Climate Change May Trigger Crop Failures

Major food shortages predicted for Africa, Asia by 2030
By Robin Frost,  Newser User
Posted Feb 3, 2008 9:21 AM CST
Farmers ride bullock carts loaded with sugar cane into the Simbhaoli Integrated Sugar Complex which houses the ethanol plant at Simbhaoli, Uttar Pradesh, India. (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi, File)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Climate change could cause severe food shortages in South Asia and southern Africa, two of the poorest regions in the world, by 2030, National Geographic reports. "We were surprised by how much, and how soon, these regions could suffer if we don't adapt," said one of the study's authors. Decreased yields could pump up costs in the global food market as well.

As levels of greenhouse gases heat up the planet, droughts and shifting rainfall patterns could cause a 30% drop in corn yields in southern Africa; in South Asia, output of almost every major crop will by cut by 5% to 10%. The authors suggest cultivating new crops in those hot spots and increasing spending on drought-resistant produce.