I have invented a solution for climate change, I have a process that takes ordinary air conditioners and upgrades them into heat pumps so that less fossil fuel is burned for heating buildings. The gas will still be available but only used when the temperature is well below freezing. The upgraded heat pump works just like a heat pump from the factory at a fraction of the cost. During the process, ozone depleting refrigerant (R22) is recovered and environmentally friendly refrigerant (R407c) is used in its place. The upgrade saves 30-40% on utility bills and has a return on investment of around two years.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SEAN GALLUP, GETTY
PUBLISHED APRIL 13, 2014
Just a few decades remain to halt global warming and head off its most catastrophic effects, says a new United Nations report that offers a sweeping menu of climate change fixes that would require global cooperation to implement.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mitigation report, released Sunday in Berlin, explores some 1,200 scenarios to avert the worsening effects of global warming by 2100. The proposals range from planting more trees to relying much more on nuclear power. (Related: "Global Warming 101.")
"This report is a wake-up call about global economic opportunity we can seize today as we lead on climate change," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement. "This report makes very clear we face an issue of global willpower, not capacity."
Sunday’s report is the third in a series of UN reports on climate change released in the past year that paint a picture of "virtually certain" climate change, driven by increasing emissions—80 percent of them from the burning of fossil fuels—which is already melting the Arctic, acidifying oceans and harming crops. (See also: "New Climate Change Report Warns of Dire Consequences.")
The report urges global action before 2020. The alternative, it says, is paying more later when temperatures rise to dangerous levels, and running more severe risks of climate change, which include rising seas, acidified oceans, longer heat waves, and severe crop failures.
"The longer we wait, the more costly things will be," said Stanford University economist Charles Kolstad, a lead author of the IPCC report. "It is possible to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, that's clear. But it will be a challenge."
Overall, global greenhouse gas emissions—largely caused by burning coal, oil and natural gas—need to be cut 40 to 70 percent by mid-century, the report says, for humanity to face better than 50-50 odds of dodging the worst effects of global warming. (Related: "Clean Coal Test: Power Plants Prepare to Capture Carbon.")
To hit those emission reduction goals, the report calls for a tripling or quadrupling of "low carbon" power sources such as nuclear, solar, or renewable energy around the world.
Many of the report's proposals involve "overshooting" emissions targets in early decades and turning to technologies that effectively remove carbon dioxide, the most significant greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere in later decades to have any realistic chances of working.
"One of the most important contributions of the report is simply in laying out a road map," said Kelly Levin of the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C., a longtime IPCC report observer. "There are a ton of solutions."
Global Road Map
Since everyone shares the air and because everyone can pollute it, the report says that emissions policies need to involve the entire international community to be effective. But efforts in global cooperation on climate change, like the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, have produced mixed results at best
"None of that is going to happen on its own," said Harvard University's Robert Stavins, another IPCC report lead author, "so public policy is required at the international level."
A 1992 United Nations agreement broadly obligated the world to keep global warming temperature increases below "dangerous" levels, usually seen as 3.6°F (2°C), the point at which costly climate effects kick in.
The toll would be felt largely by poor farmers who live in dry and monsoon-dependent regions around the world that look to be hardest hit by warmer temperatures, and who have the fewest resources to deal with crop losses.
"The report makes clear a transition to clean energy and different behavior in how we use energy is needed to stay below that 2-degree [Celsius] increase," said Levin.
Without new power technologies spreading worldwide, avoiding the 3.6°F increase in temperatures over pre-industrial levels looks "very challenging," said report author Leon Clarke of the the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Joint Global Change Research Institute.
Two technologies in particular look promising. One is growing forests expressly to pull carbon out of the air, an idea known as afforestation.
The other idea is to generate electricity from burning renewable energy sources, such as sawgrass or genetically engineered algal fuels, and stuffing their greenhouse gas emissions underground, a technique known as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.
Both technologies exist, but scaling them up for worldwide use looks daunting, Clarke said.
Even if the world aims for less ambitious emissions cuts and allows more global warming, Clarke added, people will have to turn to such technologies. Otherwise, temperatures will keep rising.
