Seed World

Study Shows Agricultural Technology is Helping Cut Emissions

A new study shows new agricultural technology and management can eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, producing net negative emissions, according to a release. This would reduce more greenhouse gas than food systems are adding.

Benjamin Z. Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, and Maya Almaraz, associate research scholar at Princeton University, recently led the study, published in PLOS Climate.

They reported that “using agricultural technology could result in more than 13 billion tons of net negative greenhouse gas emissions each year.” The paper shared that the food systems of the world generate “21% and 37% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions each year” which “could grow to 50% and 80% by 2050” if left unmanaged. 

Research has shown that making changes to the average person’s diet is important to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but Houlton and Almaraz believe that emissions could be reduced further.

Their study showed how diets and agricultural technologies both can reduce emissions with the most effective ways being to boost soil modifications for crops, develop agroforestry, advance sustainable seafood harvesting practices and promote hydrogen-powered fertilizer production.