We believe our planet is a place of infinite resources that is going to sustain and feed us forever. We often take it for granted that the production of food is never going to be seriously affected by any external factor.
However, experts have been warning us for a long time that climate change is a serious matter and we need to put an end to harmful activity in order to keep those resources intact. Studies have shown that many species of insects and animals have already been affected by extreme weather.
With the population on Earth increasing exponentially it is very unlikely that the planet is going to be able to sustain us for a long time. It is estimated that there will be nine billion people inhabiting the planet in 2050, which is almost two billion more than the number recorded now. This number will probably be doubled by the end of this century.
Developing countries are going to be the first ones affected by the climate change, but other nations will not remain untouched for a long time.
The increase in population will also spike up the demand for food by as much as 60 percent over the following four decades, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Prices for food are already much higher. The same organization reported that people need to pay almost three times more than they used to pay in the year 2000 for food.
Food shocks due to extreme weather conditions are three times more likely to occur now than they were in the past. This can have catastrophic consequences on the population residing in certain countries.
For instance, when the severe drought hit Russia in 2010, it literally decimated the harvests. The governments imposed restrictions on export, which led to riots in Northern parts of Africa, where bread became extremely expensive.
“If we are coping with demand increase by sustainable intensification, but then we suddenly have a catastrophic year, and we lose a big chunk of the world’s calories, everybody will feel it,” said Professor Tim Benton, with the UK Global Food Security Programme.
If the crops that now feed the biggest chunk of the population on earth, such as maize, rice, soybeans and wheat are severely affected, many people die of starvation. The most worrying part is that it is estimated this will happen at least once every three decades, not every 100 years as it used to.
A bad year for crops could cause a lot of chaos because prices would suddenly go up, making it very difficult for people all over the world to adjust to the new situation. This is why it is of utmost importance that research in agriculture is carried out to find the best ways to deal with rising temperatures and still produce enough food for the whole population.
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