Have you noticed becoming more expensive? How much thought have you put into the possibility of it becoming scarce? could lead to grocery costs going up, food becoming limited, and crops taking a loss when it comes to their nutritious value. This is according to United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a noteworthy article on land use they recently released. The information is certainly alarming and worth looking into. Read on for more details on how climate change is anticipated to impact what we eat.  

Climate Change and Crops 

The sad reality is that today, we are seeing signs of the all across the planet. And climate change is anticipated to modify the types of crops which farmers are able to grow. How? In some places, the climate will be too hot. In others, there will be more moisture, more snow and more flooding – of course, these factors will limit the types of crops able to be grown. Climate change is certainly concerning. 

Pamela McElwee, an author of the report from United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, discussed how there is a time limit when it comes to keeping warming to less than 2 degrees. McElwee is an associate professor at Rutgers University.  

In accordance with the same climate change report, nutrition in foods could weaken, too. For instance, wheat which is grown at high carbon dioxide levels would potentially provide up to 13 percent less protein and up to 8 percent less iron. Experiments were done to verify this. Another author of the report, senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space StudiesCynthia Rosenzweig, discussed studying different foods and outcomes. She mentioned that the strain is already visible on food systems.  

Climate Change Impacting Food Impacts Our Health 

Obviously, numerous problems would come up if climate change were to impact the food we eat. From chronic disease to the inability to function at the level one is able to when receiving proper nourishment, food scarcity, and a decrease in nutrition in what is available would be very alarming. Climate change impacting food impacts our health – we can’t deny this.  

There has been overall progress in terms of enough food being available, according to the US Department of Agriculture. However, climate change could set us back.  

Due to climate change, 1 percent of food calories are lost on a yearly basis. If this doesn’t sound like much to you, look at it this way – there has been a reduction of 35 trillion calories each year already. The numbers are substantial. This is according to a study published earlier this year which monitored production of global crops such as rice, soybean, barley, wheat and sugarcane. 

Imagine removing food calories for 50 million persons across the globe. Well, senior scientist with the University of Minnesota Institute  Environment’s Global Landscapes Initiative, discussed that this is already happening. ”Drawing down” on carbon emissions is key. Climate change is a very real concern. 

Climate change effects different places in different ways, as per Ray. In terms of food production being negatively impacted, places like Southern Africa, Europe, Australia and South Asia are feeling it the most. The United States is feeling it, too, specifically in places such as Illinois, where there has been a reduction in corn yield.  

Lewis Ziska, plant physiologist, was a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. He found, in working with the US Department of Agriculture, that CO2 levels rising could negatively affect the nutritional value of crops. Other impacted areas include floral development, which in turn negatively impacts bees and butterflies. There are serious risks with climate change when it comes to food. 

We need to do our part to lessen the impact of climate change. We need to take climate change seriously because it is and will continue to impact the food we eat. Consider small things that can be done in day to day life to make a difference for our planet, even if each change feels small. Taking action is key – we can’t just sit back and watch our planet suffer due to climate change.   

Sources: 

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/09/health/ipcc-report-food-security-climate-scn/index.html 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/09/opinion/climate-change-food-report.html 

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