In any case, the world will have to shoot for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2100, the report's analysis suggests.
The report also points to energy efficiency and changes in how cities are built and managed as ways to limit emissions. For instance, roofs could be painted to absorb less heat, and more mass transit systems could reduce the need for emissions-spewing vehicles.
Sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the report comes amid a long-lasting slowdown in economic growth after 2008's recession that has raised questions about how the world might come together to tackle climate change.
In coming decades, China will overtake the United States, the biggest emitter historically, in total greenhouse gas emissions, said Harvard's Stavins.
That might create an opening for international agreements to go forward on limiting climate change, he suggested, as developing nations see they are bearing more responsibility for global warming.
Otherwise, Stavins sees small agreements on regional levels, among different cities, states, or provinces pursuing steps to cut emissions as the "de facto" world response to climate change. "There really is a lot of skepticism about a big world agreement," he said.
MIT economist John Reilly, who was not an author of the climate report, agreed: "It is too easy to wait and let someone else hurt their economy by going first."
The report is aimed largely at world leaders attending next year's international climate summit in Paris, which is expected to pick up the problems left unresolved at the last such global summit, in 2009 in Denmark, in particular, making climate mitigation plans for after 2030.
Written by more than 400 experts and reviewers from 57 nations over the past four years, the IPCC reports are essentially vast reviews of the latest climate research.
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Deliberate slowing down of the economy can have devastating effects! This is why we have to transition from a (depleting) hydrocarbon to a nuclear based economy. Pure and simple!
Humanity in depletion mode is actually worse than humanity in "alter the biosphere" mode as their is no hope in resource (and nuclear) wars whereas, with unlimited energy from the closed cycle (nuclear), we have the hope of averting the bizarre climate change to the ice free world expected from complete extraction into CO2 (as is evidenced from the study of physics of the infrared absorber and the resulting feedback from reduced albedo AND by general climate related trends).
We need to inform all the very silly and unthinking types which believe "we can power the world with almost nothing" (such as renewable energy "only" advocates) that they are DEAD wrong! Therefore the clean (and unlimited) source of energy from the meltdown proof closed cycle is the only real option other than complete fossil fueled depletion into an overheated biosphere.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gDErDwXqhc The real truth is here. Why do we embrasse lies
This latest IPCC report is a lot more hard hitting than previous ones but I doubt if it will make any difference. We are already locked into a 2C temperature rise and have known this for some time but nobody acted on it. Obama has given it a high priority but what has he achieved? Nothing. http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/climate-threats.html
I say it is best to wait and let someone else hurt their economy by going first. Why? Because the Earth is in a cooling mode that has defeated the climate models of the warmists. Co2 is a nutrient which every plant on the planet needs to survive. Measures of co2 in the atmosphere are not in accord with the projections of the warmists. Temperatures are not in accord with the Al Gore era warmists projections. In fact, co2 in the atmosphere is not correlating with co2 emissions. Nor are temperatures going up in accordance with emissions. This is likely because man made co2 is such a tiny fraction of total co2 creation on the planet. In terms of greenhouse gases, man's contribution is less that 0.3% per year of the total created.
Is putting millions in poverty and disenfranchising employment creating business worth some slight reduction in co2 during the current ice age worth it?
We have clean air now!
Most of the Great Lakes area and most of Canada and the USA hasen’t had a smog warning day (actual smog) in close to 10 years now. It’s never good enough is it, even after defeating the smoggy 70’s when a river caught fire in Ohio. But we keep that finger on the fear button as usual.
Note: "Be kind to the air days" and smog "alerts" and "advisories" and "watches" are not measurements of smog, just predictions that a "Smog Warning" could be issued within the next 36 hours.
And now NG exaggerates science's 32 years of never being 100% certain CO2 will flatten the poor little planet unlike how they are 100% certain the earth is not flat.
A mega solution to a Mega crisis.
If you look at our technological evolutionary trend,
Automation and Robotics is the answer to this crisis.
Experts talks only about green energy alternatives like solar energy. The truth is
Green energy production is only half the battle. The other half is making it economically
viable and at a faster pace. The quickest way is to incorporate automation into production and installation of solar power plants.
