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Climate Change Will Drive Up Food Prices

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Climate Change Means Less of This to Go Around
Climate Change Means Less of This to Go Around

The agricultural industry is notoriously slow to react to changing conditions, which leads some researchers to believe that climate change will inevitably lead to higher food prices in the future.

According to research done by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, climate change will likely contribute to increasing prices for basic foodstuffs in the coming decades. The study suggests that, as in the past, the agricultural industry cannot adapt to the changing climate, and everything it entails, leading to a drop in food production.

Of course, the result is not the same everywhere, as shortened growing seasons in one area may reduce food production, lengthened growing seasons in other areas may increase food production. At the same time, climate change may increase the incidence of agricultural pests and diseases in certain areas, reducing food production. Climate-change-driven rainfall, sunlight, and temperature variations also account for drastic changes in food production.

Regarding croplands, lead researcher Christoph Schmitz notes that most of the models predict that, by 2050, humanity will require at least 50% more cropland to feed itself. In other words, normal human population growth would demand an additional 0.772 million square miles of cropland by 2050. Sticking with current greenhouse gas emissions levels, climate change lead to a decrease in food production per square mile, so we’ll require about 1.24 million square miles of cropland to feed ourselves.

The question is, as climate change eliminates seaside croplands and expands deserts, where is all this cropland going to come from? It does not exist. The result will be food price increases of at least 25%, which doesn’t include any other problems, including food shortages, water shortages, armed conflicts resulting from these, and more severe weather patterns, which would further reduce crop yields.

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