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21.12.2020 |

Clearing land to feed 2050’s human population threatens biodiversity

The world’s farmland is projected to grow by 3.4 million square kilometers by 2050

Humankind’s growing need for food is running up against thousands of other species’ need for space.

By 2050, humans may need to clear an additional 3.35 million square kilometers of land for agriculture. Converting these largely natural habitats, collectively about the size of India, would squeeze more than 17,000 vertebrate species from some of their lands, researchers report December 21 in Nature Sustainability.

But changing how, where and what food is grown can minimize the impacts, says conservation scientist David Williams of the University of Leeds in England. “We can feed the planet without screwing it up too badly.”