New CAST Report Looks at Climate Change Research

New CAST Report Looks at Climate Change Research

Report examining research behind climate change controversy rolled out at World Food Prize.

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology has released a report that examines the research behind climate change controversy. CAST's Task Force on Climate Change have given the issue a comprehensive appraisal in "Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Fixes in Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities."

This update of CAST's 2004 Climate Change report examines agriculture's role in land-atmosphere exchanges of greenhouse gasses; the science of carbon sequestration and GHG mitigation for various sectors of U.S. agriculture; and the consequences of any action, or inaction, in light of agriculture's role of providing necessary food, feed, and fiber.

Wednesday's morning session at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa will be devoted to explaining the findings of the Task Force's report. The key point that is made by the 116 page report is that emissions of CO2, CH4, and N20 from agriculture are the result of both human-induced and natural processes in the ecosystem and that they can be lowered through modified land use and management.

Among the points covered by detailed scientific explanations and analyses include:

  • The fact that concentrations of GHG/CO2 emissions have already increased to levels not experienced in well over 800,000 years;
  • An outline of a number of practices for which increased carbon sequestration and decreased emissions of GHGs have been established or, in some cases, are presently under investigation;
  • The probability that bioenergy crops done right offer opportunities for providing GHG benefits.

The team of 22 authors of the report were led by Ron Follett of USDA's Agricultural Research Service, Sian Mooney from Boise State University, Jack Morgan of USDA's Agricultural Rersearch Service, and Keith Paustian of Colorado State University.

In addition to the presentation of the report at the World Food Prize Symposium, Jack Morgan will hold three sessions on the report in Washington, D.C on Oct. 31, 2011.

The full text of Task Force Report 142 is available for purchase either electronically or as a hard copy at www.cast-science.org.   

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