Climate change hampering world food production, scientists say

February 16, 2015
A peasant looks for good corn during harvest of a drought-affected crop in La Tuna community in Madriz, 200 km from Managua, on November 17, 2014

The acceleration climate change and its impact on agricultural production means that profound societal changes will be needed in coming decades to feed the world's growing population, researchers at an annual science conference said.

According to scientists, food production will have to be doubled over the next 35 years to feed a of nine billion people in 2050, compared with seven billion today.

Feeding the world "is going to take some changes in terms of minimizing climate disruption," said Jerry Hatfield, director at the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment.

Rainfall volatility, increased drought and rising temperatures affect crop yields, which means action must be taken, he said during a talk Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"If you look at production from 2000 to 2050, we basically have to produce the same amount of food as we produced in the last 500 years" he said.

But globally, land usage levels and productivity will continue to degrade the soil, he added.

"If you look at the future projection for the Midwest, we have high confidence that temperatures will increase by quite a bit," Kenneth Kunkel, a climatologist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said of the country's central grain-producing region.

Kunkel studied the impact of global warming on corn in the American Midwest where the biggest threat to food security is drought.

The area is likely to see worse drought in the 21st century than anything it witnessed in the last millennium, which poses a threat to the region's inhabitants, scientists said Thursday, on the first day of the conference in San Jose, California.

Climate change is happening so fast that humans will soon face an unprecedented situation, Kunkel said.

But James Gerber, an agricultural expert at the University of Minnesota, said that reducing consumption waste and decreasing consumption of red meat could help.

Reducing the size of herds decreases their environmental impact, which includes substantial methane emissions, a .

Gerber said scientists had identified "trends that are a little bit concerning" such as a global decrease in the grain reserves that provide society with an important safety net.

He also expressed concern that the majority of grain production is concentrated in areas vulnerable to .

And he didn't rule out greater use of GMOs as part of the solution.

Paul Ehrlich, president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University, said the problem calls for a "real social and cultural change over the entire planet."

"If we had a thousand years to solve it, I would be very relaxed, but we may have 10 or 20 years," he said.

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JamesG
1.9 / 5 (9) Feb 16, 2015
Dogma
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (11) Feb 16, 2015
Socialism is hampering world food production.
Why won't the socialist AGWites address that issue?
Science Officer
2 / 5 (12) Feb 16, 2015
Rev. Thomas Malthus made the same population predictions back in 1798. Oddly enough, the world hasn't starved yet. Fortunately, our agricultural crops will have the advantage of additional CO2 in the atmosphere, promoting better growth.
samohta
1.9 / 5 (10) Feb 16, 2015
The world population is growing and presumably the planet is warming. With a warmed planet there is more evaporation, more evaporation leads to more rain over land masses, and more rain (along with warmer temperatures and presumably shorter winters) creates conditions beneficial to vegetation. This series of events implies an increase in plant life and arable land. Given these benefits of warming planet (more moisture, longer growing seasons, fewer frosts, and shorter winters), it appears mankind is catching a break in our ability feed a greater number of people on the planet. If our goal were to be to improve the human condition, it would be wiser to effect change were change is possible and focus upon providing the human community cleaner water, less pollution, and access to cheap, plentiful energy (molten salt nuclear breeder reactors). By developing the undeveloped world there is no reason not to believe that population rates will abate as they have in developed countries.
Dave O_
2.6 / 5 (13) Feb 16, 2015
1. India is thinking of exporting wheat this year.

2. Paul Ehrlich has never been right about anything.
Morgan Wright
2 / 5 (12) Feb 16, 2015
Scientists say? What kind of science would say warming temperatures and higher CO2 is bad for plants? Answer....political science. Specifically, Marxism.
jazzy_j_man
2 / 5 (6) Feb 16, 2015
Cool to notice that anyone with 1/2 a brain has stopped arguing with those that have turned science into a matter of ego identity and are just letting the cognitively challenged sit around and have their little circle jerk. But it brings the site's rep down, it's not appropriate to the seriousness of the issue and I vote that in the future you just disable comments on those topics where you know you'll only get spam and no honest discussion, no commenting with an ounce of intellectual integrity.
TechnoCreed
3.8 / 5 (10) Feb 16, 2015
Socialism is hampering world food production.
Why won't the socialist AGWites address that issue?

