WOODS HOLE, Mass., Oct. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists are calling for "sustainable practices" in the nation's biofuels production that will "reshape the Earth's landscape in a significant manner."
Jerry Melillo of the Marine Biological Laboratory and 22 co-authors call for "science-based policy in the emerging global biofuels industry, which by 2050, could command as much land as is currently farmed for food."
"The identification of unintended consequences early in the development of alternative fuel strategies will help to avoid costly mistakes and regrets about the effects on the environment," the scientists wrote.
Melillo is co-director of MBL's Ecosystems Center, The study's other authors are environmental scientists, agronomists and economists from the United States and Brazil.
"Sustainable biofuel production systems could play a highly positive role in mitigating climate change, enhancing environmental quality and strengthening the global economy," the scientists said. "But it will take sound, science-based policy and additional research effort to make this so."
The paper is reported in Science magazine.