A paddy field . .

. . somewhere, anywhere, in rural Thailand.

 

Rice represents 20 percent of the world's per capita caloric consumption. More than 50 percent of the world's population is dependent upon rice for 80 percent of its diet.

 

Rice is cultivated in more than 100 countries and on every continent except Antarctica - from sea level to an altitude of 3,000 meters. To keep pace with demand, technological advances in production are occurring rapidly. However, much of the world's rice crop is still dependent upon annual rainfall patterns, such as occur during the Asian monsoon season. Changes in world weather patterns can easily alter the delicate balance between world supply and demand, dramatically affecting world rice trade patterns and price levels.

 

However, according to Wikipedia: Growing rice has an adverse environmental impact because of the large quantities of methane gas it generates. World methane production due to paddy fields has been estimated to be in the range of 50 to 100 million tonnes per annum. This level of greenhouse gas generation is a large component of the global warming threat produced from an expanding human population. However, recent studies have shown that methane can be significantly reduced while also boosting crop yield by draining the paddies.

 

The weekend's over for me; hope you had a good one. I'm off to Seoul tonight for the next couple of days on business, will try to comment when I get the chance.

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Taken on April 20, 2008
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