Although the United States has pursued rapid development of corn ethanol as a matter of national biofuel policy, relatively little is known about this policy's widespread impacts on agricultural land conversion surrounding ethanol refineries. This knowledge gap impedes policy makers' ability to identify and mitigate potentially negative environmental impacts of ethanol production.

Climate variability and changes are the emerging challenges for Indian agriculture with the growing population to ensure national food security. A study was conducted to assess the Climatic Change effects in medium to low altitude areas of the Himalayan region causing changes in land use and cereal crop productivity with the various climatic parameters. The rainfall and temperature changes from 1951 to 2013 were studied at four locations of varying altitudes, namely Hardwar, Rudra Prayag, Uttar Kashi and Tehri Garwal.

Fighting wildfires in the United States costs billions of dollars annually. Public dialog and ongoing research have focused on increasing wildfire risk because of climate warming, overlooking the direct role that people play in igniting wildfires and increasing fire activity. Our analysis of two decades of government agency wildfire records highlights the fundamental role of human ignitions.

The trace element selenium is essential for human health and is required in a narrow dietary concentration range. Insufficient selenium intake has been estimated to affect up to 1 billion people worldwide. Dietary selenium availability is controlled by soil–plant interactions, but the mechanisms governing its broad-scale soil distributions are largely unknown. Using data-mining techniques, we modeled recent (1980–1999) distributions and identified climate–soil interactions as main controlling factors.

The health of honey bee colonies cannot be understood apart from the landscapes in which they live. Urban and agricultural developments are two of the most dramatic and widespread forms of human land use, but their respective effects on honey bees remain poorly understood. Here, we evaluate the relative attractiveness of urban and agricultural land use to honey bees by conducting a foraging choice test.

Global climate change projections for Nepal and the Himalayas suggest significant changes in temperature and precipitation, including increased monsoon (summer) precipitation and more variable and highly unpredictable actual rainfall patterns.

In this paper we reflect on aspects of palaeoecological approaches to understanding past woodland environments. With increasing requirements for interdisciplinarity in research, and an increase in popular interest in the ‘natural environment’ such as ‘new nature writing’, we suggest that palaeoecology is potentially well situated to engage with other audiences and disciplines, and inform wider debates.

Peatlands are carbon-rich ecosystems that cover just three per cent of Earth’s land surface, but store one-third of soil carbon. Peat soils are formed by the build-up of partially decomposed organic matter under waterlogged anoxic conditions. Most peat is found in cool climatic regions where unimpeded decomposition is slower, but deposits are also found under some tropical swamp forests. Here we present field measurements from one of the world’s most extensive regions of swamp forest, the Cuvette Centrale depression in the central Congo Basin.

A new report enables agricultural companies to set science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets for key commodities.

There is great uncertainty over the timing and magnitude of the termination of the African Humid Period (AHP). Spanning from the early to middle Holocene, the AHP was a period of enhanced moisture over most of northern and eastern Africa. However, beginning 8000 years ago the moisture balance shifted due to changing orbital precession and vegetation feedbacks. Some proxy records indicate a rapid transition from wet to dry conditions, while others indicate a more gradual changeover.