New and emerging technologies could pave the way to net-zero carbon emissions agriculture in the next two decades, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) last month. A host of new and emerging agricultural technologies lie on the horizon that could revolutionize how we think about food production, but a separate report published in the journal One Earth suggests that low-tech solutions could be just as effective. Agriculture and food production account for 34% of global greenhouse gas emissions, making these sectors critical in efforts to address our current overshoot of the climate planetary boundary. They are also having profound impacts on freshwater, biodiversity, and nitrogen and phosphorous nutrient cycling — each of them planetary boundaries that we must balance if we are to keep conditions on Earth habitable for generations to come. Yet, within the agri-food problem may lie a golden opportunity for climate solutions: That’s because the productivity and, ultimately, the profitability of agri-food systems are based on photosynthesis, a process that removes CO2 from the atmosphere, and our agricultural lands have huge potential to become a net carbon sink and contribute positively to addressing the climate emergency. Researchers hope to replace existing technologies with low-emission equivalents, including green methods for synthesizing fertilizers and replacement of fossil fuel-powered farm equipment with electric equivalents run by renewables. Image by Chris_LeBoutillier via Pixabay (Public domain). Novel tech’s key role in curbing carbon emissions In a perspective article for PNAS, Daniel Northrup…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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