Global warming makes feeding the world harder and more expensive, a United Nations scientific panel said.
A warmer world will push food prices higher, trigger “hotspots of hunger” among the world’s poorest people, and put the crunch on Western delights like fine wine and robust coffee, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded in a 32-volume report issued March 31.
“We’re facing the specter of reduced yields in some of the key crops that feed humanity,” IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri said in press conference at Yokohama, Japan, where IPCC released the report.
Even though heat and carbon dioxide are often considered good for plants, the overall effect of various aspects of man-made warming is that it will reduce food production compared to a world without global warming, the report said.
The last time IPCC reported on the effects of warming in 2007, it said it was too early to tell whether climate change would increase or decrease food production, and many skeptics talked of a greening world. But in the past several years, the scientific literature has been overwhelming in showing that climate change hurts food production, said Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution of Science and lead author of the climate report. [Read More]
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