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Change in farming could lower Europe's temperature: study

Published on Jun 24, 2014 6:48 AM
 
Cattle gather in a field near an ECO 110 wind turbine manufactured by Alstom in the Landes de Couesme wind farm near La Gacilly, western France, on April 26, 2014. If Europe adopted a style of farming that abstains from plowing after a harvest, local temperatures could drop as much as 2 deg C, researchers said on Monday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - If Europe adopted a style of farming that abstains from plowing after a harvest, local temperatures could drop as much as 2 deg C, researchers said on Monday.

The reason lies in the colour of the soil: untilled land is lighter and reflects sunlight, making the area cooler than it is when dark surfaces are present, according to scientists.

Fields that are plowed also dry out faster. In contrast, untilled land allows moisture to evaporate more slowly and can contribute to cooling.

The effects could be particularly noticeable during hot spells, said the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.

 
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