How Tiny Soil Organisms Could Help Farmers Adapt to Climate Change

How Tiny Soil Organisms Could Help Farmers Adapt to Climate Change
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In recent years, the global average temperature has climbed past one degree celsius warmer than pre-industrial times. And, like a raisin in the sun, the planet is drying out — or, at least, parts of it are. In semi-arid areas around the world, drought conditions have worsened with intensified heat. Unfortunately, many of these places have something else in common: they are home to communities that are built around agriculture. The “dry corridor” that stretches inland of the pacific coast of Central America is one such place. Here, generations of farmers have subsisted off of small-scale, rain-fed agriculture. A prolonged period of drought coupled with hotter temperatures eradicated 700,000 acres of corn and beans there during the summer of 2018. While some farmers have found ways to adapt to the changing climate, it has forced others off their land. In the western U.S., where agriculture accounts for the majority of water used by people, most operations have long forgone a rain-fed approach. From Wyoming to Southern California, the verdant fields of alfalfa, wheat, leafy greens and everything in between are fed by the Colorado River watershed. But this too is a dwindling resource, as the Western U.S. is currently […]

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