A Biomass Future for the North American Great Plains - Toward Sustainable Land Use and Mitigation of Greenhouse Warming
Edited by Norman J. Rosenberg
The Great Plains of North America is a major global breadbasket but its agriculture is stressed
by drought, heat spells, damaging winds, soil erosion and declining ground water resources.
The great inter-annual variability in crop production and declining rural populations weaken
an economy already highly dependent upon government support. The region's ecological fragility
and economic weakness is attributed by many to removal of its original grass cover. Abandonment
of agricultural cropping and restoration of the grass cover is one proposed solution to the region's problems.
Hardcover 198 pp ISBN 9781402056000
Simulation models suggest that the agriculture and water resources of the Plains may be stressed
even further as its climate changes because of global warming, which is due primarily to the emissions
of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion. This book explores the possibility that the ecology and
economy of the Plains region (and similar regions) would benefit from the introduction of perennial biomass crops.
Biomass production and processing on the Plains (possibly aided by genetic engineering) would partially restore a
perennial vegetative cover and create new employment opportunities. Biomass also offers a means of reducing
fossil fuel use, providing fuel to local power plants and a feedstock for production of cellulosic ethanol, a
gasoline substitute. Interest in biofuels is growing rapidly in public, political and business circles with rising
fossil fuel prices and because of a growing recognition of the need for energy independence in petroleum
Written for researchers in agricultural industries and farm organizations; agronomists, graduate students
To find similar publications, click on a keyword below:
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- Outlook.- Section containing coloured figures.
: agriculture & forestry
: climate change
: sustainable development