Ryggy, do you know what paranoia is? https://www.youtu...bSL5VQgM
PaleoPhysics
2.6 / 5 (12) Feb 16, 2015
To you commentors: I sent the following email to physics.org. The article is either intellectual dishonesty or journalistic incompetence. And I said as much, nicely. Here it is:
Your recent article on Climate Change Hampering World Food Production is utterly false. Each of the last three years production of staple crops (rice, corn, wheat) have increased. The inclusion of this article indicates that your publication is not to be taken seriously. You apparently did no vetting of this article. It is based on a complete falsehood. To improve your publication read and confirm the articles before you print; that is, if improvement is really your concern.
Bongstar420
2.4 / 5 (8) Feb 16, 2015
Yields are mostly correlated with the ability of the farmer. There is a reason US yields went up despite the recent droughts.

Don't blame climate change, blame poor ignorant farmers
agsb2
2.7 / 5 (7) Feb 16, 2015
I've heard just the opposite that increased CO2 causes plants to grow faster and this was from a scientific study. FYI: Since I am a Biologist, plants fix atmospheric CO2 to make plant food and structures via photosynthesis.
ryggesogn2
2.2 / 5 (10) Feb 16, 2015
Socialism is hampering world food production.
Why won't the socialist AGWites address that issue?

Ryggy, do you know what paranoia is? https://www.youtu...bSL5VQgM

Do you know what truth is?
Zimbabwe used to export food before the socialist dictator redistributed the farms from productive European decent owners to native soldiers.
Stalin and Mao had to starve their people.
DPRK starves its people.
Venezuela is starving its people.
TechnoCreed
3.4 / 5 (10) Feb 16, 2015
Do you know what truth is?
Zimbabwe used to export food before the socialist dictator redistributed the farms from productive European decent owners to native soldiers.
Stalin and Mao had to starve their people.
DPRK starves its people.
Venezuela is starving its people.
And I am suuuuure that you feel sorry for them.

Do you want another truth? The Reds sent an ugly bitch who wreaked vodka to mess up the mind of the good American society and you are the typical resulting product of that. Selfishness is not a virtue; put that in your head Ryggy boy.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (8) Feb 16, 2015
"The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone."

"Men who reject the responsibility of thought and reason can only exist as parasites on the thinking of others."

"The freedom of speech of private individuals includes the right to not agree, not to listen, and not to finance one's own antagonists."

"Remember that rights are moral principles which define and protect a man's freedom of action, but impose no obligations on other men."

"No man can have a right to impose an unchosen obligation , an unrewarded duty or an involuntary servitude on another man.
There can be no such thing as " the right to enslave ."

http://www.goodre...f-egoism

How selfish?
verkle
Feb 16, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ubavontuba
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 16, 2015
Your recent article on Climate Change Hampering World Food Production is utterly false. Each of the last three years production of staple crops (rice, corn, wheat) have increased. The inclusion of this article indicates that your publication is not to be taken seriously. You apparently did no vetting of this article. It is based on a complete falsehood. To improve your publication read and confirm the articles before you print; that is, if improvement is really your concern.
Not only that, but some of the most productive farmland in the world is in a hot, semi-arid climate.

"The Central Valley is one of the world's most productive agricultural regions. More than 230 crops are grown there. On less than 1 percent of the total farmland in the United States, the Central Valley produces 8 percent of the nation's agricultural output by value:"

http://en.wikiped...iculture

TechnoCreed
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 16, 2015
"The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone."

"Men who reject the responsibility of thought and reason can only exist as parasites on the thinking of others."

"The freedom of speech of private individuals includes the right to not agree, not to listen, and not to finance one's own antagonists."

"Remember that rights are moral principles which define and protect a man's freedom of action, but impose no obligations on other men."

"No man can have a right to impose an unchosen obligation , an unrewarded duty or an involuntary servitude on another man.
There can be no such thing as " the right to enslave ."

cont
TechnoCreed
4.6 / 5 (11) Feb 16, 2015
How dystopic, distorted and asocial these quotes are. It is a pity that you cannot perceive their ugliness. Still, I can properly reshape the first one...

Learn to love yourself; when you do, you bring so much more to others.

