If no measures are put in place to prevent this, in various parts of the world, particularly in developing nations, the performance of many of the major agricultural crops fall because of global warming.
This is one of the gloomy conclusions reached in a study released by the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) under the CGIAR international consortium (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research).
Yields of three of the most important crops, wheat, rice and maize will decrease in many developing countries as rising temperatures and rain will become more unpredictable. This is one of the conclusions of the new study. It also has made an analysis of the potential effects of climate change on 22 agricultural crops in the world.
By the middle of this century, climate change could cause wheat yields under irrigation in developing countries decline by 13 percent. In the case of rice under irrigation systems in these countries, the decline could be as high as 15 percent. In Africa, many farmers who grow corn, which is not so well adapted to high temperatures and other vegetables, you could lose 10 to 20 percent of their current performance.
Additional sources of food also suffer performance declines in many places. The cost of feeding livestock with corn and grain in general, will be more expensive. And the availability of fish stocks, which are particularly susceptible to rising temperatures and increased ocean salinity, will become increasingly scarce.
A vegetable protein sources will not fare much better. Soy is facing increasing difficulties with the rise of the thermometer in various areas. Even vigorous crops like millet and lentils can see diminished their productivity if they suffer excessive heat.
Higher temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns will hurt many more things that crop yields. These adverse changes also alter the ecosystems that support agriculture. Freshwater sources, and somewhat scarce in many regions of the globe, will be even more precarious when rainfall becomes less predictable.
Changes in ecosystems caused by climate change may lead to changes in the intensity of herbivorous insect pests and disease outbreaks in plants, which further limit food production. “In fact, even if the crops can withstand rising temperatures and low rainfall, yields could fall because of these other disasters,” says Philip Thornton, of CCAFS.