The degrading climatic conditions and rising global warming are bringing disasters for living things on the planet. Making the situation worse, a new study has predicted that the climate change will hit crop yields in temperate and tropical regions earlier than first thought.
The researchers have warned that global warming of only 2C is likely to reduce yields of staple crops as early as the 2030s. Moreover, the impact will become even greater in the second half of the century, when decreases of over 25% will become increasingly common.
The researchers at the University of Leeds concluded the findings after analyzing the results of 1,700 published studies of the impact that climate change will have on the yields of rice, maize and wheat.
A 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that the harvests in temperate regions would be relatively unaffected by 2C of warming. It has moreover suggested a boost in productivity in some areas. The new study has raised objections by looking at a data set twice the size of that used by the IPCC.
Lead study author Professor Andy Challinor said, “As more data have become available, we’ve seen a shift in consensus, telling us that the impacts of climate change in temperate regions will happen sooner rather than later. The impact of climate change on crops will vary both from year-to-year and from place-to-place – with the variability becoming greater as the weather becomes increasingly erratic.”
A leaked draft report of the IPCC, which is due out later this month, says, average crop yields will drop by 2% by the end of the century, while global demand for food rises by 14% every year by 2050.
The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.