The 3 others are despicable beyond belief and especially the last one; enslavement is not an unselfish act from oneself, it is an abominable abuse from another and it still exist in the free world under the form of cheap labour.

Remember; no man is an island.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 17, 2015
enslavement is not an unselfish act from oneself, it is an abominable abuse from another and it still exist in the free world under the form of cheap labour.


Communism is state enslavement.
Socialism is state enslavement.
gkam
3.5 / 5 (8) Feb 17, 2015
Some poor folk want to think selfishness is a virtue. It eases their poor conscience, perhaps.

But we are all in this world together, and had better think that way, or we will continue to kill each other self-righteously.
gkam
3.7 / 5 (6) Feb 17, 2015
Ooba, I was born and raised in the heart of the Central Valley, and it has been ruined by Agribusiness. The West Side corporate farms have polluted the land, salted it up with federally-subsidized water, for profit, not food.

When the land is ruined, the corporations will just write it off as a loss, and walk away without paying income tax because of the "losses".

Now, the rising sea levels threaten to once again inundate and salt up the entire Valley. You may just LOSE that productive 1% to GREED.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 17, 2015
But we are all in this world together, and had better think that way


Which means what?
A selfish majority of 'we' can force the minority to think, act and do what the majority thinks it should do?
gkam
3.8 / 5 (10) Feb 17, 2015
Your freedoms are not absolute. Nor are you self-reliant. You did not build the roads you use, nor wire the motor in your refrigerator. You have no idea how to make an integrated circuit, and need folks like me and others to provide power and sanitary services and security for you.

Insecurity drives many to ridiculous fantasies of self-reliance, but the reality is very different.

But if you want to huddle by yourself with all your "things", go ahead. Just do not infect the rest of us with it.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 17, 2015
You have no idea how to make an integrated circuit,

Or a pencil.
Read "I, Pencil".
It's call self-interest. Adam Smith mentioned it once or twice and if individuals don't have the liberty to specialize and be rewarded for their self interest, no benefits.
Insecurity drives many to ridiculous fantasies of self-reliance,

Why are socialists so insecure about trusting individual self interest?
barakn
3.8 / 5 (13) Feb 17, 2015

Why are socialists so insecure about trusting individual self interest?

Because it led to children working in factories 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. I guess we have to periodically remind you that you are living in the 21st century, not the 19th.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) Feb 17, 2015
Because it led to children working in factories 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. I


NO.

That is a demonstrable lie.

Why must socialists lie to defend socialism?

How about the modern socialists who use slave labor in DPRK and China today?
Vietvet
3.9 / 5 (11) Feb 17, 2015
Because it led to children working in factories 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. I


NO.

That is a demonstrable lie.

I guess 14 hour days are okay for child labors?

http://www.eiu.ed...hood.php

http://www.histor...ld-labor

http://www2.needh...bor.html

ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 18, 2015
" despite the existing laws limiting the number of hours of work for those still attending school, some children continue to labor an excessive number of hours or hold prohibited jobs. "

It's interesting that socialists create the environment that put children into poverty and then condemn those children for trying to earn enough money to get out of poverty.

ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 18, 2015
"70 percent of Democrats said that Americans "should get the future jobs in Georgia" prior to the hiring of foreign workers."
http://dailycalle...amnesty/

Why do the socialists want to flood the USA with illiterate, illegal aliens to work at slave wages?
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 18, 2015
"They also found that in the areas surveyed, the demand for education generated through manufacturing growth in Bangladesh accounts for more of the educational increases among girls than the Female Secondary School Assistance Program, a large-scale government-funded program to encourage female schooling.

"In summary, access to factory jobs significantly lowers the risk of early marriage and childbirth for girls in Bangladesh," Heath and Mobarak wrote in an accompanying research brief.

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp
barakn
3.5 / 5 (8) Feb 18, 2015
"Girls 12 to 18 years old who have lived in the proximity of a garment factory for about six years—the average time studied—were 28 percent less likely to be married than those living in villages in the same district that were not close to a factory." Note that the researchers didn't state these girls were working at a factory, merely that they lived near one. Since education in many parts of the world costs money, it's more likely that someone else in the family was working at the factory and earning enough money to send the girl to school.

"Unlike the positive effect for those younger girls, those who were 17-18 years old were slightly more likely to leave school for factory employment." Well, there we have it. They aren't attending school and working at the same time.

