Climate change sucks. But bananas like it! So far…

Since 1961 banana yields have increased by an average of 1.37 tons per hectare [1]. This is thought to be due to warmer temperatures from climate change making them grow faster [1]. Like many of the benefits of climate change, however, booming banana growth is unlikely to last [1,3]. As temperatures continue to rise, it will become too hot for bananas in many areas, resulting in drops in banana yields to much lower than they are now [1].

But let’s not fixate on just one impact of climate change! Bananas’ positive response to higher temperatures may be lost if warming makes them more vulnerable to diseases and pests [4]. For example, as droughts become more serious due to climate change, bananas may suffer more from “Panama disease” [4]. This disease recently arrived in Latin America, raising concern that entire plantations may be wiped out [6].

Climate change can also shift the areas where diseases can survive [4]. “Black Sigatoka” is the most damaging disease for banana, and warming is projected to reduce its range by decreased humidity in certain areas [7]. We have mentioned how adapting to climate change is important: in this case, we could predict where the disease will not be able to survive, and focus banana-growing in these areas [2].

Bananas are a staple carbohydrate-rich food for many tropical nations [1], so working to maintain successful growth of bananas is important.

Every food crop has its own story [8] – we just took bananas as an example to show how responses to climate change are not simply “good” or “bad”, they’re complicated.

References

Join our Newsletter!

Impress

Climate Science Ltd
Company Nr: 12370672
Registered in England & Wales
Mail: [email protected]

address

15 Hope Close
Totnes
TQ9 5YD
United Kingdom

Climate Science is registered as a non-profit company limited by guarantee in England and Wales.

Copyright © 2019-2020 Climate Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Climate Science uses Cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.