The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Cooling Off With Compost

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The Dish

A simple farming technique could help mitigate the effects of climate change on crops:

The technique in question is called “no-till farming,” and it simply involves leaving the debris from previous crops on the surface of the fields rather than plowing the fields and exposing the soil underneath. Observations of test agricultural fields indicate that no-till practices have several effects. To begin with, the debris tends to retain moisture, which limits evaporation; since evaporation cools the surface, this tends to have a warming effect. But this warming is extremely limited on the hottest days, when the intense heat drives evaporation even when plant debris is present.

The agricultural debris also has an effect on albedo, the amount of sunlight that gets reflected back from the Earth’s surface. After a rain storm, the tillage was about as dark as the soil underneath it. But on drier days, the plant material reflected significantly more sunlight than…

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Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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