Monday, April 27, 2009

Global warming holds back crop yields

"A study published by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has confirmed a rule of thumb among crop ecologists: for every rise of one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above the norm, wheat, rice and corn yields fall by 10 percent." (Scientific American)

This could be part of the reason farmers are struggling to improve crop yields. "Between 1950 and 1990 the world’s farmers increased the grain yield per acre by more than 2 percent a year, exceeding the growth of population. But since then, the annual growth in yield has slowed to slightly more than 1 percent."

This is a problem considering there are 6.7 billion people on Earth right now, and
there will be 9 billion by 2040. How are we going to feed all these people? Genetically modified crops? Sorry, "no genetically modified crops have led to dramatically higher yields."

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.