Climate change to affect global crop production
Posted on Jul 26 2014 | IANS
Washington, July 26 : The world faces a significant risk over the next two decades of a major slowdown in the growth of crop yields because of climate change, new research shows.
The risk of production slowdown of wheat and corn, even with a warming climate, is about 20 times more significant than it would be without global warming, it warned.
"Climate change has substantially increased the prospect that crop production will fail to keep up with rising demand in the next 20 years," said Claudia Tebaldi, a scientist from the Colorado-based National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
According to co-author David Lobell from Stanford University, "The truth is that over a 10- or 20-year period, it depends largely on how fast the Earth warms, and we cannot predict the pace of warming very precisely. So the best we can do is try to determine the odds".
Lobell and Tebaldi used computer models of global climate, as well as data about weather and crops, to calculate the chances that climatic trends would have a negative effect on yields in the next 20 years.
This would have a major impact on food supply.
"Yields would continue to increase, but the slowdown would effectively cut the projected rate of increase by about half at the same time that demand is projected to grow sharply," researchers contended.
The climate change has increased the odds to the point that organisations concerned with food security or global stability need to be aware of this risk, they concluded.
The study appeared in the journal Environmental Research Letters.