There is an inextricable link between energy production and food/feed/fiber cultivation with available water resources. Currently in the United States, agriculture represents the largest sector of consumptivewater usemaking up 80.7%of the total. Electricity generation in the U.S. is projected to increase by 24 % in the next two decades and globally, the production of liquid transportation fuels are forecasted to triple over the next 25-years, having significant impacts on the import/export market and global economies.
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Water consumption and water quality continue to be key factors affecting environmental sustainability in biofuel production. This review covers the findings from biofuel water analyses published over the past 2 years to underscore the progress made, and to highlight advancements in understanding the interactions among increased production and water demand, water resource availability, and potential changes in water quality. We focus on two key areas: water footprint assessment and watershed modeling.
A broad-scale perspective on the nexus between climate change, land use, and energy requires consideration of interactions that were often omitted from climate change studies. While prior analyses have considered how climate change affects land use and vice versa (Dale 1997), there is growing awareness of the need to include energy within the analytical framework. A broad-scale perspective entails examining patterns and process at divers spatial and temporal resolutions.
The Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) at the University of Wisconsin has been developing global databases of contemporary and historical agricultural land use and land cover. SAGE has chosen to focus on agriculture because it is clearly the predominant land use activity on the planet today, and provides a vital service?i.e., food?for human societies. SAGE has developed a ?data fusion?
Growing concern about climate change and energy security has led to increasing interest in developing renewable, domestic energy sources for meeting electricity, heating and fuel needs in the United States. Illinois has significant potential to produce bioenergy crops, including corn, soybeans, miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus), and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). However, land requirements for bioenergy crops place them in competition with more traditional agricultural uses, in particular food production.
This paper presents a range of future, spatially explicit, land use change scenarios for the EU15, Norway and Switzerland based on an interpretation of the global storylines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that are presented in the special report on emissions scenarios (SRES). The methodology is based on a qualitative interpretation of the SRES storylines for the European region, an estimation of the aggregate totals of land use change using various land use change models and the allocation of these aggregate quantities in space using spatially explicit rules.
An analysis was performed at NREL to examine the global warming potential and energy balance of power generation from fossil and biomass systems including CO2 sequestration. To get the true environmental picture, a life cycle approach, which takes into account upstream process steps, was applied. Each system maintained the same constant generating capacity and any lost capacity due to CO2 sequestration was accounted for by adding power generation from a natural gas combined-cycle system. This paper discusses the systems examined and gives the net energy and GWP for each system.
This model was developed at Idaho National Laboratory and focuses on crop production. This model is an agricultural cultivation and production model, but can be used to estimate biomass crop yields.
The U.S. Department of Energy has supported a research and development program for the establishment of renewable, biomass-derived, liquid fuels for the better part of the last twenty years. These 'biofuels' represent opportunities to respond to uncertainties about our energy security and the future health of our environment. Throughout its history, the Biofuels Program has experienced an ongoing fiscal 'roller coaster'. Funding has ebbed and flowed with changing political and public attitudes about energy.
NREL's energy-water modeling and analysis activities analyze the interactions and dependencies of water with the dynamics of the power sector and the transportation sector. A variety of models and tools are utilized to consider water as a critical resource for power sector development and operations as well as transportation fuels.
Increasing demand for crop-based biofuels, in addition to other human drivers of land use, induces direct and indirect land use changes (LUC). Our system dynamics tool is intended to complement existing LUC modeling approaches and to improve the understanding of global LUC drivers and dynamics by allowing examination of global LUC under diverse scenarios and varying model assumptions. We report on a small subset of such analyses.
Biofuels are presented in rich countries as a solution to two crises: the climate crisis and the oil crisis. But they may not be a solution to either, and instead are contributing to a third: the current food crisis.
Crop intensification is often thought to increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but studies in which crop management is optimized to exploit crop yield potential are rare. We conducted a field study in eastern Nebraska, USA to quantify GHG emissions, changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) and the net global warming potential (GWP) in four irrigated systems: continuous maize with recommended best management practices (CC-rec) or intensive management (CC-int) and maize–soybean rotation with recommended (CS-rec) or intensive management (CS-int).
USDA Agricultural Projections for 2011-20, released in February 2011, provide longrun projections for the farm sector for the next 10 years. These annual projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.
Important assumptions for the projections include:
PEATSim (Partial Equilibrium Agricultural Trade Simulation) is a dynamic, partial equilibrium, mathematical-based model that enables users to reach analytical solutions to problems, given a set of parameters, data, and initial
conditions. This theoretical tool developed by ERS incorporates a wide range of domestic and border policies that enables it to estimate the market and trade effects of policy changes on agricultural markets. PEATSim captures
Agricultural markets often feature significant transport costs and spatially distributed production and processing which causes spatial imperfect competition. Spatial economics considers the firms’ decisions regarding location and spatial price strategy separately, usually on the demand side, and under restrictive assumptions. Therefore, alternative approaches are needed to explain, e.g., the location of new ethanol plants in the U.S. at peripheral as well as at central locations and the observation of different spatial price strategies in the market.
This database contains current and historical official USDA data on production, supply and distribution of agricultural commodities for the United States and key producing and consuming countries.
Governments worldwide are promoting the development of biofuels in order to mitigate the climate impact of using fuels. In this article, I discuss the impacts of biofuels on climate change, water use, and land use. I discuss the overall metric by which these impacts have been measured and then present and discuss estimates of the impacts. In spite of the complexities of the environmental and technological systems that affect climate change, land use, and water use, and the difficulties of constructing useful metrics, it is possible to make some qualitative overall assessments.
The United States shares with many other countries the goal of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change “to achieve . . . stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”1 The critical role of new technologies in achieving this goal is underscored by the fact that most anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted over the next century will come from equipment and infrastructure that has not yet been built.
The most frequently used climate classification map is that ofWladimir Köppen, presented in its latest version
1961 by Rudolf Geiger. A huge number of climate studies and subsequent publications adopted this or a
former release of the Köppen-Geiger map. While the climate classification concept has been widely applied
to a broad range of topics in climate and climate change research as well as in physical geography, hydrology,
agriculture, biology and educational aspects, a well-documented update of the world climate classification