How quickly we move away from fossil to solar is more important to win the race against global warming.
If soar power plants are built and installed by robots, we can have thousands of power plants all over the world in a very short period of time, as robots can be easily replicated. Not only we move away from fossil fuels faster, energy cost will also go down drastically.
There is also an added value to this approach. As we move in the direction of automation, our robots would begin to get more sophisticated. God forbid, if we lose the race with global warming, our robots would eventually come to human rescue in the future when the climate really go wild and hurricanes become much more frequent destroying the cities. With sophisticated robots if a city is destroyed, we can build another in a very short period of time.
A faster technological evolution is what we need today.
Any growth in the direction of automation and robotics is a boon to humanity.
"The Art of Looking into the Future: The Five Principles of Technological Evolution"
Conservation first. Then think mega projects such as moving water from the Mississippi River or St. Lawrence Seaway (using solar powered pipelines) to irrigate the Southwest states and Northern Mexico. Damming (with ship Locks) the Straight of Gilbralter to create a freshwater Mediterrainian sea to Irrigate the Sahara. The desalinization of the Mediterrainian would be so gradual as to maintain most species. Saltwater desalinization projects to irrigate the Sahara and other arid climates. Plane seeding Pacifc Islands with bamboo/ Eucaliptus or other quick growing carbon absorbing plants.
Worldwide promote a 1 child policy to get population under control. 4th generation nuclear fission development. Solar and wind development. Fusion power development. Carbon sequestration. Instead of recycling paper put it in landfills (so the net effect is to plant additional fast growing trees for wood). Hydrogen production from oil refining to run electric power plants, but then sequestering the carbon part of the oil molecules.
Many things can be done.
So what is there in the report that an ordinary householder can do to reduce their CO2 emissions by 40%?
All I ever read that's cost effective is:-
1. Plug draughts
2. Insulate your loft
3. Change your lightbulbs
Other things make no sense as they have too long a payback time e.g.
1. Insulate your external walls
2. Double glaze
3. Convert your central heating system
The measures that would payback such as erect a wind turbine don't work at the household level so only rich landowners can make a profit that way.
Does making fuel out of seawater seem like a workable solution? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2599036/The-plane-powered-WATER-US-Navy-reveals-radical-new-game-changing-process-power-jets-boats-seawater.html
We will soon find out if a cheap green silver bullet, one missing path to slowing climate change, is at hand.
Atmospheric heat, a largely untapped source of solar energy, can potentially power engines continuously without the need for fuel.
Two decades of physics research indicate not only that this may be possible, but that there exist exploitable exceptions to the current interpretation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
An example of such an exception is a patent pending piston engine currently being prototyped. Utilizing the abundant energy stored in the atmosphere, this design is capable of producing power continuously and can scale to large sizes.
Small prototype engines will be tested and validated by independent labs. A desktop piston engine capable of charging a tablet computer and cell phone will follow. Units capable of powering homes and small buildings will not be far behind. See www.aesopinstitute.org
The science behind these engine designs provides unrecognized exceptions to The Second Law of Thermodynamics. Few physicists and/or engineers accept that as possible. Second Law Surprises, under MORE on that website, may be of interest to individuals willing to examine facts and evidence that are not widely known.
In spite of naysayers, this easy to test and soon to be demonstrated, truly revolutionary technology may potentially open an unexpected door to other new science, resulting in the possible rapid replacement of all fossil and radioactive fuels.
Don't worry, Harry Reid and the Chinese will save the planet and desert tortoises from ranchers by covering deserts with solar panels which will also fry any predatory birds flying above the panels. It is only a coincidence that Harry and company will collect all sorts of alternative energy subsidies paid for by your ever greater contributions to your utility bills.
All's well that ends....
All the PUNDENTS are mission the major cause of global warming, It is the airplanes. First the disturb the air flow taking off, landing and while going and coming to the destinations. Secondly they are placing carbons from the unrefined fuel high above that filters down onto the oceans and land masses. Add to that the heat from the engine exhaust by the thousands of airplanes and now you are talking the major cause of global warming.
no more coal fired plants unless they have carbon capture -- and quickly phase out the existing coal fired plants
In New Zealand are electricity is already 85% from renewable sources and the next big area is transport. If we converted some of our transport to renewable electricity we could save a lot of money and meet our CO2 Targets, http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/climate-threats.html
Until you cut back on the production and use of cars, the volume of air traffic and the prodigious amounts of plastic used in cars and the food industry you are just farting in the wind.
It's too late. We're already past the tipping point. This evil government should have switched away from fossil fuels a decade ago, at the latest, which neither political party had the remotest notion to do. Methane is now pouring out of melted permafrost in tidal waves of greenhouse gas. Methane is exponentially more powerful than CO2 in clogging the heat and melting more of everything that can melt. Honest estimates will tell us we have 10-15 years left, before the heat refuses to allow plants to grow in the 130 + degree oven we have made of the planet---Hell---which also eliminates the creation of oxygen, made in equal parts by those ungrowable plants and the phytoplankton in the RAPIDLY acidifying and dying oceans.
The only good news is that the heat will cool into something approaching the weather of the present in about 10,000 years, with the life at the bottom of the oceans continuing and evolving to fill the myriad niches for life to recover, along with such creatures as certain insects, like cockroaches, which are impervious to the nuclear radiation that will overtake the globe from the 100 + melted-down nuclear power plants humans will be unable to dismantle before we all become extinct.
If you get mad about your life being cut short and the future as we imagine it completely ending, direct your ire at this government and BOTH treasonous parties.
@Robert Bernal I agree, nuclear power is a necessary component of any viable response to climate change.
@Jack Walters If you are wrong and we did nothing, we are screwed. If you are right and we did spend a lot of money, we'll have a dent in our budget. Which do you prefer? Having a dent in the budget or not existing at all?
@Jack Walters You're wrong on ALMOST every count. The earth is not in any cooling mode; if you look at any graph of global temperatures, you'll see that it is warming rapidly.
You ARE correct in noting that CO2 is beneficial to plants. Unfortunately, higher temperatures place greater water stress on plants. The overall result is that global agricultural output will decline (except for improvements in agricultural technology such as GMO crops).
You're totally wrong about concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere; they are steadily increasing pretty much as expected, perhaps even a little faster than expected. See this source: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
Temperatures are very much in accord with the outputs of the models. Yes, there are some fluctuations -- there are always fluctuations. But the time scale for climate change is at least 30 years (and 50 to 100 is better) and we have not seen any deviation from the steady rise over that period of time. Moreover, sea level continues to steadily rise, clearly showing that the oceans are steadily heating up. See this: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html
You claim that human emissions of CO2 are insignificant, but the fact that atmospheric CO2 is steadily rising disproves your claim.
You ask if the economic costs of addressing climate change are worth it. A better question is whether the economic costs of addressing climate change are less than the economic costs of NOT addressing climate change. We are already paying about $200 billion per year in damages due to climate change. See this source: http://www.munichre.com/site/corporate/get/documents/mr/assetpool.shared/Documents/0_Corporate%20Website/6_Media%20Relations/Press%20Releases/2012/2012_01_04_munich_re_natural-catastrophes-2011_en.pdf?2
@Paul M. Need I remind you that the Great Lakes, Canada, and the USA do not constitute the entire world. There are other places that have much greater air pollution problems. And that pollution spreads all over the globe.
@Ravi Amblee We can raise the money for your dream with a 90% tax rate and confiscation of all stocks and bonds of those bad shareholders of polluters. The robots must be unionized, a portion of their dues going to political campaigns of the green candidates. As the glaciers cover Canada and the American north, the robots (machine guns in hand) can carry out the mass evacuations. All the while, the government scientists can proclaim the need for more robots, more changes to the economic system, more closing down of climate emitting businesses to combat climate change.
@James Dey As individuals, the most significant contribution we can make is to quit voting for politicians who refuse to accept the reality that we have a problem.
@James Dey The report is for the benefit of governments, not individuals. As individuals, most of what we can do boils down to the well-known basic ways of reducing your energy usage, which you have already listed. You list six ideas and seem to be saying that the second group of three is not cost-effective. Those things might be true in your case, but in general they work well for many people. For example, there is now a foam treatment of insulating external walls that is fairly cheap and quite effective. Double-glazing your windows is only appropriate if you live in a cold climate. And converting your central heating system is always problematic. In my case, it was a no-brainer: the house we moved into had an electric resistance heater -- just about the least efficient system, We replaced it with a earth-based heat pump, which works remarkably well and has long since paid back its capital cost.
And no, wind turbines are never useful for individuals. Even solar cells are uncertain. If you live in very sunny climes, they provide excellent benefit to cost ratios. But for somebody living in the UK, as you seem to be, solar cells are almost certainly a bad idea.
@Bruce Hall How will Mr. Reid collect alternative energy subsidies? Does he own a company that works in the alternative energy business? If not, then how will he accomplish this feat?
@Doug L Fair enough, so what are you going to replace all that coal with? Hydro, Onshore wind and geothermal are the only renewable technologies cheaper than coal. None of those scale up sufficiently to complete replace coal
@Doc Climate Solar is not economically viable. Onshore Wind is but isn't scalable to provide the same levels of energy as fossil fuels. Taxing people without providing viable alternatives will kill this movement stone dead.
@Doc Climate The article says that every country needs to agree in order to be effective, but if China and the US agree to a tax and dividend plan, the rest of the world will follow. Since China has already taken a step in this direction, this is not as impossible as some would believe.
@James Dey Quit voting for politicians who want to pretend we don't have a problem. We can legitimately argue about what to do about the problem, but it is delusional to think we don't have one. At least admitting the problem exists would be a step in the right direction.
Nothing. You and your entire neighborhood could get together and cut your carbon output to zero and you still wouldn't offset 5% of Al Gore's emissions.
@craig hill Neither you nor David Seabaugh have a remotely realistic assessment of our situation. Methane is more potent per molecule, but it degrades to CO2 over 10 years or so. Some estimates are that it will degrade about as fast as it melts, others estimate the melting will be faster, but in either case, we aren't toast yet.
David, for the temperature in ten years to be equal to or cooler than it is now, every student of thermodynamics since Fourier (~1824) would have to have been wrong. If I have to choose Fourier or you, I'll go with Fourier.
@craig hill. If you really think that the average temperature of the planet will be 130 degrees in 10 years, you are alone even among the wackiest of the doomsday prophets. Try to relax and get back to me in ten years when the global average temperature is equal to, or cooler, than it is now.
@Fernando Torres @Jack Walters Since man only produces less than 0.3% of all greenhouse gases, spending a lot of money will not even begin to make a dent in greenhouse gases. But it will certainly reduce the already pathetic rate of growth of the old western democracies from their current 1-2% rate of growth to decline. Anyone that thinks that the current trend towards less freedom and dictatorship in the USA has nothing to do with our pathetic economic policies is an ostrich.
I also find it telling that the liberal global warming crowd is unwilling to sacrifice a single welfare program to help pay for the vast subsidies to solar and wind power interests. Would it be a good move to say eliminate the food stamp program, HUD or legal aid emanating from the EEOC to combat carbon emissions? Not according to the global warmists. The money must come from taxes on the South, big business, banking, oil and gas The Kyoto protocols provided for vast subsidies to China and other third world countries as a "fine" for being a developed country that uses too much fossil fuels. China used the money, ironically, to become a developed country that burns more carbon per capita in most of it's largest cities than any western country.
@Chris Crawford @Bruce Hall Take Government 101. If something makes no economic or common sense without government help, then chances are that a payoff (in this case to the former Nevada Gaming Commissioner) can suddenly flow massive taxpayer funded subsidies in your direction. How do you think that China got the missile launch technology from Doral Space?
@Chris Golledge @James Dey We are about to have a real problem growing enough food because the planet is cooling. The politicians that admit that the planet is cooling, the ones that stand up for science and against the madness get my vote: http://climatism.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/global-warming-is-the-greatest-and-most-successful-pseudoscientific-fraud-in-history/
@James Dey@Chris Golledge. Quit voting for politicians that want to destroy the middle class by taxing a non existent problem. It is delusional to continue to believe that warming is occurring when we can prove to you that it is not. Remember, the doomsday cults' entire argument to redistribute wealth through taxation of the middle class is based on predictive models that always fail. If you come across one of these Marxist, ask them why the planet stopped warming 16 years ago and why their predictions are always wrong.
