Climate change and warmer temperatures are already hurting agriculture in California.
"Potato grower Brian Kirschenmann bent over the deep green plants in his field in New Cuyama, nestled in a verdant valley an hour southwest of Bakersfield, and looked at the bottom of each leaf.
Next to him, his crop advisor Gary Toschi examined a leaf under a magnifying glass.
'That one is active,' said Toschi.
He and Kirschenmann had found a round, bright green insect, about the size of the comma on a computer keyboard. The tiny pest is called a potato-tomato psyllid, and both the young nymphs like the one they found, and the adults, which are shaped like a cicada, wreak havoc on potatoes, as well as tomatoes, peppers and about 40 other crops.
In potatoes, they suck the plant dry. And what's worse, the pest also can transmit a disease that ruins potato chips – a $6 billion business in the United States, despite the bad rap chips get from nutritionists. The disease transmitted by potato-tomato psyllids gives chips a burnt flavor and causes them to develop brown streaks, which is why the disease is known as 'zebra chip.'"