Ecosystem services: Looking forward to mid-century

As population grows, society needs more—more energy, more food, more paper, more housing, more of nearly everything. Meeting those needs can lead to changes in how land is used.

NASA image: Fires in Mozambique and Madagascar Sept. 12, 2013

The location, widespread nature, and number of fires in this satellite image suggest that these fires were deliberately set to manage land. Farmers often use fire to return nutrients to the soil and to clear the ground of ...

NASA image: Agricultural fires in central Africa

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite detected hundreds of fires burning in central Africa on August 21, 2013. The fires are outlined in red. Most of the fires burn in grass or ...

Existing cropland could feed four billion more

The world's croplands could feed 4 billion more people than they do now just by shifting from producing animal feed and biofuels to producing exclusively food for human consumption, according to new research from the Institute ...

Boosting crop yields in Australia

Andrew Hansen grows wheat, barley, canola, and oats on his farm at Coomandook in South Australia, where his family has farmed the land for more than 60 years. But now the family's way of life is threatened.

Drought response identified in potential biofuel plant

Drought resistance is the key to large-scale production of Jatropha, a potential biofuel plant—and an international group of scientists has identified the first step toward engineering a hardier variety.

Balancing food security and environmental quality in China

In many ways, the evolution of Chinese agriculture over the past 40 years is a remarkable success story. Spurred by investments in research and government subsidies for fertilizers and other farm technologies, China now feeds ...

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