food production?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that droughts will likely increase in central North America this century. How can we prepare for a future of perpetual drought?
The rains came late this year in Kenya. I was there for several months in the winter and spring to conduct research for a post-doctoral fellowship, examining the consequences of increases in fertilizer use on soil fertility, maize yields, nitrogen gas emissions and nitrogen leaching losses.
Much of the modern understanding of climate change is underpinned by pioneering studies done at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Here’s a timeline of significant studies.
Soil is the source of all life. Yet “we know more about soils of Mars than about soils of Africa,” says Pedro Sanchez, director of the Earth Institute’s Tropical Agriculture and the Rural Environment Program. To remedy this situation, the Earth Institute is taking part in an ambitious undertaking to map the world’s soils.
The new Africa Monitoring System aims to help land managers and policy makers identify and tackle tradeoffs between intensified food production on the African continent and the vital services provided by healthy ecosystems.
As population grows and demand for food and products increase, so does our demand for water. But in the face of growing pressure on our water resources from depletion, pollution and climate change, we need to make more of what we have.
It is a unique challenge of our generation that many in the developing world have cellular phones and TVs, but lack reliable access to water. Odd, perhaps, given that water is marketed as essential for life, a human right, and heart rending pictures of women and children walking miles to fetch water are routinely flashed to tug at everyone’s heart strings.