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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Health

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Data

Regional Focus


Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

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  • This article examines the harmful practices and possible solutions from the agriculture and forestry sectors.
  • Students will learn that about a quarter of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and forestry, that plant-based diets are ideal for emission reduction, and that reducing soil tillage can increase carbon absorption.
Teaching Tips


  • This article illustrates how important land is for plants and many animals.
  • Students will benefit from this sector overview, which is concise while still covering the sector's many facets, such as human health and food security.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students must understand how greenhouse gases contribute to climate change.
  • Students should know what carbon sinks are and why we need them.


  • For this article, teachers can pause after reading about each area of focus in this sector and ask students for examples to gauge comprehension.
  • To assess prior knowledge, teachers can ask the class questions about how agriculture impacts the environment before reading the article.
  • Students can use this article for an argumentative essay on the best ways to reform worldwide agricultural practices and why such reforms are necessary.
  • This article can enhance a classroom discussion on how economic systems influence land allocation and usage.
  • Students with high levels of reading stamina can read some of the technical descriptions for solutions in the links at the bottom of the page.
Scientist Notes
This resource introduces a solution to reducing emissions by addressing people's diets and reducing food waste, and protecting ecosystems and shifting agricultural practices. There is a brief discussion of how land use can affect climate change and reduce greenhouse gases. The resource is an excellent addition to a lesson discussing alternative methods for reducing carbon emissions. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
      • D2.Geo.9.9-12 Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • National Health Education Standards
    • Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
      • 1.12.3 Analyze how environment and personal health are interrelated.
  • Related Resources


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