Author: Dr David Frape

The functions and sizes of the five carbon sinks on planet Earth and their relation to climate change Part 2 Coniferous forests-do they warm or cool the climate?

Dr David Frape
Summary The UK Government and Forestry Commission state: “if we plant an additional 15,000 hectares per year, by 2050 these woodlands could be sequestering carbon equivalent to 10% of GHG emissions”(1)(Appendix A). The inference is that by lowering atmospheric CO 2 concentration with planting conifers climate cooling will follow. This is not so. This premise is wrong. Latitude-specific deforestation experiments indicate that afforestation projects in the tropics would be clearly …


Current and forthcoming Issues of World Agriculture

Dr David Frape
The New Year will see a new ‘face’ to World Agriculture .  We shall change our WEB format, and to keep our Journal abreast of developments in internet technology, we shall for example, simplify the procedure by which one downloads references on-line.  Moreover, we shall invite readers to comment on World Agriculture , or on relevant current issues, by publishing your unedited comments, to which we shall append only your name and country. In the present Issue we give evidence of …


The functions and sizes of the five carbon sinks on planet Earth and their relation to climate change Part I Their present sizes and locations

Dr David Frape
Introduction The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged among  five spheres  of the Earth, carbon (C) sinks: the biosphere, pedosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere (These are not mutually exclusive, see Glossary).  Along with the nitrogen cycle and the water cycle, the carbon cycle comprises a sequence of events that is key to making the Earth capable of sustaining life; it describes the movement of carbon as it is recycled and reused …


A review of Dame Fiona Reynolds’ book: The Fight for Beauty, Publ. Oneworld Publications, London 2016; and on the effects of land use on climate change

Dr David Frape
Dame Fiona has published a most apposite and timely book on the Man’s need for beauty of the natural world.  She has asked me to review it – a hard-headed scientist to review a book on beauty, is you might think, a bit incongruous.  “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”, as Plato most astutely stated – it is not subject to scientific analysis, or quantification. Nevertheless, what is beautiful is subject to teaching, or is learnt by experience. My mother once told me she …


The part played by World Agriculture in three vital roles of countryside on the Earth

Dr David Frape
This Issue is one of the more important Issues of World Agriculture.   The pages here are more numerous than is normally the case. We deal with one of our fundamental purposes and objectives.  This is to give a clear, description of the some of the complex, vital problems confronting this World and where possible propose solutions. Policy makers carry out their duties in response to pressure from the voting public.  It is up to that public with the very best and well-informed …


“Capital” farmland is part of a solution to the Chinese food security problems

Dr David Frape
A discussion of the conclusions drawn by Dr. Tang Huaizhi, Dr. Xue Jian, Prof. Yun Wenju – this Issue The Chinese Government fully recognizes the potential national problems associated with their current agricultural production and accepts the conclusions of their leading scientists as to the appropriate action to take. Over  the next 20 years, urbanization of China’s population will continue, presenting similar problems to those of western societies.  A current Chinese …


Indian agroforestry and food production

Dr David Frape
In the current Issue of WA we publish a fascinating and informative account of agroforestry in India by Handa, Toky et al .  In this paper are listed various tree-based products: gums, resins, floss, fibres, fodder, brooms, fruits and many others for the use of the subsistence  farmer. Hence, these various agroforestry systems are considered to be the backbone of marginal farming for a self-reliant and sustainable agriculture, which also forms a strong feasible option to counter climate …


Are the European Union Regulators Laggards?

Dr David Frape
Are the European Union Regulators Laggards? It is appropriate, first, to review the discussions and outcome of a meeting of the FAO in Rome, 15-17 February this year.  The meeting was entitled “The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition”.  The key question at the meeting was: to what extent could agricultural biotechnologies assist and benefit smallholders in developing sustainable food systems and improve nutrition during climate change …


Oils and fatty acids essential for vertebrate health – e.g. fish and Man

Dr David Frape
Summary This paper provides explanations both of why essential fatty acids are essential and of biochemical terms which are widely used by the general press. These explanations should aid an appreciation of two of our papers in this issue especially that by Haslam et al. Vegetable oils are extracted mostly from seeds of maize, soyabean, sunflower, linseed, rape, olive, and palm. These oils provide over twice as much net energy/kg compared with starch and so their consumption can …


Good Fats, Obesity, CVD and GM

Dr David Frape
Vegetable oils provide more than twice as much net energy per unit weight, compared with  proteins or carbohydrates.  Fatty foods therefore contribute to obesity in the Western world. Obesity is a contributory factor to the wide occurrence of cardio-vascular disease (CVD) and type 2-diabetes (T2D). Hence, studies to compare the specific effects of fats on CVD replacing carbohydrates must be conducted on the basis of equalizing total energy intake. But surveys of large populations of …


Climate change and the Curate’s Egg; The carbon budget, cycle and sinks.

