Warming Global Temperatures
Seen Threatening Agriculture

A warming world, stricken by more heat waves, more severe and frequent storms, drought and desertification, and sea level rise “will seriously diminish the world’s ability to feed itself,” Time magazine reported January 13, detailing a new study published in the journal Science.

David Battisti, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington, and Rosamond Naylor, director of the Program for Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University, looked at data from 23 climate models and found a more than 90 percent chance that by 2100, average growing-season temperatures would be hotter than the most extreme levels recorded in the past.

Examining past heat waves and their effects on agriculture, Battisti and Naylor found that crop yields suffered severely.

“If those trends hold in the future,” Time wrote, “the researchers estimate that half the world’s population could face a climate-induced food crisis by 2100. ‘I’m very concerned,’ says Naylor. ‘How are we going to feed a world of 8 or 9 billion with the effects of climate change?’”

The study in Science, “Historical Warnings of Future Food Insecurity with Unprecedented Seasonal Heat,” can be found at the Science website.

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