|Credit: Ted Scambos & Rob Bauer, NSIDC|
What would you think if scientists were to suggest that large tracts of uncultivated land, which could be used to grow crops to feed hungry people, should be left untouched? And how would you react if their reason for leaving this potential farmland unused was to combat climate change?
Believe it or not, that is precisely the scenario discussed in a recent issue of the journal Nature. Since 1990, about 77 million acres of cropland have remained uncultivated in Eastern Europe. Given the millions of hungry and undernourished people in the world, one would think that an intentional refusal to cultivate such land would be absolutely out of the question. However, if this land were put to the plow, some worry that the carbon released into the atmosphere as a result would contribute to global warming, and one scientist has even suggested that about two-thirds of this land should remain uncultivated indefinitely.You can read the rest of this global warming and evolution connection at "The Bitter Harvest of Evolutionary Thinking".