2013 – (Global Footprint Network) – In 8 Months, Humanity Exhausts Earth’s Budget for the Year
August 20 is Earth Overshoot Day 2013, marking the date when humanity exhausted nature’s budget for the year. We are now operating in overdraft. For the rest of the year, we will maintain our ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Just as a bank statement tracks income against expenditures, Global Footprint Network measures humanity’s demand for and supply of natural resources and ecological services. And the data is sobering. Global Footprint Network estimates that in approximately eight months, we demand more renewable resources and C02 sequestration than what the planet can provide for an entire year..
2013 – (BBC) – An increasing global population needs more resources but most resources are limited and exploitation has consequences.
The demand for resources
When people use something, it becomes a resource. At the most basic level, we need uncontaminated food and water supplies, shelter, clothing and good health. Resources are also required to make all the things that we use in our daily lives.
People in MEDCs need lots of resources to sustain their high levels of consumption. Whereas people in LEDCs sometimes have limited access to basic resources such as food and water. People in LEDCs also often have rich natural resources, such as large forests and deep deposits of valuable metals and minerals. To help them out of poverty, LEDCs can extract and sell resources to MEDCs..
Jul. 17, 2013 - (CNN) – In the scorching desert of Qatar, scientists are showing that saltwater can be used to help grow crops.
A one hectare research initiative known as the Sahara Forest Project — modest in size, but not in ambition — has produced a harvest of barley, cucumbers and arugula in the last few months using a mix of ingredients not usually associated with successful agriculture: seawater and Qatar’s ample supply of heat. Conceived in Norway, the first-ever Sahara Forest Project facility launched last November to coincide with the United Nations Climate Conference e(COP18) in Doha. It implements a range of cutting-edge environmentally-friendly technologies that takes the things that Qatar has in excess — heat and seawater — and converts them into a range of valuable resources.
Feeding the world’s hungry is a daunting task, but one that the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is actively doing every day.
The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In emergencies, it supplies food to victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters.
Mar. 13, 2012 – A new technology that supplies regular and sufficient amount of water to the roots of vegetables is used by the Abu Dhabi Farmer’s Service Centre (ADFSC) in the Western Region to irrigate farms in the region. With the new technology using ‘in line drip irrigation pipes’ water is supplied along the irrigation line so that the roots receive an equal amount of water. In fact, these pipes release less water which is the basic requirement for a vegetable to grow properly, Ahmad Omar Ali, Field Crops Assistant Unit Head at the ADFSC, told the Khaleej Times English daily yesterday. ‘If plants are irrigated directly through pipes, more water will be required and much of it will be wasted. The ADFSC is also promoting those vegetables which are more tolerant to drought and hot weather conditions,’ Ali said. “We are also promoting the systematic and organised culture of producing vegetables in the emirate to obtain more vegetables and reduce the dependency on imports,” he said. Cabbage, green beans, red and white onions, climbing beans, tomato, climbing tomato, potato, parsley, coriander leaves, cucumber, capsicum, egg plant, cauliflower, green chillies and so on are widely grown there. The Seih Al Khair area in Liwa alone has 800 farms which is the highest number of farms in one area. The area is blessed with plenty of sweet water wells. Other farms have water wells, but the water is saline, Ali said .
“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And terrifyingly, it’s happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes — and his work so far shows — that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.
The USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information. USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life. As the Nation’s largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. The diversity of our scientific expertise enables us to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers.
Jan 07, 2012 - To say that the very affluent nation of Qatar is over ambitious would be an understatement. Qatar is rich in oil reserves and is fast turning into the new cosmopolitan capital of the Middle East. Qatar’s vast energy resources have granted it the luxury of having one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. It is a growing country with a glimmering skyline and world wide acceptance but like many other Gulf countries, it is barren and water poor. The nation of Qatar mainly relies on farmlands acquired oversees to meet its agricultural requirements. The agricultural arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Hassad Food, has bought land in Sudan and Australia, and has announced plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on agricultural projects in countries including Kenya Argentina, Turkey and Ukraine. However this is not enough for the ambitious nation. Unlike its desert neighbors, Qatar aims to produce most of its food domestically by boosting crop yields and converting semi-desert into agricultural land.
Biochar is not a fertilizer, but rather a nutrient carrier and a habitat for microorganisms. First of all, biochar needs to be charged to become biologically active in order to efficiently utilize its soil-enhancing properties. There are numerous methods of activating and producing substrates similar to terra preta aside from mixing biochar with compost. Biochar is extremely porous and has a huge surface area of 300 m2 per gram. Due to its high porosity, biochar can incorporate up to five times its own weight in water and dissolved nutrients. This property is called adsorption capacity (AC) and depends on the pyrolyzed biomass and the pyrolysis temperature. The highest adsorption capacity of biochar is achieved within the temperature range of 450 ° C to 700 ° C. Another important feature regarding the particular nutrient dynamics of biochar is its high cation exchange capacity (CEC). The CEC is a measure of the ability to bind positively charged ions (cations) on biochar’s surface and make them available later, under appropriate conditions, to plants and microorganisms. While CEC depends on the surface of biochar, it is also a chemical value, which increases through oxygen and contact with the soil and reaches its maximum value only after some time. A high CEC prevents the leaching of mineral nutrients, such as organic nutrients, and assures high nutrient availability. Further, a high CEC also binds toxic molecules, thereby protecting the soil. The combination of biochar’s high AC and CEC make it a perfect nutrient carrier. Microorganisms find ideal habitats in and around the biochar through these absorbed nutrients, which, in turn, benefits the entire soil microbial life and promotes the potential for symbiotic microorganisms and plant roots.
The article informs about principles TopSoil depot is working like. See also http://www.desertstop.com/home/topsoil-depot-conditioners/
Friends of the Earth Europe, Mar, 7,2013 – Hidden impacts: How Europe’s resource overconsumption promotes global land conflicts. Based on newly available data this report sheds lights on Europe’s role as a major user of global land resources. Europe’s high consumption levels, and insatiable appetite for meat, dairy, textiles and other products that require large areas of land, mean Europe’s ‘land footprint’ remains one of the largest in the world. The report finds that the EU is importing the equivalent of 1,212,050 square kilometres to meet its demand for food. This accounts for 45% of the land needed for the production of the food that the EU consumes. This contributes to climate change, biodiversity loss, and negative social impacts like land-grabbing.