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983. Unexpected Consequences of Land Use Change: From Grassland to Cropland

With animal-derived food production generally being noted for its significant environmental impact, questions arise about whether its transition truly leads to climate mitigation. Today, we will introduce a research paper that summarizes the general concepts of agricultural land use, the unexpected challenges that may arise from land use conversion, and the solutions, using the UK as a case study.

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982. Water for Peace

March 22 is World Water Day, an international observance proposed at the 1992 Earth Summit (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The United Nations General Assembly designated the day in 1993. The theme for World Water Day 2024 is "Water for Peace".

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981. Forests and Innovation: New Solutions for a Better World

March 21 is International Forest Day, a day designated by the United Nations to commemorate and raise awareness of forests and trees worldwide. The theme for 2024 is "Forests and Innovation: New Solutions for a Better World”.

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980. Global Underweight and Obesity Trends

A study published in The Lancet analyzed trends in underweight and obesity among adults (20 years and older), school-aged children, and adolescents (5-19 years) in 200 countries and regions from 1990 to 2022. The study used body mass index (BMI) to classify underweight as a BMI below 18.5 kg/m² and overweight as a BMI above 30 kg/m² for adults. For school-aged children and adolescents, underweight was defined as a BMI less than twice the standard deviation and overweight as a BMI greater than 30 kg/m². Obesity was defined as a BMI greater than twice the standard deviation.

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979. UNDP Human Development Report 2023-2024

On March 13, the United Nations Development Program released its 2023-2024 Human Development Report, titled "Breaking the Gridlock: Reimagining Cooperation in a Polarized World." The report sounded an alarm about the perilous state of uneven development, rising inequality, and deepening political divides, while expressing optimism about the potential of multilateralism to foster global interdependence.

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978. Economic Impact of CGIAR Crop Improvement Technologies

The CGIAR is an international organization established in 1971 to improve productivity and technology development in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in developing countries, and has been a leader in innovation in the field of international agricultural research. A paper published in World Development found that the adoption of crop technologies developed by the CGIAR had a significant impact on poverty reduction in low-income countries, with annual economic benefits worth $47 billion.

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977. Disruption to the Red Sea-Panama Canal Supply Chain

Using data from the PortWatch platform, which uses satellite data and big data analytics to identify and predict the impact of extreme weather events on trade, the IMF blog shows that the number of vessels in the Red Sea and Panama Canal, two key shipping lanes for global trade, has declined significantly.

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976. Global Temperatures in February 2024

The Copernicus Climate Change Service, the European Union's weather information agency, announced that global temperatures in February 2024 were the highest on record, and sea surface temperatures were also the hottest on record.

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975. Rejection of "Anthropocene" Geologic Age Proposal

There has been a movement among scientists to define a new geological epoch, the "Anthropocene," as human activity has affected the entire planet since the 1950s, but the proposal has reportedly been rejected. An editorial in a scientific journal commented that scientists do not deny the accelerating effects of climate change and biodiversity loss, but that there is a need for a deeper and broader discussion of humanity's impact on the Earth.

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974. February 2024 World Food Price Index 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released on March 8 the World Food Price Index for February 2024, averaging 117.3 points, down 0.9 points (0.7%) from the previous month, reflecting lower cereal and vegetable oil prices, which offset higher sugar, meat, and dairy product prices. The price index was 13.8 points (10.5%) lower than a year earlier.

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973. Unjust Impact of Climate Change

March 8 is International Women's Day, a day of international solidarity and unified action aimed at improving the status of women, eliminating discrimination against women, etc. According to the report (The Unjust Climate) published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), women-headed households are relatively more vulnerable to climate change and other shocks. The Unjust Climate calls for investment in policies and programs focused on addressing multiple vulnerabilities to climate change.

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972. Global Resource Use Trends and Outlook

The world is facing a triple planetary crisis: climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. The pace of global natural resource consumption is accelerating, making it increasingly difficult to achieve the SDGs.On March 1, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released its "Global Resource Outlook 2024", calling for a change in direction toward a sustainable environment and society.

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971. Rice-based Meat

Today's post features an article published in Matter (Park et al. 2024) that presents a groundbreaking study on rice-based meat.

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970. Food Production and Conservation in the Cerrado

The Cerrado is a savannah on the Brazilian plateau and one of the world's breadbasket regions, but deforestation has continued as agricultural land has expanded. The report highlights the need for an approach that balances sustainable food production with conservation of the region's natural riches.

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969. Climate Change Risks to Social and Natural Systems

A study led by researchers at the University of East Anglia that summarized climate change risks in six countries-China, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, and India-estimated that if global warming is limited to 1.5°C, compared to an increase to 3°C, the probability of agricultural land being exposed to extreme drought could be reduced by 20-60% If global warming is limited to 1.5°C, compared to a 3°C increase, the paper estimated that the probability of agricultural land being exposed to extreme drought could be reduced by 20-60%.

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968. Assessment of Food System Resilience

Despite the globalization of food, the world's food system remains vulnerable to disruptions caused by natural disasters, political crises, infectious diseases, and other emergencies. Today's post focuses on a systematic review on food system resilience (FSR) published in Global Food Security.

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967. People's Awareness and Willingness to Act on Climate Change

A stable climate is a global asset and requires the commitment of people around the world to mitigate climate change. A study conducted by the National Climate Change Research Council (NCCRC) found that while many individuals are willing to contribute to climate action, they underestimate the willingness of those around them to do so, indicating the need to raise awareness of support on a global scale if people around the world are to work together to combat climate change.


 
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966. Rising Incomes Improve Nutrition, So What if Food Prices Fall?

Today's post highlights an article from Nature Food (McCullough et al. 2024) that sheds light on the complex relationship between rising incomes, falling food prices, and nutrition, particularly in the context of Africa.

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965. Red Sea, Black Sea and Panama Canal - Uncertainties Surrounding the Achilles Heel of the Global Trade Supply Chain

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has expressed concern that the combined crises of attacks on shipping in the Red Sea since last year, geopolitical tensions affecting shipping in the Black Sea, and the impact of climate change on the Panama Canal could escalate disruptions to the global trade supply chain.
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964. Convergence of El Niño and Expected Transition to La Niña

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that the El Niño event, which has been pushing global temperatures to record levels since mid-2023, has a 79% chance of weakening and returning to normal around April, and a 55% chance of transitioning to La Niña in the Pacific Ocean between June and August.