Experts Warn Climate Change Is Beginning to Disrupt Agriculture

June 17th, 2010

With the added environmental stresses of climate change, prices of staple crops could double

Every nation — developed and otherwise — is dependent upon a stable agricultural sector, and climate change threatens that stability, a panel of experts said yesterday.

World population is expected to swell by 50 percent by 2050. This alone is a challenge for the world’s supply of vital grains, said Gerald Nelson, an agricultural economist and fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute. But then you have to tack on the impacts of climate change.

Global agriculture, he said, could adapt to climate change for about $7 billion annually, with most of the resources being devoted to research, new irrigation techniques and training small farmers for rises in sea level.

Agricultural management directly affects how the three major greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide — are cycled through the environment. According to United Nations Environment Programme, “Agriculture, deforestation and other forms of land use account for nearly one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.”

Source: Experts Warn Climate Change Is Beginning to Disrupt Agriculture - Scientific American

Date: 17 June, 2010