Professor Andrew Challinor,
Dr David Frape
Keywords: Climate change, carbon sinks, GHG, food production. See Appendix for definitions of terms used. Matt Ridley, writing in the Wall Street Journal (1), made a number of points justifying why the world should continue to burn fossil fuels at an increasing rate. We contend he draws the wrong conclusions from the established evidence. Ridley fails to recognize the  potential chronic, dire and irreversible consequences of burning fossil fuels at an ever increasing rate. …


In This Issue – achieving a Low Carbon Economy

Dr David Frape
In this Issue we have international cooperation amongst nations of the kind this Journal was designed to kindle.   Experts from China, UK, Australia and India have integrated and focused their attention on several current problems of international concern, the solutions to which will have widespread effects, not only for agricultural production, but also for issues of both economy and biodiversity.  In this Issue we have conducted a detailed survey of many aspects of the semi-arid …


World Food Production – will it be adequate in 2050?

Robert Cook,
Dr David Frape
Summary A system was devised to help understand some of the problems likely to be encountered in feeding the world in 2050. The system assumed that by 2050 the world population would be approximately 9.4 billion, as predicted by FAO, that all women on average had two offspring and that life expectancy at birth would be constant. A simple set of fifty-four vegetarian diets was formulated to meet the FAO dietary requirements for energy, protein and dietary limiting amino acids, for …


NPK efficiency and “plowing”

Dr David Frape
The world population is approximately 6.5 billion (6.5 x 10 9) and it is expected to rise to 9.5 x 10 9 within the next few decades. This rise will greatly increase the likelihood of mass starvation on a scale not previously witnessed, unless there are increases in both the annual output of fertilisers and the efficiency of their use, especially with respect to nitrogen and phosphorus (N & P). World Agriculture has published two papers on the roles of N and P fertilisers. The difficulties …


Why is it still impossible to hold a worthwhile debate over the criticisms of biotechnology in agriculture?

Dr David Frape
There are many assertions made, and scientific conclusions drawn, about how agriculture, including fish farming, horticulture and forestry, should develop over the next half century. The purpose of this development must be to provide adequate food for an increasing population without increasing, and if possible, decreasing, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and without decreasing biodiversity. A major function of this Journal is to make an independent assessment of reliable scientific and …


Food for thought on farming systems

Robert Cook,
Dr David Frape
The nitrogen-cycle (N-cycle), discussed in detail in this Issue, is a key to the difference between “organic” and so-called “conventional” farming. Synthetic N- fertilisers depend for their production upon the Haber process for the fixation of atmospheric N in the form of ammonia by reaction with hydrogen gas. Despite the fact that 78.1% of the air we breathe is N, this gas is relatively unreactive because the molecule (N2) is held together by a strong triple bond. Hence, the …


The ‘Organics’ Debate

Professor Sir Colin Spedding,
Robert Cook,
Dr David Frape
We make no apology for publishing more articles and an editorial on the general subject of ‘organic’ farming in this issue of World Agriculture . The subject gives rise to extensive and often polarised discussion, especially in Europe and the developed world generally. The reasons for the popularity of produce from organic systems often derive from the belief that they are better for the environment, or have health or other personal benefits. This is often a genuine response to real …


GM Maize and mycotoxins

Dr David Frape
In the first Issue we commenced an analysis of problems related to the structure of African agriculture, that discussion is continued here. We present evidence of the replacement of a tropical forest by oil palm plantations, as an economic necessity. These forests are not only repositories of vast numbers of extremely valuable species, but are also vital carbon sinks. Moreover, the act of uprooting large numbers of tropical trees, itself leads to the release of enormous quantities of greenhouse …


Norman Borlaug 1914-2009

J. Perry Gustafson,
Dr David Frape
This Issue of World Agriculture is dedicated to the memory of Norman Borlaug, who was born on a farm near Cresco, Iowa in 1914 and who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. He died in September 2009 during the preparation for this journal of a paper of which he is a co-author. Borlaug always displayed remarkable personal stamina in his plant breeding research, working 12-hour days in harsh field conditions, where he challenged younger researchers with the physical prowess he had developed on the …


The Royal Society: Sustainable Agriculture

Dr David Frape
Two consecutive publications of The Royal Society appeared in February 2008. These are entitled Sustainable agriculture I and Sustainable agriculture II (Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society. 363, No.1491, 443-680 & 363, No.1492, 681-913, Eds: Pollock, C. , Pretty, J. , Crute, I. , Leaver, C . & Dalton , H.). These publications include 31 papers in which the various authors use a total of over 3000 references to other works. The papers present potential problems to be …


Around the world in 80 countries

Dr David Frape
The world faces global agricultural problems with a rising human population, increased consumption per capita and climate change. The growth in agricultural yields during the 20th century was associated with intensive experimentation, that should continue, and increased fossil fuel use that should not. Agriculture has been a net producer of greenhouse gases, whereas forested areas, acting as a major carbon sink are being destroyed to be replaced by agricultural crops and an increased urban …