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Climate change affecting global food production: Study

Climate change affecting global food production: Study

Climate change is adversely affecting the production of key crops such as wheat and rice, with some countries faring far worse than others. This is as per research, published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Scientists from the University of Oxford in the UK and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark used weather and reported crop data to evaluate the potential impact of observed climate change.

Key findings

  • The world's top 10 crops (barley, cassava, maize, oil palm, rapeseed, rice, sorghum, soybean, sugarcane and wheat) supply a combined 83% of all calories produced on cropland. Yields have long been projected to decrease in future climate conditions.
  • They found that observed climate change causes a significant yield variation in the world's top 10 crops, ranging from a decrease of 13.4% for oil palm to an increase of 3.5% for soybean, and resulting in an average reduction of about 1% of consumable food calories from these top 10 crops.
  • The impacts of climate change on global food production are mostly negative in Europe, Southern Africa, and Australia, generally positive in Latin America, and mixed in Asia and Northern and Central America.
  • About half of all food-insecure countries are experiencing decreases in crop production and so are some affluent industrialised countries in Western Europe.
  • In contrast, recent climate change has increased the yields of certain crops in some areas of the upper Midwest US.

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