Preface

Human activities are creating changes in our earth ecosystem. Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are increasing. The evidence, using state-of-the-art computer models incorporating as much of the theoretical understanding of the earth's weather as possible, suggests that global warming is occurring along with shifting patterns of rainfall and incidences of extreme weather events. The rate of global climate change and warming expected over the next century is more than has occurred during the past 10,000 years. Changes in global environment will have profound effects and consequences for natural and agricultural ecosystems and for society as a whole. These changes could alter the location of the major crop production regions on the earth. Agricultural productivity is particularly vulnerable to disruption by weather. In the coming years, we have to produce more food, fibre and other commodities to cope with increasing population under diminishing per capita arable land and water and degrading soil resources and expanding biotic stresses. In addition to the above stringent constraints, shifting from 'normal weather', with its associated extreme events, zones of crop adaptation and cultural practices required for successful crop production will also surely change. Also, plant responses to climatic changes are not uniform and thus there will be winners and losers. Climate and weather-induced instability in food and fibre supplies will alter social and economic stability and regional competitiveness.

This book describes normal historical shifts in the earth's temperature and weighs the evidence concerning anthropogenically induced changes in temperature. It discusses the methods of predicting climatic changes and the role of today's agriculture in the production and release of greenhouse gases. The major aim of the text is to quantify the impact of altered climatic factors on different crops. The major food and fibre crops are evaluated, and crop responses to water and nutrient deficiencies in high CO2 environments are predicted.

Chapters dealing with crop and weed interactions and insect population dynamics in an altered climatic setting are written by the world's most knowledgeable authorities. Topics include crop responses of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plants, plants with C3 and C4 type photosynthesis, how and why respiration is depressed in high CO2 environments, and how and why fruit and grain production is depressed at high temperatures. How growers and production specialists may cope with such environments and the need for improving cultivars with both conventional breeding methods and transgenic techniques are explored. Many other topics are discussed to illustrate the variabilities and similarities of the major economically important crop species.

Agronomists, horticulturalists, crop production specialists, environmental physiologists and others interested in global environmental issues will be interested in reading this book. The impact of climatic change is not only on the major food producing species (wheat, rice, soybean, maize, vegetable crops and root and tuberous crops), but also on productive grassland crops, rangelands, tree farming, and crops produced in deserts. The responses of cotton, the major textile-fibre crop, to environmental factors are quantified. The impact of climatic change on weed and insect pests of crops, as well as on economic, social and trade aspects, is also presented.

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.

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