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Volume 3 Issue 4, April 2020

Optimal cropland use

Rising food demand and the rising land use and environmental ills of agriculture are clashing. Folberth and colleagues find that locating crops and applying fertilizers optimally could reduce required cropland globally by about half.

See Folberth et al.

Image: Frans lemmens / Alamy Stock Photo. Cover Design: Valentina Monaco.


  • A growing, increasingly affluent and urban human population is driving demand for more food grown in more-sustainable ways. This issue features a suite of articles highlighting how intensification of production on existing farmland and with fewer inputs is an aspirational and data-hungry challenge.



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Comment & Opinion

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News & Views

  • Can economic growth be made greener, or must we look beyond growth to achieve sustainability? An important new study shows that the pursuit of ‘green growth’ would increase inequality and unemployment unless accompanied by radical social policies.

    • Daniel W. O’Neill
    News & Views
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  • Increasing urbanization will lead to a significant expansion of buildings and related infrastructure, major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. This Perspective discusses the possibility of constructing mid-rise urban buildings with engineered timber for long-term carbon storage and carbon emissions reduction.

    • Galina Churkina
    • Alan Organschi
    • Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
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