Researchers say only way to guarantee enough food in 2050 is if the world turns vegan – ecowatch

Agriculture on hills in the Burundian countryside. Electricity origin The green patches are tea. Electricity in water Until recently most of these hills were completely forested. Electricity word search Photo credit: Jane Boles / Flickr

With a global transition to veganism unlikely, the study explores the options left on the table if we continue to eat meat, as well as how climate change might narrow those options further.

The study is more of a thought experiment than a realistic set of projections. Electricity experiments for preschoolers But the point it makes is simple: We, as humans, must work out how to make the most appropriate use of a finite amount of land. Electricity and magnetism review While there will inevitably be compromises, the paper concludes:

Whether for growing crops, grazing or building on, 75 percent of the Earth’s ice-free surface is used in one way or another by humans, today’s study begins. Electricity bill nye Put another way, only a quarter is left in something resembling its natural state.

Land-based ecosystems house a large fraction of the world’s biodiversity, as well as providing food, fuel, energy, air and water purification and protection against the elements for humans.

The starting point for the study is a hypothetical world in which the global population recognizes the intrinsic value of our remaining forests and halts to deforestation.

The authors look at the projected global population in 2050 and work out what options exist for ensuring the supply of food meets demand, without encroaching on any forested land.

As well as a global average, the study considers whether supply meets demand in 11 distinct regions of the world. O goshi These include, for example, sub-Saharan Africa, North America, Western Europe and Southeast Asia.

The authors express food demand in kilocalories per capita per day and the base projections are in line with estimates from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

Regarding the consequence of a growing population on demand for cereals, roots, sugar crops, pulses, oil crops, and fruit and vegetables, the paper explains:

“Safeguarding the existing forests constrains agricultural development as it limits the expansion of cropland and grazing areas. Electricity outage houston Consequently, the increasing demand for food, feed, fibre and fuel of a growing world population will have to be met on shrinking per capita land areas.”

The study examines how various different factors combine to affect whether or not demand is met in 2050. Gas vs electric stove These include the expansion of farmland (ranging between 11-70 percent compared to 2000), the size of crop yields (high, low or business-as-usual) and the composition of human diet (ranging from heavy meat consumption through to veganism).

Of 500 pathways, each featuring a unique combination of these factors, 289 are likely to produce enough food while still staying within the study’s “zero-deforestation” limits.

According to the study’s results, 100 percent of scenarios that exclude all livestock manage to supply enough food to meet demand in 2050. Gas news today In other words, if the whole world becomes vegan, the global population in 2050 could eat enough without another tree being cut down.

The same would be true if the whole world turned vegetarian, assuming the area available for crops expands more than about 22 percent compared to 2000 levels. C gastritis der antrumschleimhaut The paper says:

“A vegan or vegetarian diet is associated with only half the cropland demand, grazing intensity and overall biomass harvest of comparable meat-based human diets.”

Assuming the world neither turns vegan nor vegetarian, what options are left? The study explores various options for continuing to eat meat, while still keeping our forests in tact.

The many permutations of different types of livestock (cows, pigs, chickens etc), what they’re fed on and the grazing intensity make for a pretty complex picture.

Broadly-speaking, if the diet of North America in 2000 were to prevail globally in 2050, only scenarios in which technological advancements produce very high yields or where a large share of high quality grazing land is given over to cropland provide enough food.

Scenarios that see global food demand and diets in different regions rise in line with FAO forecasts for 2050—representing a “business-as-usual” scenario—provide enough food in all but the lowest yielding scenarios with little cropland expansion.

a) Cropland demand, b) average yields, c) grazing intensity and d) biomass harvest for four different yield scenarios. Static electricity review worksheet The study points to the low yield/organic scenario (left bar in all four panels) as an indicator of the climate impacts on food production in a deforestation-constrained world. Gas stations in texas Numbers below diets indicate the number of feasible scenarios. E85 gas stations colorado Source: Erb et al., (2016)

“[T]he benefits from increased soil carbon stocks of organic agriculture can be annihilated by the larger area demand resulting from lower yields of organic agriculture. Gas approximation In this regard, the massive greenhouse gas emission costs associated with the expansion of cropland into grazing land, currently not well documented, will be crucial.”

While the study attempts to discuss the impacts of climate change in its vision of a zero-deforestation world, the real situation will be far more complicated, says Prof. Mafia 2 gas meter Andy Challinor, professor of climate impacts with expertise in food security at the University of Leeds. 1 unit electricity cost in gujarat He tells Carbon Brief:

Simply comparing organic agriculture to climate change impacts misses the very important impacts of extreme weather events on crop production. Electricity reading comprehension Challinor adds:

Erb acknowledges the shortcoming in his study’s discussion of climate change, telling Carbon Brief the comparison with the organic pathway is “guess-working.”

There are other simplifications and elements that make the study purely hypothetical, too. P gaskell For example, it assumes that shortfalls in regional food production can be met through international trade. C gastronomie brignais As the paper explains, the reality is likely to be quite different:

“Socioeconomic barriers or obstacles to biomass trade, which could result from subsidy systems, tariffs or other regulations, could narrow the options space by rendering more scenarios unfeasible.”

As such, the study is intended more as a vehicle to provoke conversation than to elicit concrete recommendations. Gas kansas Indeed, the authors say the paper:

“It is not aimed at exploring probabilities and it does not support straightforward conclusions regarding the desirability, political practicability or sustainability performance of different scenarios.”

The simple point the authors make is about the trade-offs between quality and quantity of food production in a deforestation-constrained world.