Agriculture remains and will remain a necessary and essential activity for everyone, but at what cost?
Humans have a lot to do to achieve long-term sustainable yields, especially now that we are being alerted to the risk of global warming and its consequences for plant photosynthesis.
So in today's blog we tell you how we can help the planet a little in this situation, starting with the way we manage our farms and crops.
A few weeks ago it was published this image that warns of the advance of global warming and its consequences for the planet and, of course, for agriculture. These are alarming figures, but there is still time to prevent the collapse of the environment....
In the image, variables such as plant response to temperature, temperature, photosynthetic rates, respiration (incorrectly expressed, it would be better to say transpiration), and CO2 assimilation (they call it a "terrestrial carbon sink") are related.
How to interpret the graph?
The current situation on the planet is almost unsustainable, and whether it is due to human actions or not, the fact is that the temperature is rising to risky levels. We have reached a limit where plants are already investing almost all their energy in cooling themselves, and not in creating assimilates. This is very important, because this is where the photosynthesis variable comes into play...
What does a plant need to photosynthesise?
- Water and nutrients
- Co2 (currently about 370 ppm in the air!)
This is the key. If the plants, as a result of rising temperatures, are not able to dissipate the heat, they will use almost all their energy to transpire and will use less and less energy every day to perform an adequate photosynthesis. As a consequence, the plant will use less Co2 from the environment and we will be faced with two major problems:
- Co2 levels will not only not remain stable, but will rise, so the greenhouse effect will be stronger on the planet.
- Global warming will become even more unstoppable. Plants, which are the planet's thermo-regulator, will be operating at maximum capacity and will no longer be able to cool the planet's surface.
Now that we've told the bad news, let's see if there's a solution...
Is it possible that even if the temperature of the planet continues to rise, we can still manage to regulate the temperature and avoid the greenhouse effect?
The answer is YES. Human action in terms of sustainability and care for the environment is indispensable for this.
That's why we urgently need to measure and control the rate m2 of leaf vs. m2 of surface area. This means that a correct ratio has to be maintained between the leaf surface of plants, trees, etc. .... which have high Co2 consumption rates and therefore high dry matter generation rates.
In addition, it is vitally important that the following are carried out reforestation processes with energetically active species. According to the FAOThe report states that "deforestation, caused mainly by the conversion of forest land to agriculture and livestock farming, threatens not only the livelihoods of foresters, forest communities and indigenous peoples, but also the variety of life on our planet".