Climate Change Will Pinch Food Supply: UN Panel

Draft report less optimistic than one in 2007
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2013 7:47 AM CDT
Climate Change Will Pinch Food Supply: UN Panel
The sun rises over a grain silos in Ashland, Ill., in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

UN scientists see bad things happening to the world's food supply in the next several decades even as demand increases, reports the New York Times. A draft report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007) predicts that climate change will cut agricultural production by 2% per decade through the end of the century. That reduction comes as demand rises 14% per decade thanks to the ever-growing world population.

The panel's previous report in 2007 was more optimistic, notes the Times. That one said that while some areas of the world would see less production, those losses would be offset by gains in colder climes. Now, the UN scientists predict a net loss, reflecting new research that shows crops are more sensitive than thought to hot temperatures. Another tangible sign of the times: President Obama yesterday ordered federal agencies to help state and local governments better prepare for rising sea levels, storms, and droughts, reports the Washington Post. (More climate change stories.)

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