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Rapid Global Heating Is Hurting Farm Productivity, Study Finds

Published by Slashdot on Fri, 02 Apr 2021


Rising temperatures over the past several decades have hurt farming productivity of crops and livestock, according to new research published in Nature Climate Change. The Guardian reports: Productivity has actually slumped by 21% since 1961, compared to if the world hadn't been subjected to human-induced heating. With the global population set to rise to more than 9 billion by 2050, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that food production will have to increase by about 70%, with annual crop production increasing by almost one 1 billion tonnes and meat production soaring by more than 200 million tons a year by this point. The research measured productivity by inputs -- such as labor, fertilizer and equipment -- and the output in food they produce, using a model to determine how climate change has influenced this relationship. While farming has generally become far more efficient in recent decades, it is increasingly menaced by heatwaves that exhaust farm workers and wither certain crops. Extreme weather events and drought can also affect the output of a farm, particularly smaller operations in poorer countries.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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