"Feeding Ourselves on a Warming Planet"

A new study, still tentative, suggests that climate change will have much worse effects on global food production and supply than experts have previously estimated.

"If there is a risk that global warming and related changes could hit much sooner and much harder than scientists are expecting, agriculture could be the crucial realm where that occurs. In fact, we have already entered an era of sharply higher global food prices, with climate change as one of the likely causal factors.

A new paper from researchers associated with Tufts University puts the overall risk in perspective. It is billed as a working paper, meaning it has not gone through formal scientific review, but it strikes me as worth highlighting nevertheless. ...

The authors, Frank Ackerman and Elizabeth A. Stanton, point out that in the 1990s, research suggested that climate change would be fairly benign for agriculture. The first few degrees of warming would help agriculture expand in chilly regions, the thinking went, and the rising level of atmospheric carbon dioxide would act as plant fertilizer, increasing crop yields. More recent science has cast sharp doubt on some of those conclusions."

Justin Gillis reports for the New York Times' Green blog February 26, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Drought Spurs 'Very Aggressive' USDA Focus on Climate Change" (Greenwire $ Subscription)

"Report: Climate Change Could Devastate Agriculture" (USA TODAY: 2/5/13)

"Climate Change, Urban Growth, Agriculture Driving Water Study Need: Report" (Victoria Times Colonist)

"Agriculture and Climate: Connecting the Science" (NCAR/UCAR Release)

"Farming In a Changing Climate" (Asheville Citizen-Times)

"USDA on Climate Change: Adaptation for Agriculture, Forests" (Energy Collective)

"Agricultural Climate Adaptation Can Mitigate Too" (Environmental Research Web)

Source: Green/NYT, 02/27/2013