What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories, reports and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

UN official stresses link between healthy soils, sustainable development as Global Soil Week starts, UN

US Announces Plans to Reduce Agricultural Carbon Emissions, The New York Times

Guest Commentary – Agriculture: The Common Thread Connecting the Sustainable Development Goals, Global Food for Thought

Lifting the lid on the household: A new way to measure individual deprivation, From Poverty to Power

New crop insurance math, new challenges for farmers, Politico

UN urged to demand free access to crop data, SciDev.Net

Fostering Economic Resilience, Greenpeace

Meeting the Global Food Demand of the Future by Engineering Crop Photosynthesis and Yield Potential, Long et al, 2015, Cell

Universities join efforts to combat climate change in East Africa, Daily Monitor

This Earth Day, think agriculture, Plantwise

The genome of cultivated sweet potato contains Agrobacterium T-DNAs with expressed genes: An example of a naturally transgenic food crop, Kyndt et al, 2015, PNAS [Read more…]

Happy Earth Day

ID-10036673 (2)Today is the 43rd Earth Day. An annual event intended to promote awareness of environmental issues such as climate change.

Over 1 billion people in 192 countries are estimated to be taking part in events. You can follow some of these events on Twitter using the hastag #EarthDay. Here in London, for example, some of the city’s most iconic buildings from the London Eye and the Oxo Tower to Westminster Abbey and the Gherkin are all turning their lights off for WWF’s Earth hour (8:30-9:30pm GMT). You can watch Earth hour live or follow on Twitter #doitinthedark

While some of these events are short-term, aiming to highlight the effect overconsumption can have on earth’s resources and climate, Earth Day is also a good time to re-evaluate our lifestyles for the longer term. [Read more…]