1960s Green Revolution's diet of big carbon savings

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The Green Revolution of the 1960s raised crop yields and cut hunger - and also saved decades worth of greenhouse gas emissions, a study concludes.

US researchers found cumulative global emissions since 1850 would have been one third as much again without the Green Revolution's higher yields.

Although modern farming uses more energy and chemicals, much less land needs to be cleared.

The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Converting a forest or some scrubland to an agricultural area causes a lot of natural carbon in that ecosystem to be oxidized and lost to the atmosphere," said Steven Davis, from the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University in California....

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