Climate change is already transforming crop production worldwide, and studies indicate that predicted changes in climate will have a severe impact on crop yields and food security in the future. As crops suffer from higher temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, and severe weather events, the availability, cost, safety, and quality of food supplies are all likely to suffer.
For many crops and in many regions of the world, adaptive measures can be taken to avoid or limit the negative impact of climate change on crops. Crops suffering from temperature increases, flooding, and sea level rise can be managed differently or moved to higher ground or to lands more conducive to successful crop production.
Growers and scientists are also having some success in modifying the genetic makeup of some crops, making them more resilient to extreme weather events and climate changes. And the most vulnerable crops can in some cases be replaced with more resilient crops that offer equivalent nutritional and economic value.
As the agricultural sector works to adapt to climate change, people already suffering from poverty will experience the most profound and negative impacts. Crop production in developing countries, which tend to be in tropical and subtropical regions and are home to the poorest populations in the world, will suffer the most. These are the poorest countries in the world.
Flooding, temperature extremes, fluctuations in precipitation, and extreme weather are already taking their toll, and will get worse, posing an existential threat to these regions. Jobs and economic vitality will be lost, food supplies will diminish, and, for many, the cost of adaptation will be prohibitive.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed some of the world’s most important crops and how they and the people who rely on them might be affected by climate change.