Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Get Ready For Food Prices To Go Way Up, Thanks To Climate Change


Climate change will likely push food prices up 20 to 40 percent, regardless of cuts to future carbon emissions, new research in the journal Climatic Change concluded. Staple crops like rice, wheat, and grains — which make up the vast majority of global diets, especially for the poor — could see the biggest hits, with big costs for global economic welfare.


The big hits to food production come from altered rainfall patterns and regional soil moisture due to climate change. That in turn changes agriculture and trade patterns for the worst, though the researchers did find crops relying on irrigation fared better than those relying on rain. But in the end, less production means less supply, which means higher prices.


On the domestic front, America’s corn growers have already seen their bushel yields reduced by one billion in 2011 thanks to drought. In Texas specifically, the heat and lack of water has cut beef and rice production, and squashed the cotton industry by about 50 percent. It could be a prelude of more to come worldwide.

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