Producing food with global warming?

Everyone needs to eat to survive. Unfortunately, countries already suffering from high levels of hunger will also suffer the greatest food losses from global warming [11].

20% of all wheat, rice, maize, and soy that’s grown is lost to insects and disease [1]. As the climate changes, insects and diseases move to areas with temperatures that suit them [2]. This might result in even greater loss of crops than now [3]. . More extreme weather events also seriously threaten food security [4]. Drought can kill crops and livestock. Seawater floods can ruin the soil, making it impossible to grow crops on it [5]. To counteract this, we will have to hope selective breeding and genetic modification of crops can help [10].

Fishing is an important source of food, and can be done sustainably [12]. However, fishing may be made more difficult by climate change. Warmer water has less oxygen, making it harder for many species to breathe [6, 7], and more acidic water can cause problems inside their bodies [8]. Coral reefs are home to many fish. So when coral reefs die from warming water, the fish will also go [9].

This doesn’t cover nearly all the issues scientists are aware of; we will have a whole section for those in a few weeks!

References

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