Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Map shows global croplands in highest resolution ever, reveals India has more cropland than U.S.

U.S. Geological Survey map shows North American croplands in neon green.
Click on the image to enlarge or click here to see the interactive map.
As part of a global food-security data project, the U.S. Geological Survey has just released a map detailing croplands worldwide at 30-meter resolution, which is the highest resolution ever achieved. The study brought some startling facts to light. For one thing, it reveals that there are 1.87 billion hectares of croplands on Earth, which is 15 to 20 percent higher than previously thought.

And though earlier studies showed that China or the U.S. had the most net cropland, "This study shows that India ranks first, with 179.8 Mha (9.6 percent of the global net cropland area). Second is the United States with 167.8 Mha (8.9 percent), China with 165.2 Mha (8.8 percent) and Russia with 155.8 Mha (8.3 percent). Statistics of every country in the world can be viewed in an interactive map," Morning Ag Clips reports. South Asia and Europe are the overall agricultural capitols of the world in terms of total geographic area dedicated to croplands.

In a world with rapidly increasing population, it's important to understand and monitor agriculture, since it's the main vehicle for food security. The map also helps provide a baseline for assessing global water security, since almost 80 percent of all water used by humans goes toward food production. The project, which bears the somewhat unwieldy name "Global Food Security-Support Analysis Data @ 30-m Project", aims to continue recording and releasing croplands data year after year.

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