Climate Change and Our Food Supply?

by Username on April 2, 2018 - 10:29pm

The article “Climate change could raise food insecurity risk” published by the University of Exeter in the Science Daily discusses an interesting side effect of climate change, one often forgotten. While climate change will affect most facets of our planet’s ecosystem, its effects on our food production are scarcely the focal point of speculation despite its importance. It is no secret that our production methods are quite weather dependant, most of our produce must be imported for far away countries simply because our home climate is far from optimal for its growth (either year-round or only partly). This report details the results researchers obtained following their differential comparison between pre-industrial and 1.5 to 2 degree Celsius global warming. Their results showed that while both 1.5 and 2 degree increases resulted in increased food vulnerability and uncertainties, these effect worsened at the 2 degree mark. Projected effects were both droughts and heavy rainfall, with South American and Southern Africa being most affected by droughts (Amazon waterflows being projected to decrease by 25 % as stated by the researchers) while as Southern and Eastern Asia will be subjected to the most increase in rainfall. The warming of the climate will, however, mainly create wetter climates (as the authors put it), which will in turn lead to floods, thus putting to risk agriculture practise. A final effect of this climate change which was proposed in this article was that the changes in weather extremes could seriously affect freshwater availability. While they do not speak of probable causes for global warming, it has become widely accepted that an increase in Carbon Dioxide emissions and a reduction in overall flora levels have lead to a gradual increase in temperature. Climate change (global warming) is most definitely a problem of utmost importance as not only will it cause a plethora of global side effects such as melting polar caps, desert expansion and the endangerment of food production in a world where we can already scarcely feed our 7.5 billion people.

In my opinion, solving the issue of Climate Change will never be a simple task. As humans we are wired to overreach, overconsume and a hardwired nature of self-interest. This isn’t to say we are always or must be as such, better ways can be learnt, but at heart, this is what humans have evolved to become. More to the point, however, our climate change is a direct result of these tendencies, especially since the end of the revolution. Our expanding economies and developing technologies have been consuming an increasing amount of natural resources, while producing an growing volume of pollutants (atmospheric, luminary, water…). Research completed within the last 20-30 years detailing and theorising of our effects on the planet and the dire consequences climate change will have has only been met by orders of silence. Higher powers such a governments and companies have much to gain from loose environmental laws on pollutions and production, it is therefor in their advantage to limit the spread of these publications (evidence of these activities can be found in the United States government, Canada’s Stephen Harper shutting down environmental research funding…). So, what will be the biggest hurdle towards solving this problem? Well while companies such as Tesla creating greener alternatives to current pollution mediums, most major corporations have shown a little interest as possible toward changing their ways. Therefor the biggest hurdle will be finding a way to get everyone on board with pollution reduction, while also reducing our natural resource consumption so as to give time to for the planet to heal itself.

University of Exeter. "Climate change could raise food insecurity risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180402085901.htm>.

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