Records show the earth is getting warmer, and scientists believe this is due to Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide and Methane accumulating in the upper atmosphere and insulating the earth. This phenomenon is known as the Greenhouse Effect. If the earth continues to get warmer, the consequent changes in season and rainfall will have a significant effect on agriculture.
Many industrial processes release these ‘greenhouse gases’ faster than they are naturally cycled back into the earth – particularly the combustion of fossil fuels such as oil and coal. However, farming processes are also blamed, and the pig industry consumes energy derived from fossil fuels.
This presents challenges, but also opportunities because there is now a stimulus for greater efficiency and the development of renewable technology which can all save on production costs.
Pictured right: The Carbon Cycle (image courtesy of Farming Futures)
More information on this topic:
In a five year project funded by the European Science Foundation programme "Nitrogen in Europe", 200 scientists/experts in the field produced "The European Nitrogen Assessment", which explains the state of the threats to water, air and soil quality and the impacts on biodiversity and climate change in Europe and highlights the possible solutions. The assessment can be downloaded by clicking here.
To view a video to go along with this project click here.