May 8th, 2011
Science centered around the impact of climate change on the world’s most popular crops. The most popular crops of the world being wheat, soybeans, corn and rice. The study was performed by U.S. scientists from both Stanford and Columbia Universities.
The study found that there is an overall warming trend across the globe since the year 1980. However, temperatures across the U.S. were found to have slightly cooled. The increased temperatures worldwide have significantly impacted crop yields and therefore crop costs, a concern which is sure to grow in the future.
According to the study, global wheat production reduced by 5.5 percent and global corn production was cut by 3.8 percent. However, some locations fared better than others. Russia unfortunately had wheat production reduce by fifteen percent over the last thirty years. The overall decrease worldwide in that time frame is equivalent to the EU’s largest yearly producer, France, and Mexico’s total corn crop yearly.
The scientists found that this decrease in crop yield caused a significant spike in prices. For wheat, prices increased due to the declining production by nearly twenty percent over the past thirty years. The scientists noted that this price increase only took into account crop yields specifically. Some technological advances have enabled farmers to counteract climate change impacts.
The scientists found that for soybean and rice crops, the yields remained nearly the same. Rice yields even increased in some regions.
While adding other factors to the study alters the results, the message from the study remains the same: climate change is and will continue impacting crop yields. Not only does this cause concern regarding feeding the world’s growing population but the cost of food itself. When the most popular crops in the world have declining yields it impacts an array of food products, not just the wheat or corn itself