Food Sustainability Index

The Food Sustainability Index is a ranking of 25 countries on food system sustainability. It was created as a quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model, constructed from 58 indicators that measure the sustainability of food systems across three themes: Food Loss and Waste, Sustainable Agriculture, and Nutritional Challenges. The index contains three types of key performance indicators: environmental, societal, and economic.

Study: Using data, farmers can increase their yields, decrease their waste

Read the full story at Food Dive.

  • Rapid changes in the agriculture industry point the way to new, technologically enhanced “precision farming” that could lead to major gains in food yields — possibly enhancing current capabilities to feed an additional one billion people within the next 10 years, according to a new report by AT Kearney.
  • Digital technologies applied to agriculture — ranging from camera drones to GPS-enabled combines — are opening up a new wave of automation and could generate dramatic improvements in crop yields that may spark another agricultural revolution.
  • Opportunities are there to bundle technologies to provide end-to-end services for growers, ranging from selecting crops to optimizing planting times, seeding rates, and fertilizer applications.

What Thanksgiving Costs the Climate Where You Live

Read the full story from CityLab.

Say you’re preparing to dig into a Thanksgiving feast of turkey, stuffing, green beans, and pie—how much greenhouse gas was released to make this sumptuous spread?

The answer depends on where you live, according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University who’ve investigated the carbon footprint of a roasted 16-pound turkey, green-bean casserole, apple-and-sausage stuffing, and pumpkin pie. In states that rely on fossil fuels for energy, they say this dinner can produce more than 75 pounds of carbon dioxide; states leaning on renewables can see a footprint below 10 pounds.

North America’s grasslands are slowly disappearing — and no one’s paying attention

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The Great Plains lost more grassland to agriculture in 2014 than the Brazilian Amazon lost to deforestation, says a recent report from the World Wildlife Fund. And it argues that the continued expansion of cropland in the region may be threatening birds, pollinators and even drinking water, while releasing millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.

Pope Francis: “Never been such a clear need for science” to protect the planet

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Pope Francis this week implored world leaders not to postpone the implementation of global environmental pacts, an appeal that appeared aimed at President-elect Donald Trump’s vows to end the United States’ leading role in combating climate change.

Scientists have long feared this ‘feedback’ to the climate system. Now they say it’s happening

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

At a time when a huge pulse of uncertainty has been injected into the global project to stop the planet’s warming, scientists have just raised the stakes even further.

In a massive new study published Wednesday in the influential journal Nature, no less than 50 authors from around the world document a so-called climate system “feedback” that, they say, could make global warming considerably worse over the coming decades.

That feedback involves the planet’s soils, which are a massive repository of carbon due to the plants and roots that have grown and died in them, in many cases over vast time periods (plants pull in carbon from the air through photosynthesis and use it to fuel their growth). It has long been feared that as warming increases, the microorganisms living in these soils would respond by very naturally upping their rate of respiration, a process that in turn releases carbon dioxide or methane, leading greenhouse gases.