Vastly expanding sugarcane production in Brazil for conversion to ethanol could reduce current global CO 2 emissions by as much as 5.6%, according to a new study by an international team led by researchers from the University of Illinois. This would be a massive undertaking, involving the conversion of hundreds of thousands of square miles—at its most ambitious, more than the combined land area of Texas and California—to sugarcane fields. However, it could be accomplished without impinging on environmentally sensitive areas in Brazil and while allowing for the expansion of other agricultural crops and human needs, the researchers report in a paper in the journal Nature Climate Change . The carbon-related costs of converting the land to sugarcane fields were included in the analysis. The team looked at three scenarios that would increase the sugarcane footprint in Brazil between 37.5 million and 116 million hectares (144,788 to 447,879 square […]