Agriculture as bad as deforestation for climate change, says report
Some 133-billion tonnes of carbon have been removed from the top 2m of the earth’s soil — but this can be better managed
New York — Agriculture has contributed nearly as much to climate change as deforestation by intensifying global warming, according to US research that has quantified the amount of carbon taken from the soil by farming. Some 133-billion tonnes of carbon have been removed from the top 2m of the earth’s soil over the past two centuries by agriculture at a rate that is increasing, said the study in PNAS, a journal published by the National Academy of Sciences. Global warming is largely due to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from such activities as burning fossil fuels and cutting down trees that absorb greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. But this research showed the significance of agriculture as a contributing factor as well, said Jonathan Sanderman, a soil scientist at the Woods Hole Research Centre in Falmouth, Massachusetts and one of the authors of the research.
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