The Relationship Between Food Production and Climate Change
More frequent extreme weather events caused by climate change are expected to increase food price volatility over the next decade. If we want to feed the world we need to pursue environmental sustainability, and adaptation to and mitigation of climate change impacts.
Climate change is already having a major impact on agricultural yields. According to a paper published in journal Science and quoted in ENN, global wheat and corn output was reduced by more than 3 percent over the past three decades and these impacts translated into up to 20 percent higher average commodity prices.
This is only a minor foretaste of the agricultural declines that are expected if climate change continues unchecked. “Climate changes are already exerting a considerable drag on yield growth,” said the study titled “Climate Trends and Global Crop Production Since 1980.” The study shows global falls in wheat output of 5.5 percent and 3.8 percent for corn as a result of climate change from 1980-2008.
However, there are things we can do to adapt to a warming climate. CO2 The paper, written by scientists from Stanford and Columbia, noted that adaptation responses, such as advances in crop breeding, could soften the blow of future warming.
“Without successful adaptation, and given the persistent rise in demand for maize and wheat, the sizable yield setback from climate change is likely incurring large economic and health costs,” it said.
Unless we act now, climate change risks the future food supply an effect which is exacerbated by price impact.
Richard Matthews is a consultant, sustainable investor, writer and owner of The Green Market Oracle, a leading sustainable business blog that covers the convergence of sustainable capitalism and the global environment.The Green Market is one of the most comprehensive resources for information and tools on sustainability. Follow The Green Market's twitter feed and see the Facebook Fan Page. Richard is a contributor to more than 50 publications. Find him on Facebook and Linkedin.
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