"A Jolt to Complacency on Food Supply"

"For a look at what climate change could do to the world’s food supply, consider what the weather did to the American Corn Belt last year."

"At the beginning of 2012, the Agriculture Department projected the largest corn crop in the country’s history. But then a savage heat wave and drought struck over the summer. Plants withered, prices spiked, and the final harvest came in 27 percent below the forecast.

The situation bore a striking resemblance to what happened in Europe in 2003, after a heat wave cut agricultural production for some crops by as much as 30 percent and sent prices soaring.

Several researchers concluded that the European heat wave was made more likely by human-caused climate change; scientists are still arguing over the 2012 heat blast in the United States. Whatever their origin, heat waves like these give us a taste of what could be in store in a future with global warming."

Justin Gillis reports for the New York Times November 11, 2013.

Source: NY Times, 11/12/2013