The concepts and models described in this book have evolved out of the work of thousands of researchers over many decades. We collectively know an impressive amount about climate and food systems, but there is far more that remains to be uncovered. In this chapter, we provide our view of the most pressing research needs, aimed to stimulate thought and activity among students and researchers. We return for this discussion to the three factors that comprise food security, as outlined in Chapter 2, and identify several questions for each topic.

Most of the questions below will require insight from multiple disciplines, including climate science, agronomy, crop and animal breeding, ecology, economics, nutrition, and human health. The fact that so many of these questions remain to be explored, even at a superficial level, is a testament to how difficult it can be to work across disciplinary boundaries. Though there are some valid reasons for focusing on single disciplines, many of the obstacles to interdisciplinary work relate to traditional incentive structures for researchers that should be reformed. Only by dealing with the complex reality of food security and by gaining insight from various perspectives can we hope to make big leaps in our understanding of how best to prepare for a warmer world.

D. Lobell and M. Burke Stanford Univeristy, CA, USA

D. Lobell and M. Burke (eds.), Climate Change and Food Security, Advances in Global Change Research 37, DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-2953-9_11, © Springer Science + Business Media, B.V. 2010

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Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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