Half the world population threatened with food crisis by 2100

Because of impacts of global warming on agricultural productivity, there is high probability that by the end of the century half the world's population will face serious food shortages, particularly in the equitorial regions. This is a conclusion of a recent study published in the January 9 issue of Science ("Historical warnings of future food insecurity with unprecedented seasonal heat.")

"The stresses on global food production from temperature alone are going to be huge," warns co-author David Battisi (Department of Atmospheric Science at the University of Washington), "and that doesn't take into account water supplies stressed by the higher temperatures." The problem is especially acute in the tropics and subtropics, which contain some of the planet's poorest populations." Currently there three billion people live in the affected zones, a number expected to double by the end of the century.

In past food crises "people could always turn somewhere else to find food." says study partner Rosamond Naylor (Program on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University). "But in the future there's not going to be any place to turn unless we rethink our food supplies."

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