Effects of Global Warming on Agriculture

by Georgi Maslyankov on September 11, 2017 - 10:42am

Nicolas Scott
Maxime Lassonde
Georgi Maslyankov
Marco Polce

Consequences of global warming on agriculture

USA food production is crucial for world food supplies. 25% of grains supplies are produced in the USA. Extreme temperature, change in temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide will significantly affect crops production. It is know that the beef industry consumes lots of water and produces a lot of methane gas due to the cows’ burps. These gases contribute to global warming. As the average temperature increases, livestock reproduction cycles decline and their appetite as well. Because their appetite is decreased, it is then longer for them to reach their target weight. Heat waves also cause stress on the animals which can then lead to an increase of sickness and an increase in violence and fighting between the animals in confinement. As global warming increases, new insect parasites and diseases will most certainly emerge. In presence of heat stress and humidity, most livestock will not be able to fight and survive these diseases without the use of costly medicine.
Change in rain patterns caused by climate change can significantly impact the agricultural sector, the biggest water consumer, using up to 70% of fresh water. The intensity and number of drought will increase during the summer, exactly when the crop’s water need are at their peak. This will affect crops production. An increase in temperatures leads to a more dry soil which leads to plants not being able to be grown. As global warming increases and climates become more humid weeds, pests and fungi tend to increase affecting more crops. This doesn’t only affect the crops but the world is it is a part of the United States economy and it is also used to feed many people around the world. Farmers have had to spend 11 billion dollars per year to reduce these pests thus saving some crops. An increase in carbon dioxide has 2 different aspects: one being it can help plant growth although being exposed to, too much carbon dioxide will remove the nutritional value from these crops. Global warming can also affect agriculture by being exposed to too much rainfall as half a year’s worth of rain was precipitated in approximately 5 hours leading to high amounts of flooding which ruined a whole village if not a country’s crops.
As the weather becomes warmer like in California or Mexico, hurricanes become stronger. Warmer weather makes larger hurricanes due to the warm ocean waters consequently destroying more infrastructures, crops and killing people. Also growing hurricanes have larger winds and that also destroys crops and agricultural land. Social and economic factors can also greatly affect the world food production. In some countries, like in Brazil, changes in farmers cropping methods are being one of the major reason of crops production’s decrease. According to a study, worldwide production of corn and soybean could decrease from 9-13%, and of this decrease, 70% is due to farmer reacting to the new climatic condition, like deciding to use less land because of lack of productivity.
Plants in the area becomes stronger because there is more CO2. Someone would think that this is a positive effect but instead more wild plants grow in the area and in larger quantities. More plants means that there are more insects to pollinate these plants. While that is happening it also means that insects are reproducing more in that warmer area and making it more habitable. Some of these insects carry diseases and when the area is habitable for a longer period it has a negative effect because more bad insects live in the area.

Sources:
“Impact of climate change on agriculture may be underestimated”
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160307112943.htm
“Global Warming Effects on Agriculture and Forestry”
http://pacinst.org/publication/global-warming-effects-on-agriculture-and...
“Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture”
Climate.ncsu.edu/edu/k12/ClimateChange-Ag
“Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply”
https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/climate-impacts/climate-impacts-ag...