Climate change and food supply are two hot topics right now, but have you ever considered how they relate? Our food supply is a massive, yet often over-looked, factor in the climate change game. Here are seven facts you should know about this issue.
- Temperature has a critical impact on crop yields. For some crops, higher temperatures are actually good. Unfortunately, for many it is extremely harmful. According to the EPA, higher temperatures can cause faster growth. For crops like grains, such acceleration means less time for seeds to grow and mature, which can reduce the amount of yields. (Read: less food.)
- Climate change can cause extreme weather. AKA things like floods and draughts. This may not only decrease crop yields, but completely devastate entire yields.
- Many weeds, pests and fungi thrive under warmer temperatures. Gross. Farmers end up having to spend more money and use even more chemicals to offset this.
- Climate change affects livestock too. Extreme weather directly threatens livestock. In fact, one heat wave can knock out 5,000 animals in just one state.
- Draught can also strain livestock. Draught can seriously threaten the feed supply for livestock, which in turn threatens farms and food supplies.
- Food scarcity brings financial issues. When the demand for food is high and there is not enough of it to meet basic needs, the price will increase. Basically, less food = more expensive. More expensive = more hunger.
- Katherine Owen is a journalism student at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Her favorite causes are Education and Human Rights.
Sources: United States Environmental Protection Agency, The Guardian, Inhabitat