Food production affects Earth’s natural processes
A new study led by the Aalto University in Finland has found that food production – already one of the largest stressors on our planet – is made substantially more challenging by the interaction of Earth system processes, defined as the natural activities that keep the planet in a habitable and useful state, such as carbon sequestration in forests or nutrient run off into freshwater systems. According to the scientists, the complex interactions between these processes challenge their boundaries, and affect how well they function.
“Food production is a major cause of environmental stress, impacting on biodiversity loss, the climate, and overexploitation of marine resources,” said study co-author Steven Lade, an expert in Sustainable Development at the Australian National University (ANU). “We need to start producing food in a sustainable way. By assessing the interaction of Earth system processes we can ensure they are considered when designing and implementing food production and agriculture policy.”