Climate change will wreak havoc on the world’s agriculture.
If current global warming trends continue, new numerical simulations anticipate significant changes in growth conditions that will have an impact on production over the next 10 years.
By the end of the century, corn yields are expected to drop by about a quarter, while wheat yields are expected to rise by around 17% globally. Major changes will occur considerably faster than previously anticipated in the world’s most significant granaries, requiring farmers all across the world to adjust to the new climatic conditions.
“New climatic circumstances are driving agricultural yields above normal in an increasing number of places. Greater temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and higher quantities of carbon dioxide in the air are all consequences of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.”
“We find that the occurrence of the climate change signal, the time when extraordinary years become the norm, will occur in many of the world’s major granaries over the next decade or shortly thereafter,” says lead author Jonas Jägermeyr of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), Columbia University’s Earth Institute in New York City, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
“This means farmers will have to adjust considerably faster, for example, by shifting planting dates or using alternative types of crops to avoid big losses, but also to make gains in higher-latitude locations,” he added.
Corn yields are declining, but wheat yields are increasing.
The study team developed the greatest collection of future yield forecasts by merging a series of new climate projections with numerous cutting-edge crop models.
They discovered that most major expanding regions will experience considerable changes in the near future. Corn is produced in a variety of latitudes, including subtropical and tropical countries, where greater temperatures are more destructive than cooler latitudes. Maize yields in North and Central America, West Africa, Central and East Asia may drop by more than 20% in the future years.
Existing imbalances are exacerbated.
“One effect that the data clearly demonstrates is that the poorest countries are more likely to see yields of their most critical staple crops fall the most. This exacerbates disparities in food security and affluence that already exist “Christoph Müller, co-author and research fellow at the Potsdam Institute, agrees.
The crucial point to remember is that wheat growth in the northern hemisphere does not compensate for corn losses in the southern. Poor countries, as well as the impacted smallholder farmers, frequently lack the financial resources to purchase food on the international market. As a result, the projected fundamental shift in agricultural production patterns could endanger food security in certain areas while benefiting others.
Temperature isn’t the only factor that will influence crop production in the future. Plant development is aided by increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, especially in the case of wheat. This, however, may impair the nutritional value of plants.
Changes in precipitation patterns, as well as the frequency and length of heat waves and droughts, are all linked to rising global temperatures, posing a threat to crop health and productivity. “Global agriculture faces a new climate reality, even under positive climate scenarios in which nations undertake strong measures to prevent global temperature rise,” Jägermeyr said.
Article Author Gerluxe Image: wikimedia