How climate change effecting crop production?

Dr. Sangeeta Soi
Dr. Sangeeta Soi

Climate change is the biggest factor we are facing today. The rise in heat we experience is responsible for the effect on world food supply also. The rising humidity and heat every year bring us to understand the drastic effect we are going to experience after few years which is really alarming.

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A research conducted by Dr. Sam Myers, a medical doctor and senior research scientist studying environmental health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health illustrates that there will be impacts on the quantity, quality and location of the food we produce.

The need for increasing food production nowadays is so rapid that we have to work hard than before. Initially, some experts thought that rising carbon dioxide levels might act as fertilizer and increase food yield, Myers said. However, more recent research suggests that the net effects of climate change will mean a decrease in food yield, he said.

For example, studies have shown that the combination of increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, rising temperatures and changes to precipitation may result in significantly lower yields for staple crops such as corn and wheat, particularly in tropical areas, where food production is normally high, Myers said.

Areas that experience increasing temperatures due to climate change will also likely see an increase in crop pests, Myers said. Currently, pests are responsible for 25 to 40 percent of all crop loss, he said, and as climate change continues, these pests will be able to expand their reach. 

According to research with the increase in global heat it would be difficult for farmers to work in field and as the temperature of water bodies rises, the fishes will move towards tropical region.

And  regions closer to the poles will experience warmer weather and longer growing seasons as a result of climate change, these changes won't be large enough to make up for the loss of food production in the tropics

First research regarding the same was published in journal Nature in 2014. The experiment was conducted using two crops wheat and corn  grown in varied conditions, the increased carbondioxide levels and decreased carbondioxide levels. This will effect public health by decreasing iron, zinc and protein  deficiencies.

More research on the subject is required as scientist still cannot assure what’s the reason behind nutrient depletion due to rise in carbondioxide levels.

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