Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘farming’

YESTERDAY Was World Soil Day 2014

Posted by feww on December 6, 2014

CRITICALLY LOW LEVELS of Topsoil Have Already Been Reached: FIRE-EARTH, EDRO

Did you know?

Soil is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production and for services to ecosystems and human well-being. It is the reservoir for at least a quarter of global biodiversity, and therefore requires the same attention as above-ground biodiversity. Soils play a key role in the supply of clean water and resilience to floods and droughts. The largest store of terrestrial carbon is in the soil so that its preservation may contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The maintenance or enhancement of global soil resources is essential if humanity’s need for food, water, and energy security is to be met. FAO

And now, the rest of the story:

Topsoil

[The following was published by our colleagues at EDRO on February 18, 2008. Reprinted with permission from EDRO. ]

No Good for Farming!

“A [farmer] took up land [in Saskatchewan], dug a cellar and built a frame house on top of it; ploughed up the prairie and grew wheat and oats. After 20 years he decided the country was no good for farming, for eight feet of his soil had gone and he had to climb up into his house.” —Richard St. Barbe Baker, My Life, My Trees [Quoted by John Jeavons in How to Grow More Vegetables]

Land Use And Topsoil

once-a-forest.jpg
Once A Forest!
Photo credit: UNEP

Topsoil

Measuring an average of about 6.6 inches (16.76 centimeters) deep, topsoil is the upper layer of earth’s crust. Topsoil comprises of a mix of humus, mineral and composted materials giving rise to most of the soil’s biological activity and supplying nutrients to plants and therefore to animals. After air and water, topsoil is Earth’s most vital resource.

Topsoil: Wild Facts

topsoil-af8.png
Table TS1. Topsoil: Wild Facts
Note: The average bulk density of topsoil is calculated at about 1.4 gcm
-3

Causes of soil degradation

  • Soil erosion, salination, deforestation, overexploitation for fuelwood, overgrazing, nutrient depletion, large scale agricultural activities, industrialization and desertification.
  • The rate of degradation is increased exponentially against large scale agriculture.
  • Severe loss of arable land is affecting our ability to feed the world population.
  • Soil degradation is occurring globally, both in poor and wealthy countries.

Land Use and Degradation

soil-land-degradation-s.jpg
Table TS2. Earth: Land use and degradation

Note: The estimates for Biologically Productive Land are from a 2002 FAO report: The State of Food and Agriculture FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Rome, 2005, ISBN 92-5-105349-9

References [accessed February 1-17, 2008]

Posted in Global Disaster watch, News Alert | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

‘Britain Running Out of Wheat’

Posted by feww on April 6, 2013

Unseasonably cold spring severely affecting Britain’s wheat and vegetable crops

“The last 12 months have been unreal for farmers. Last April we had a drought and talk of a hosepipe ban, then we had to contend with heavy rains and flooding and then the wintery weather, frozen land and snow,” the National Farmers Union (NFU) said.

UK temperatures over the past week fell to among the coldest experienced in April for nearly 100 years, with maximum temperatures barely above the freezing in many parts of the southeast, according to local reports.

At -11.2ºC (11.8 degrees Fahrenheit), the village of Braemar in Scotland, about 90 km west of Aberdeen, on Tuesday, held the joint coldest April weather anywhere in the UK for nearly a century.

The unseasonably cold spring is severely affecting Britain’s wheat and vegetable crops.

“A disastrous 12-month cycle of poor weather has ruined harvests across the UK, costing farmers an estimated £500m, the chief economist of the National Farmers Union (NFU) warned,” said a report.

“The crop damage deals a further blow to Britain’s beleaguered farming industry, which is already reeling from a spate of recent livestock deaths due to the cold weather. To make matters worse, the weather has made planting new crops more difficult and damaged many of the seeds that have been sown in recent weeks.” The report said.

UK is expected to import about 1.5m tons more wheat than it exports this “crop year,” from July 2012 to June 2013, which compares to net exports of 1.6m tons last crop year and 2.2m tons 4 years ago, the report quoted the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) as saying.

Potato plantings are also down from  30,000 hectare this time last year to just 4,000 hectares, as of March end 2013.

The cold weather has also led to a heightened demand for gas, pushing the wholesale price much higher and forcing the government to source emergency deliveries of liquified gas from Qatar.

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Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Global Food Shortages, global Temperature Anomalies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Image of the Day: Southern Spain

Posted by feww on June 15, 2008

Desertification of Southern Spain


The land of southern Spain has dried, leading to rationing and disputes over water. Photo: Monica Gumm for The International Herald Tribune. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

The average surface temperature in Spain has risen 2.7 degrees compared with about 1.4 degrees globally since 1880, records show. (Source)

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »