Acknowledgements

A blog made with pictures, broken English and my vague "castellano" language.

Thanks Brian Hua for pushing me to make this blog. Work hard Brian...

This little mountain (about 10.000 Ha, 25.000 acres) call Sierra de Carrascoy, is where I grew up. How can you place the mountain in the world, HERE. My father used to work in a big farm on this mountain, so I had the chance to explore what was going on in these hillsides.

Aquí una preciosa vista de la umbría de la Sierra de Carrascoy, termino municipal de Alhama de Murcia. Como localizarla en el mundo? AQUI La foto esta realizada desde el Rio Guadalentin con la cámara de Carmen Lopez (la chica con la que comparto casa y crios); Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3.

Este blog lo actualizo según la vida (trabajo, familia, etc...) me va dejando tiempo, por tanto irregularmente.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ENGAGING INTRODUCTION

The text below (1), of Pamela C. Ronald is an example of what I say,

(1) Ronald PC (2014) Lab to Farm: Applying Research on Plant Genetics and Genomics to Crop Improvement. PLoS Biol 12(6): e1001878. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001878

"The Earth's human population is expected to increase from the current 6.7 billion to 9 billion by 2050. To feed the growing population, and the 70% increase in the demand for agricultural production that is expected to accompany this increase, a broad range of improvements in the global food supply chain is needed.
There are significant opportunities in plant science research. For example, sustainable agricultural intensification will be important [1] because maintaining current per capita food consumption with no increase in yield, and no decrease in post-harvest and food waste, would necessitate a near doubling of the world's cropland area by 2050 [2],[3]. However, because most of the Earth's arable land is already in production and what remains is being lost to urbanization, salinization, desertification, and environmental degradation, cropland expansion is not a viable approach to food security [4]. Furthermore, because substantial greenhouse gases are emitted from agricultural systems, expansion of cropland would also substantially contribute to carbon mitigation [5]. Thus, the development and deployment of high-yielding crop varieties will make a vital future contribution to sustainable agriculture because it does not rely on expanding cropland.
Water systems are also under severe strain across the world. The fresh water available per person has decreased 4-fold in the last 60 years [4]. Of the water that is available for use, about 70% is already used for agriculture [6]. Many rivers no longer flow all the way to the sea; 50% of the world's wetlands have disappeared and major groundwater aquifers are being mined unsustainably, with water tables in parts of Mexico, India, China, and North Africa declining by as much as 1 meter per year [7]. Thus, increased food production must largely take place on the same land area while using less water. The need for land and water for food production must compete with demands for ecosystem preservation and biomass production.
Compounding the challenges facing agricultural production are the predicted effects of climate change [8]. As the sea level rises and glaciers melt, low lying croplands will be submerged and river systems will experience shorter and more intense seasonal flows, causing more flooding [9]. Yields of our most important food, feed, and fiber crops decline precipitously at temperatures much above 30°C, so heat and drought will also increasingly limit crop production [10]. In addition to these environmental stresses, losses to pests and diseases are also expected to increase. Much of the loss caused by these abiotic and biotic stresses, which already result in 30%–60% yield reductions globally each year, occur after the plants are fully grown; a point at which most or all of the land and water required to grow a crop has been invested [11]. For this reason, a reduction in losses to pests, pathogens, and environmental stresses is equivalent to creating more land and more water [1],[12],[13].
Another important opportunity for increasing food availability is to reduce the amount of food wasted before and after it reaches the consumer (estimated at 30%–50% of total global production) [14][16]. Substantial changes in diet through education and/or technological innovation—while difficult—could also make up a good deal of the shortfall in feeding the world's population. For example, a reduction in meat consumption would contribute to increasing the food supply, because 1 hectare of land can produce rice or potatoes for 19–22 people per year whereas the same area will produce enough meat for only 1–2 people.
Augmentation of the nutritional quality of crops is also critical for global food security. Food security, as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” [17]. Currently, there are 925 million people who are undernourished (~13% of today's world population), and nearly all live in less developed countries. The long-term effects of malnutrition include stunted growth, learning disabilities, poor health, and chronic disease in later life. Growing more staples that are deficient in essential vitamins and minerals will not tackle health problems caused by nutrient poor diets.
In this Essay, I discuss how discoveries in plant genetic and genomics research can be translated to create new crops and cropping systems that more efficiently use finite resources and that can enhance the quality and quantity of food production. Each strategy must be evaluated in light of its environmental, economic, and social impacts—the three pillars of sustainable agriculture [18]."

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I like reading these pieces of articles, and think that there are still people concerned about others and not just for its record of scientific publications

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