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Climate Change Will Affect Food Production, Prices: U.N.
Climate change will lead to lower food production, higher food
prices and "hotspots of hunger" among the world's poorest people,
according to a new report.
"We're facing the specter of reduced yields in some of the key crops that feed humanity," Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change said during Monday's press conference releasing the 32-volume document, the Associated Pressreported.
Food prices could rise from 3 percent to 84 percent by 2050 due
to climate change, the panel warned.
"In a world where a billion people are already going hungry, this makes it harder for more people to feed their families," Tim Gore of Oxfam International, who wasn't part of this study, told the AP.
When the panel released its previous report in 2007, it said it
was too soon to determine whether climate change would boost or cut
food production. But scientific literature released in the past
several years overwhelmingly shows that climate change harms food
production, according to Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution of
Science, lead author of the new report.
But while food production may decrease due to climate change, it
doesn't necessarily mean that less food will be grown worldwide.
Improved agricultural methods mean that crop production is
increasing about 10 percent a decade, while it's believed that
climate change will lower crop yields by about 1 percent a
That means that overall crop production will continue to rise,
but not as fast, said study co-author David Lobell of Stanford
Climate change-related shifts in rainfall will be one factor,
but the major problem will be too much heat, he said.
Crops aren't the only food source that will be affected by
climate change. It will make oceans warmer and more acidic and
change where fish live, making them harder to catch and affecting
the diets of people who rely on them, Pachauri said.
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