The average temperature of the earth's atmosphere and bodies of water increased during the 20th Century by approximately 1.1 degrees F. There is scientific agreement that observable warming in the last five decades is related to human activity. The primary human components are the increased levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, which are released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels (non-renewable resources) are burned, wide-spread land (for agricultural purposes) is cleared, and conventional agricultural practices are the norm. Agriculture contributes to over 20% of the global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Of that, 70% of CO2 caused as a result of organic agricultural methods is due to fuel consumption and production of machinery, while 75% of CO2 caused as a result of non-organic agricultural methods can be ascribed to dependency on nitrogen fertilizer (to boost soil fertility), energy intensive mono-cropped feedstuffs, and exorbitant levels of fuel consumption.
Conventional agriculture not only plays a part in global warming it is grossly impacted by it.
Agriculture not only plays a part in creating global warming--it is also seriously threatened by it. Increased levels of CO2 and other GHGs combined with the rise in global temperatures are linked to rising sea levels, changes in precipitation patterns, as well as regularity and strength of weather events (i.e. flooding, drought, heatwaves, and hurricanes) all of which significantly deplete soils and consequently affect agricultural yields. Looming increases in global warming could shift zones for cultivation to the north (where current cooler climates exist), distort the distribution of rainfall, and cause atmospheric UV-B radiation changes--all of which could disrupt plant culture, dry out agricultural land, and cause pest and disease populations to burgeon.
Organic agricultural practices hold great promise toward remedying the negative effects of global warming. The use of farm-yard manure, green manures, and cover cropping keeps soils nutrient-rich, improves soil structure, restores organic matter (making for quicker nutrient uptake), maintains and/or increases soil fertility, and increases soil moisture retention--all of which enable the farming ecosystem to better self-regulate. The complete exclusion of synthetics in the farming operation (herbicide, pesticide, fertilizer, etc.) eliminates high-maintenance soils and crops, lowering levels of CO2 and associated GHGs released into the atmosphere, while simultaneously lowering nitrate leaching rates and reducing risks of ground and surface water pollution. Organic methods of agriculture use far less direct and indirect energy sources (many agricultural chemicals are petroleum-derived). Organic methods slow (or even reverse) resource depletion, increase the biodiversity of flora and fauna, contribute to integrated pest management efforts (natural pest control), and often enhance landscape aesthetics.
Frontier's industry-leading line of organic products offers smart alternatives for conscious consumers who choose to reduce their contribution to global warming by purchasing products containing 100% certified organic ingredients.
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