Food Prices To Skyrocket Due To Global Warming


Large-scale crop failures are likely to become more common in the face of climate change,  scientists have warned.

Rising temperatures could mean events such as the wheat crisis which recently took place  in most parts of the world, would become more frequent, researchers from the University  of Leeds, the Met Office and the University of Exeter said.

But they said the worst effects of climate change could be limited by investment in  better farming and the development of new drought resistant or heat tolerant crops.

In a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the scientists warned  that rising temperatures would make crops mature more quickly, reducing their yield,  while extreme temperatures could also significantly reduce yields.

More droughts would affect crops, while more intense monsoon rains could lead to flooding  and crop damage, the researchers said.

Lead author of the study, Dr Andy Challinor from the University of Leeds, said: ‘Due to  the importance of international trade, crop failure is an issue that affects everyone on  the planet, not just those in crop-growing regions.

‘More extreme weather events are expected to occur in the coming years due to climate  change and we have shown that these events are likely to lead to more crop failures.

‘What we need to do now is think about the solutions. It is highly unlikely that we will  find a single intervention that is a “silver bullet” for protecting crops from failure.’

An approach was needed which combined building up crop tolerance to heat and water stress  alongside investment in agriculture, the researchers suggested.

Co-author Dr Evan Fraser, from the University of Leeds, said: ‘It appears that more  developed countries with a higher GDP tend to evolve more advanced coping mechanisms for  extreme events.

‘In China this is happening organically as the economy is growing quickly, but poorer  regions such as Africa are likely to require more in the way of aid for such development.

‘What is becoming clear is that we need to adopt a holistic approach: new crops for a  changing climate and better farming practices that can only come about under more  favourable socio-economic conditions.’

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