According to a study published in the journal Science almost 50% of the world’s population is going to face severe food shortages by the end of this century. It is because the rising temperatures shorten the growing season period in the tropics and subtropics that increase the risk of drought, and reduce the harvests of basic food crops such as rice and maize up to 20 percent to 40 percent.
Global warming is expected to affect agriculture in every part of the world but it will have most adverse impact in the tropics and subtropics, where right now also the crops are less able to adapt to climate change and they are already facing food shortages due to rapid population growth.
Scientists at Stanford University and the University of Washington, who worked on the study, discovered that by 2100 there is a 90 percent chance that the regions that are facing coolest temperatures in the tropics during the growing season will be facing the temperatures higher than the hottest temperatures recorded in those regions through 2006. Even more temperate parts of the world can expect to see previously record-high temperatures become the norm.
As the world population is expected to be double by the end of the century, the need for food will also become more and more important as rising temperatures force nations to retool their approach to agriculture, create new crops that can survive in changing climatic conditions, and develop additional strategies to ensure an enough food supply for their people to meet the food needs of ever growing population.
According to Rosamond Naylor, who is director of food security and the environment at Stanford, “All of that could take decades”. Meanwhile, when the local supplies of a particular region begin to run dry, people will have fewer and fewer places from where they can import and meet the food needs of their people.
David Battisti, the scientist University of Washington who led the study sad that, “When all the signs point in the same direction, and in this case it’s a bad direction, you pretty much know what’s going to happen, You’re talking about hundreds of millions of additional people looking for food because they won’t be able to find it where they find it now”.