Croplands May Wither as Global Warming Worsens

Thursday, January 8, 2009 - 20:21 in Earth & Climate

In summer 2003, more than 52,000 Europeans died from heat-related ills, 30,000 in France alone, during an unrelenting heat wave that featured temperatures 6.5 degrees Fahrenheit (3.6 degrees Celsius) higher than normal. Crops also suffered, with corn production down by 30 percent and wheat by 21 percent, among other foodstuffs. And a similar hot spell in Ukraine in 1972 led to a wheat shortage that prompted that staple's prices to more than triple by 1974. But even without record-breaking heat, recent years have seen food riots from Bangladesh to Haiti as world agriculture was pushed to the breaking point by a combination of greater demand for food, biofuels and poor weather. [More]

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