Friday, February 08, 2008

Where Hunger Will Hit in 2030

Some of the world's poorest regions could face severe food shortages in the coming decades thanks to climate change, say researchers who have consulted the most sophisticated climate models to predict where crop losses are likely.According to those models, the world's average temperature could rise by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 20 years. The difference may seem small in abstract, but coupled with changes in rainfall, it could have dramatic effects on the growing seasons of important crops.Most of the world's 1 billion poor depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, points out David Lobell, lead author of a new paper on the predictions and a senior research scholar at Stanford University's Program on Food Security and the Environment (FSE)."Unfortunately," he said in a statement, "agriculture is also the human enterprise most vulnerable to changes in climate."To figure out which regions might be hit the hardest, Lobell and his colleagues used 20 climate models, focusing on poor regions in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Their findings will be published in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Science."We decided that a systematic look at the data might be helpful in identifying which crops and regions have the worst, or best, prospects," Lobell told Discovery News.
Discovery News : Discovery Channel

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