Scientists warn of food shortages

Global warming is likely to put stress on crops and livestock and could cause serious food shortages for half the world's population, Reuters reported, citing a study by US researchers. The scientists warn that humanity must urgently “rethink” global food production in order to avoid future famine.


Published in the journal Science, the study concluded that the worst effects of the food shortages would be in the tropics and the subtropics, where the world’s poorest people already live. The authors of the study — David Battisti of the University of Washington and Rosamond Naylor of Stanford University — predict that even temperate regions would face much warmer average temperatures.


The scientists combined direct observations with data from 23 global climate models. By 2100, they calculate, there is a greater than 90% probability that growing-season low temperatures in the tropics and subtropics will be higher than the highest current temperatures in those regions.


They urged investment in development of crop varieties that can withstand higher heat and dwindling water supplies to help feed the three million people who live in the worst-affected regions. "People could always turn somewhere else to find food," said Naylor. "But in the future there’s not going to be any place to turn unless we rethink our food supplies."


See full story