Only a moron would try to claim that child labor leads to greater access to education. But then ryggesogn2 is a moron.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 18, 2015
@barakn,
I didn't make the claim.
Scientists did.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 18, 2015
"North Korea has forcibly mobilised children from the poorest parts of the country as cheap labour; diverted food aid earmarked for them to the benefit of children of the capital and the military; and has thrown them into detention centres when their parents are condemned to forced labour camps on political grounds, this according to a report by the Seoul-based Citizen's Alliance for North Korean Human Rights and the Asia Center for Human Rights.

Children in the poorest parts of the country face the greatest difficulty in getting an education."
http://www.asiane...rt=14437
howhot2
3.5 / 5 (6) Feb 18, 2015
@R2, You have no ethics or a moral compass. Your only motive seems to be just to serve the a tea party conservative agenda which is pretty selfish. If you don't recognize the invaluable political design forced on the plutocrats by democratically minded liberals and the successes of liberalism, the at best you missed a major portion of your education.

What you should be talking about is the failures of Koch conservatism and is spread throughout the GOP. Take a look at the GOP "cream of the crop" . Scott Walker (R=Gov Wis), his assault on liberalism resulted on in a $2.2billion deficit. KS is similarly a stinker. In fact, across the globe, the countries with the worst standards are those lead by the conservatives.
So when you say "Why do the socialists want to flood the USA with illiterate, illegal aliens to work at slave wages?" My question is why do conservatives want to keep the USA illiterate and poor? Why are conservatives so anti-immigrant? Answer that @R2.
howhot2
4 / 5 (8) Feb 18, 2015
And besides @R2, why are you and the AGW denier squad SO SO insistent that global warming won't effect the food supply. Are you just sticking your head in the sand like frightened ostrich. The impact that a 2C, 3C, 4C on the global flora could be severe. The severity of drought conditions on the southwest USA could have a huge impact as farmers begin to abandon land and farming in general. Those are jobs lost. The fact that conservatives deny all the science shown them about issues like this, doesn't help improve things in the future does it.

Compounding these problem are the massive increase in the population to 9 billion. That just stresses resources even more. With pending global warming threatening future food stock it points to a humanitarian disaster in the makings.

Science can't do anything about these problems but we can advise the governments of the potential for these problem to show up in the years to come as AGW sinks it's teeth into the planet.

barakn
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 19, 2015
@barakn,
I didn't make the claim.
Scientists did.

No, they didn't. Either you have the reading comprehension skills of a 7-year old or you are deliberately misinterpreting what was written to satisfy your twisted world view.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Feb 19, 2015
"Girls 12 to 18 years old who have lived in the proximity of a garment factory for about six years—the average time studied—were 28 percent less likely to be married than those living in villages in the same district that were not close to a factory.
Girls who live near a factory tend to have 1.5 more years of education than their brothers when surveyed. This represents a 50 percent increase in girls' educational attainment over villages without a garment factory nearby.
Girls and young women who are exposed to factory jobs when they are 10 to 23 years old are 79 percent more likely to work outside the home before marriage.
Overall, girls are 7.2 percentage points more likely to be enrolled in school when factories open close to their village. This effect is especially strong among young girls, 5 to 9 years of age."

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp
Bongstar420
2.7 / 5 (3) Feb 22, 2015
Correction...Continued mismanagement by idiot land owners farming ground they have no business working will cause the "degradation" and "food shortages" they are talking about.

This is all about education, IQ, and access to equipment/land

http://www.agry.p...nds.html

Yes, despite the "drought" and "federal relief programs" yields are better than ever.
Maggnus
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 22, 2015
@barakn,
I didn't make the claim.
Scientists did.

No, they didn't. Either you have the reading comprehension skills of a 7-year old or you are deliberately misinterpreting what was written to satisfy your twisted world view.


A combination of the former and the latter, I would venture.
Maggnus
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 22, 2015
Correction...Continued mismanagement by idiot land owners farming ground they have no business working will cause the "degradation" and "food shortages" they are talking about.

This is all about education, IQ, and access to equipment/land

http://www.agry.p...nds.html

Yes, despite the "drought" and "federal relief programs" yields are better than ever.

I don't think that cite says what you think it says.

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