@David Seabaugh What is this obsession with Al Gore? Is it some sort of resentment that he got a Nobel Peace Prize? Is it resentment of the fact that he's rich? There are a zillion rich people out there emitting tons of CO2. There are people who emit more CO2 than Al Gore, and there are people who emit less. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
@Chris Golledge @craig hill The "hide the decline" crowd says that the sun and actual temperatures are irrelevant factors. But temperatures are falling, including the coldest April 15 (today) in Dallas history. http://www.climatecooling.org/
We have just entered a 1,000 year catastrophic ice age. 80% of the temperature change will take place within the first 100 years. 80% of the change in the first 100 years will take place in the next ten years. Think about how irrelevant the 0.3% of all greenhouse gases that are created by man are in this present circumstance.
All of your predictive models have failed. If I have to choose actual climate history, or you, I'll go with history.
@Jack Walters @Fernando Torres You claim that humankind produces only 0.3% of all greenhouse gases. That's a bit of numeric sleight of hand. For example, I could point out that the total tax revenue taken by the US government is less than 1% of the total amount of financial transactions taking place in the USA. Of course, financial TRANSACTIONS are not the same as financial WEALTH, but hey, two can play this game.
What matters is not the flow of carbon but the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere, and despite all your twisting of the facts, you simply cannot deny the fact that CO2 concentrations have increased in the last 200 years from 275 ppm to 400 ppm. That rate of increase exactly matches the amount of fossil fuels we have been burning during that time. You can play games with numbers but you can't cover up the facts.
You're worried about the economy. That's good. Tell me, how much money are we wasting on attempts to combat climate change? Well, there's some research money -- a few billion. There's some government subsidies -- another few billion. Most of the money spend on wind energy and solar energy is coming from private investors who intend to make a profit. So you're making a stink about less than $10 billion in current spending.
Meanwhile, however, the economy is taking a serious hit from climate change. Current estimates put the total cost of climate change at about $200 billion per year. That's a global figure, but the USA represents a good chunk of that. You don't believe me? Take a look at the graphs in this report from a major insurance company:
This is from a for-profit operation that doesn't give a hoot about politics.
So if you're not a hypocrite and are seriously concerned about the economy, then you definitely want to start advocating that we take reasonable steps to combat climate change.
As to how we pay for this, that's a political decision, and is therefore subjective. Let me point out, though, that if you want to reduce the US budget deficit, military spending comprises 30% of the budget, whereas all the programs you mention comprise maybe 5%.
@David Seabaugh Because wealthy people tend to have much larger footprints than less wealthy, about 2/3 of the populace will get back more in the rebate than they pay in increased prices.
@David Seabaugh The planet is still warming. We can measure more energy coming in than leaving. You've heard of the law regarding the conservation of energy?
@David Seabaugh Did you not read the article? It does not talk about redistributing wealth. Why are you injecting false premises into this discussion?
@David Seabaugh Some of the top scientists that promoted the theory of AGW have recanted and admitted their research was flawed: http://www.westernjournalism.com/climate-change-alarmist-reverses-course-bombshell-interview/
IPCC Member Klaus Eckert Puls also is now a "denier". He is angered by the falsification of data by the politically inspired IPCC.http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/09/climate-alarmism-of-course-the-ipcc-was-designed-to-create-and-promote-it/#more-107269
@David Seabaugh It's interesting that you mention history because our best information of what the earth will do in the future is based on what the earth has done in the past. Paleoclimate studies indicate the earth is quite sensitive to atmospheric CO2 content.
CO2 induced climate change has a 120 year history. What makes you think you're smarter than the cumulative efforts of 120 years of research?
@David Seabaugh You are incorrect in declaring that the models have failed. There are many well-established methods to measure the error in statistical data; when applied to the models' outputs, they show that the models do a very good job. If you think that the models don't work, please tell me the RMS error of their output over their applied period. If you can't specify some form of error measurement, then you don't know what you're talking about.
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