Global Climate Change: Continents Most at Risk for Decrease in Agriculture

By bsozak | February 1, 2013

cropsThere are a few sides people can take on why the global climate is changing so rapidly. Some insist that global warming is to blame. Others are sure that the earth is undergoing a natural cycle. Whatever the case may be, we can all agree on the main point: the climate is changing and it’s a full, global force.

Of course, the weather affects our lives in many ways. Excessively hot weather can make anyone grumpy or annoyed, but that is the least of our worries. The farming industry has much more to worry about than just having their day ruined. Today, farmers are having entire crops ruining due to heat each year. Below are some of the continents that are expected to experience the most drastic changes in agricultural success.

One continent that is at extreme risk for overheating is Africa, due to its geographical location. As it is now, 70% of the population of Africa is dependent on very few rainfalls each year for their agricultural needs. Areas that now only get one rainy season are estimated to get even less. However, strangely enough, Tanzania, for example, gets two rainy seasons but is expected to get more. Maize, the country’s staple crop, is expected to drop by 33% in future years. There is yet another problem: the reduction in rainfall has lead nomadic peoples to move to areas that are getting more rainfall, causing conflict among nomads and farmers.

Another continent that faces concerns with their annual agriculture is Asia. It is estimated that by the middle of the 21st century, crops in Central and South Asia will likely decrease by 30%. This, of course, would cause hunger issues to remain high, if not worsen in developing countries. It has also been indicated by the International Rice Research Institute that rice crops will decrease by 20% for each degree Celsius of the rise in temperature. Extreme heat is a major problem for the growth of rice. If the crop is exposed to temperatures higher than 35 Celsius for longer than one hour while in the flowering season, the plants will then produce no grain.

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