Food Security Wanes As The World Warms


Changes in world’s climate will bring major shift in food production since food crops are sensitive to climate changes. According to estimates, by 2030, atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels will double along with preindustrial concentration and other greenhouse gases. More rain holds the promise of increased agricultural productivity but higher temperatures may offset this advantage by decreasing soil moisture.


The release of Chlorofluorocarbons had severely depleted the atmosphere’s protective Ozone layer causing the increase in the amount of UV radiation. This radiation is found to destroy over 200 species of susceptible crops like soybean. Insects and harmful microbes take good advantage of the increasing temperature and prosper by multiplying rapidly. Raising temperature will lengthen their breeding season and increase their reproductive rate. That, in turn, will raise the total number of insects attacking a crop and subsequently increase crop losses.


There are several technologies that help farmers reduce the anticipated adverse impacts from global warming like improved pest control. Pest and insect control by application of insecticides and non-chemical pest control measures like crop rotations, biological controls, altering dates and fertilizer, irrigation applications, soil management and tillage would help minimize crop losses. Irrigation could substitute for reduced rainfall, but only if abundant water and energy resources are available. Salinization and water logging of soil are other serious problems associated with irrigation. A return to crop rotations would substantially reduce soil erosion and water runoff and improve the control of insects, disease and weeds.


Some crop varieties have greater tolerance for moisture stress than current dominant crops and could be tested as substitutes for commonly used varieties. For example, switching from spring to winter, wheat in Canada has been used to develop new crop varieties that require slightly less water.


Farmers also need to adopt sound ecological resource management practices, especially soil and society, enabling agriculture to remain productive and offsetting some of the negative impacts of Global Warming. Projected changes in temperature, soil moisture, CO2 and pests associated with Global Warming are expected to decrease Food crop production by as much as 27 per cent. Improved agricultural technologies can offset this loss.

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Keywords :
agriculture , pest control


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